Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I first heard Im Eshkachech in Jerusalem on Tisha B'Av. There were a group of people sitting on the floor singing it slowly, nigun style - with no words. It sounded hauntingly beautiful. Years later, I was at a friend's house for Shabbat and was sitting on the couch, reading something. Suddenly I heard the melody again and saw my friend, sitting at the table at the other end of the room, singing it. Neither of us knew what it was or who wrote it but it's one of those melodies that's hard to forget. I asked around and found out it was Im Eshkachech by Reb Shlomo Carlebach.

Despite that it was usually sung quietly, I pictured it as an anthem, a rock anthem, but still maintaining its devotional quality. A few chord substitutions I took the liberty of making added more passion to the overall feeling of the song and I arranged the structure so it builds from the mellow beginning to the end where it gets intense. I wrote out the charts and went into the studio with Rotem Az-Ogen playing drums and Moran Baron on bass. My amp was in California and I was in IsraeI, so I played the rhythm guitar part through a Fender Deluxe, borrowed from my friend, Joel Abramson. The Deluxe sounded great with a Jenson speaker, vintage style. Just enough grit but not too much to make it sound unnatural.

Using my mobile studio later, I added keyboard and guitars playing melody and the solo as well as the intro which I inserted it at the beginning. Amit Golan mixed it at Super Sonic Studios in Jerusalem, the perfect place for this song which says...

"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth..." These are the words of Im Eshkachech. They are about our devotion to Jerusalem, our holy city.

No comments:

Post a Comment