The New Shul, Rabbi James Stone Goodman and the Epichorus present a weekly video series, offering a palette of little wisdoms by way of the Judeo-Arabic musical tradition – Maqam. Every Torah Portion is associated with a musical figure or mode called a *Maqam, Arabic cognate to the Hebrew maqom Place.
Maqam - a set of notes, with traditions that define the relationship between them, their patterns and expression. A musical mode. The Maqamat (plural) are patient, inwardly drawn, they are roomy enough for poetry. We worked the concept of the give-and-take between poetry and music.
This is the beginning and the end
As if the linear does not apply
It’s a circle a cycle a spiral
We ascend with the ending
We begin Genesis
The end implies the beginning
By the beginning we are not naïve to the end.
Ouroboros, the self-devouring serpent
first living being
Turn it and turn it
For everything is contained within
James Stone Goodman - Rabbi. Poet. Awad (oud man).
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 few 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.
Zach Fredman - Rabbi. Producer. Awad (oud man).