Some folks who’ve experienced celebrity look completely different in person to how they look on stage or on the covers of the albums, – but Idan Raichel is not one of them. A few days ago I had the opportunity of meeting him back stage at the UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts as he prepared for an 8pm performance, his first and only one in Vancouver. Raichel was chatty, friendly, and identical to his picture.
Raichel said he and his fellow musicians were incredibly jetlagged after arriving in Vancouver via Seattle. They were off to Boston on Friday and New York after that, stopping only briefly in Israel before heading to Europe. But he was completely unfazed by the travel schedule.
“You lose sense of time when you’re on tour, and it’s a great feeling, – not exhausting at all,” he confessed. “We’re so used to being tied to a schedule. Two years ago my sister left for a Brazilian island where she’s opened a bar on the beach. She has no concept of time anymore and she called us to say she’s not coming back.”
Luckily for Israel, Raichel has every intention of going home eventually, when his tour ends. He’s thinking about creating a DVD of his music in the coming months, set in the shadow of the King David Tower in Jerusalem. “I’d like to play there and in-between the songs, to talk to people and discuss the music,” he muses. “I’m trying to find an interesting concept.”
His performance on Thursday night entertained a packed audience where Hebrew was an oft-heard language – both on stage and among the audience. It was the opening night of the 2010 Chutzpah Festival and though many spectators were Jewish, Raichel was quick to point out that his is not a Jewish project.
“Sure, we have Jewish influences, for example we had a cantor, Yehia Tsubara, join us for a few songs. But before anything else, I see myself as an Israeli artist. Not everyone in the group is Israeli, but it’s definitely an Israeli project.”
Raichel was joined on stage by five of the many musicians who form part of the Idan Raichel Project. There are some 75 musicians who have participated in the project, some as young as 16 and others in their 80s. Each song changes shape, style and sound, incorporating different languages and the rhythms of the countries represented by the musicians. Raichel composes and arranges many of the tracks, plays the keyboard and collaborates with the other vocalists and musicians.
“I really suck at playing the piano,” he confessed. “I’m not a pianist, just a piano player.” But you wouldn’t have known it to listen to his music, though, nor to watch him perform. Raichel hunched over the piano, focusing intensely and deliberately on the sounds emanating from it. He was so absorbed in his music that when it came time for intermission, he was quite willing to skip it.
The audience applauded loudly and when he asked if anyone wanted an intermission, everyone expressed a preference to keep listening to his music. The Chan Centre staff weren’t about to forego their opportunity to make a few bucks at the concession, though. They gave Raichel another five minutes for a last song and then insisted the group take a break.
The second Jerusalem Festival of Light is set to transform ancient sites and buildings around the Old City into a lighting, art and music spectacular.
Now in its second year, The Jerusalem Festival of Light will showcase special attractions and exhibits. They include a nocturnal light show every festival evening at the foot of the Old City Ramparts, light displays designed by local and international artists, as well as various street events.
The festival will also feature a musical light show with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. It will be held on the opening night of the festival, which lasts from June 9-16.
For more information, visit www.lightinjerusalem.org.il
Source: Ynetnews, Shalomlife