I'm not quite sure how this project came to be. Sometimes our best creations come to life that way. I grew up around the corner from Reb Jimi - he taught me how to improvise, "find the notes," he said. Jimi and I share many appreciations: Maqam, Oudism, the meeting place of poetry and music, Youtube. I am a devotee of his poetry and teachings, and I knew he had some pieces based in Maqam - an arabic musical system which I have studied for the last years.
The Jews of the Arab world, from Aleppo, Cairo, and Damascus, were great lovers of this music, and they came to assign musical modes to each Torah portion, based upon the colors of the weekly wisdom. I thought - why not create a modern articulation for this beautiful practice of joining music and word? This is MAQAM. You have arrived at the Place. Welcome.
Rabbi James Stone Goodman, Rabbi Zach Fredman and the Epichorus present a weekly video series, offering a palette of little wisdoms by way of the Judeo-Arabic musical tradition – Maqam. According to ancient Sephardi custom, every Torah portion is associated with a musical mode called a MAQAM: a set of notes, the relationships between them, traditions, patterns and expression.
This is a project of The New Shul's Rabbinic Chavurah.