Omnimusica | Ashrei

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World: World Fusion Spiritual: Judaica Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Omnimusica

Jewish world music for the 21st century, blending ancient Jewish prayer texts with klezmer, calypso, reggae, salsa, and Eastern European and Middle Eastern sounds and rhythms, intensely danceable grooves, and wildly complex meters.
Genre: World: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ashrei
4:26 $0.99
2. Mi Chamocha
6:02 $0.99
3. Shalom Rav (feat. Deborah Bish)
5:29 $0.99
4. Oseh Shalom (feat. Jaime Santana)
4:24 $0.99
5. Shehecheyanu
2:06 $0.99
6. Kirkni Serinoush
5:49 $0.99
7. Sh'ma Yisrael
6:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The brain-child of renowned ethnomusicologist, percussionist, composer, gamelan director, and book author Michael Bakan (, Omnimusica also features the talents of Trinidadian steel drum phenom Mia Gormandy, Peruvian guitarist Carlos Odria, trombonist Waldron Dunkley, saxophonist Andrew Stanley, bassist David Cobb, and vocalist Katelyn Best. The band originally emerged from the creative cauldron of the Florida State University College of Music's outstanding world music performance program (which Bakan directs). Transcending specific genres and traditions while blending and bending together a myriad of diverse musical styles--from klezmer and takht to Bulgarian gypsy wedding band music, calypso, salsa, reggae, and rumba-flamenco--Omnimusica has developed a sound all its own, bringing a truly worldly approach to the enterprise of "world music": danceable, virtuosic, incessantly grooving, spiritually uplifting, and ever joyful.

This album, "Ashrei," brings the band's signature virtuosity and profusely intercultural palette to Bakan's innovative settings of six ancient Hebrew prayers from the Jewish liturgy: a can't-sit-still rumba-flamenco spin on "Ashrei"; a hard-driving, Tito Puente-esque take on "Mi Chamocha"; a hauntingly beautiful version of the prayer for peace, "Shalom Rav," set in the 10-beat metric mode of sama'i thaqil; a sing-alongable, joyous reggae romp on "Oseh Shalom"; a wild, Macedonian-inspired rendition of the prayer of gratitude "Shehecheyanu" (in a meter of 33/16!); and a salsified fantasia on the text of "Sh'ma Yisrael" that moves through meters of 20, 21, 7, 9 (and finally 4) amidst screaming monkey sounds and... well, you just have to hear it! The additional track is David Cobb's alternately scintillating and moving "Kirkni Serinoush," with lyrics in Armenian, which offers a fitting complement to the six original Hebrew prayer settings by Bakan.


ASHREI (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Ashrei yoshvei vei'techa, ode yehalelucha Selah.
Ashrei ha'am shekacha lo, ashrei ha'am she'Ado-nai Elo-hav.
(Tehilah l'David)

Happy are those who dwell in Your house; may they always praise You, Selah! Happy are the people for whom this is so; happy are those whose God is Adonai.
(A psalm of praise by David.)

MI CHAMOCHA (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Mi chamocha, ba'elim, Adonai?
Mi kamocha, nedar bakodesh
Nora tehilot, osei feleh?

Who is like you, Adonai, among other gods?
Who is like you, glorious in holiness,
Awesome in praises, doing miracles?

SHALOM RAV (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Shalom rav al Yisrael amcha
tasim l’olam,
ki atah hu Melech Adon
l’chol hashalom.
V’tov b’einecha l’vareich
et amcha Yisrael
b’chol eit uv’chol sha'ah bish’lomecha.

Grant abundant peace to Israel Your people forever,
for You are the Sovereign God of all peace.
May it be pleasing to You to bless Your people Israel
in every season and moment with Your peace.

OSEH SHALOM (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Oseh shalom bimromav
hu ya'aseh shalom aleynu
v'al kol yisrael
v'imru amen

He who makes peace in His high places
He shall make peace upon us
and upon all of Israel,
and let us say, Amen.

SHEHECHEYANU (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
shehechehyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Sovereign of all
For giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.

KIRKNI SERINOUSH (Music and English text by David Cobb; translation to Armenian by Danny Bedrosian)

Seri, Seri,
Seri, Serinoush
ur e dzer zhpity ?
ur e dzer passion?
Arrajin dzer tkhur ach’k’yery
ev T’uyl tal,
vor arevy hamburel dzer unk

Seri, Seri,
Seri, Serinoush
Where is your smile?
Where is your passion?
Cover your sad eyes
And let the sun kiss your brow.

SH'MA YISRAEL (Music by Michael Bakan; traditional Hebrew prayer text)

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.
[Baruch Shem kevod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.]

Hear, O Israel: Adonai our God, Adonai is One.
(Blessed is God's glorious majesty forever and ever.)


Katelyn Best, vocals
Mia Gormandy, steelpan
Andrew Stanley, soprano saxophone
Waldron Dunkley, trombone
Carlos Odria, guitar
David Cobb, bass
Michael Bakan, percussion and vocals

Deborah Bish, clarinet (on “Shalom Rav”)
Jaime Santana, vocals (on “Oseh Shalom”)

Recorded by Jaime Santana
Mixed and mastered by Chandler Bridges
Produced by Michael Bakan
Co-produced by Chandler Bridges, with assistance from Jaime Santana
Graphic design by Michelle Jones

Special thanks to the Florida State University College of Music

Copyright 2014, B. Bakantime (BBT) Productions



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