“In ‘D’ Negev” is an alternative culture enterprise. It aims to celebrate the festive essence and vitality of music and establish a bond with independent culture. The festival is geared to all people in general, and to the population of the Negev in particular.
The Negev, as with other aspects of current modern life, has been neglected down to the shoulders of the road. It’s time, it’s only natural that now its core is calling for bonding with honest, bare, original cutting edge music.
In D Negev is looking to bring the best of indie scenes to the families of Israel in the natural environment of the Negev. We’re looking to achieve a strong union – starting the formation of one big indie family.
This is an opportunity for artists to create fascinating new partnerships and, above all, be heard by an audience, hungry for new sounds. This is the chance to establish a long lasting collaboration.
G: I’m inspired by many things. First, Avishai’s new disc. Also, I saw a great show called “Debka Fantasy”, Israeli Ethnic music from the 1920’s onwards. Trips in nature – always good ideas come from my walks with my dog Nina in the forest near our house. Lastly, my family always contributes to my inspiration.
J: What are some of your other interests?
G: I play basketball every Sunday. I like to prepare food and I’m trying to grow organic food.
J: Tell me about the work you do with students in Otef Azza
G: The kids are very talented so it’s lots of fun, We work in a miklat (bomb shelter) so we are safe. I’ve heard only one “Tseva Adom” “Red Alert” and it was scary – though the kids were used to it and didn’t make a big deal of it.
J: How would you describe the music the kids like to play?
G: The kids like to play Rock, Progressive Rock, Reggae and some Trance. Some of them also like Jazz.
J:Do you think that the qassams in the area make a difference to the sort of jams you hear from the students?
G: One time a student did a free style Hip Hop and played with the words “Tseva Adom” like a scarcher (turntable) but usually there is no difference.
J: Do you see any difference since the ‘ceasefire’?
G: I’m more relaxed on the way back home…
J: Were you tense before? Can you elaborate on that?
G: I used to drive very fast when I passed Sederot. I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to hear the alarm from inside the car. Now I feel better, but maybe I just got used to it.
J: What about your work with Bedouin musicians? (note: Gal was a member of the BeDo project, an ensemble of Israeli and Bedouin musicians) Can you talk about that briefly?
G: We are no longer in touch, except for wishing each other “Chag sameach” “Have a happy holiday” from time to time.
It was a great time working with them and I learned a lot, but then each one of us went our own way. We recorded our stuff and you can hear it on our MySpace page: http://myspace.com/bedoproject.
Maybe someday we’ll do a gig together. Who knows…
J: What do you see as a possible future scenario in this area?
G: I’m optimistic-but it will take time…
J: You say you’re optimistic. Do you know of any ongoing projects right now that will promote a peaceful path?
G: I’m starting to do something in Ben Gurion Universty – a mixed group of students
playing together. I hope it will work out well so i can tell you more about it.
J: I’m looking forward to hearing about it. Thanks, Gal, for taking the time to talk to us.
G: Good luck and kol tuv (‘all the best’)
To all: Take the time to listen to some of the BeDo Projecthttp://myspace.com/bedoproject on MySpace. Listen to the blend of Bedouin instruments and folk lyrics from Israeli as well as Bedouin sources. It will take you to a place of optimism. We can work together–judih.
The building has really picked up speed. I’ll post shots from the northern side on Sunday. Meanwhile, please note that there is a wall in sight from the window of my 10th Grade Classroom.
Next, we had a fabulous Blues Concert this past Monday, featuring the FunkyUblues band, with Roy Young and his utterly fantastic big blues voice.
The concert was for Ma’ale Habsor and Habsor High School students. I managed to arrive after teaching 8th grade (Junior High kids were not invited this time), just in time to see a Habsor student up on stage with Roy, who was trying with humour to invite other kids.
He managed to convince Etti, an Habsor Math teacher, to join him and then along came 3 other students from Ma’ale Habsor: Rahm, Dolev and Rose. He did a back and forth with them, sent them back to the audience and then he played with the audience in the same rhythmic groove. Wonderful concert! The big finale was Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” and his guitarists took wild solos while Roy left the stage.
Roy’s been in Israel for awhile, brought over by Haim Saban, and he’s married to an Israeli. Very cool to know we’ve got genuine Blues happening here in the country, and better yet when it shows up in Otef Azza.
Nothing cheers you up more than singing the Blues.
And for the bad news: Qassams were heard this week, along with the staccato of gunfire. The noise came from Azza and we were surprised to find that the old feelings of fear and anxiety were not far below the surface, even after this period of relative calm.
Speaking to people in the area, I gather that the cease-fire is allowing all of us to breathe easier but still not free from the knowledge that it could start up again at any time.
Singing the blues helps.
Have a great weekend. I’ll be back before Rosh Hashana with more photos of the new Ma’ale Habsor/Habsor building site.