announcing beitmalkhut.org

I’m excited to announce a new blog, “kaddish in two-part harmony.”

If you’ve been following my blog lately, you’ll know that I’ve embarked upon a collaborative project with Mira Z. Amiras that we’re calling “kaddish in two-part harmony.” This whole thing started when I happened upon a blog posting Mira had written about Kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer used for mourning, among many other purposes. Her post entitled “war stories” inspired my lengthy post “On playing Kaddish,” and the ensuing flurry of comments and email between us led to our starting this new project.

The project is introduced in our joint post, “about the project,” which appears on our new joint blog, “kaddish in two-part harmony” on beitmalkhut.org, Mira’s website. I’m deeply honored to be invited into Mira’s intellectual home for this collaborative project of ours.

What is this project, exactly? Go read that “about the project,” page! If you really can’t bring yourself to click one more link, here’s the gist of it: for a year and a day, I am recording Lev Kogan’s “Kaddish” every day, and Mira and others are listening to it. We’re a virtual minyan of sorts.

Throughout the year and a day, Mira and I are writing about the Kaddish, Kogan’s “Kaddish,” themes of death, dying, and mourning, the dynamics among text, composer, music,  musician, listener, and mourner. Much of the writing will appear on our joint blog, and some of it will remain private between the two of us. At the end of the year and a day, the entirety of the project will come together in some new form—perhaps a presentation, a book, a CD, or all of the above.

We are working on sharing the daily “Kaddish” recordings publicly in a podcast. We have gratefully received permission from the publisher, OrTav/Israel Brass Woodwind Publications, to use Kogan’s composition in our project. Now we are working with the publisher to secure the necessary mechanical rights with ACUM/ASCAP. In the meantime, if you’d like to listen along, please get in touch.

No, I’ve never met Mira. She’s the friend of a friend. We will not meet face-to-face until after the year and a day.

This blog isn’t going anywhere, but my activity here will probably slow down a lot while I focus on my collaboration with Mira. Please follow us at “kaddish in two-part harmony,” and check back here for the latest in food, freelancing, cocktails, nano-scale opera plot synapses, geekery, politics, and the usual randomness.

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