Kabbalat Shabbat… With Synthesizers!

I’ve always been a musical person, and I think that comes out in the services I lead. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t a proper Jewish prayer service unless we find a way to work some group singing in there somewhere. A lot of my rabbinic colleagues have learned to play the guitar to provide some musical accompaniment when they’re leading services, but guitar playing was never really my style.

What is my style, however, is electronic music. I’ve been into making electronic music since way back in high school, composing silly techno and pop tunes with my friend Emily Mills on an old DOS PC running FastTracker 2. A couple of years ago I started thinking about what it would be like to combine my love of electronic music with my service leading, and began working on some tunes to accompany Jewish prayer. You can hear some of my early work in that vein on an interview I did for the podcast #TrendingJewish.

A little later, I received an Auerbach Ignition grant to help make my dream of electronic davening into a reality, and after some time of tinkering to get my studio setup right and to work out my sound, that dream is starting to be realized. Here are a few of the videos I’ve posted on YouTube demonstrating some of the tunes I’ve created:

3 thoughts on “Kabbalat Shabbat… With Synthesizers!

  1. Hey Leiah, it’s been a while! What you’re doing sounds pretty cool (pun intended). That one of Shalom Aleichem actually sounds like it might belong in a contemporary Israeli film.Are you going to put out an album at some point?

    • Hey Rami, glad you like the music! I’m going to be uploading the music to SoundCloud pretty soon. What I need to do at some point is some research on which of the melodies I’m using are actually copyrighted compositions. Sometimes you think a tune’s 1000 years old and it turns out someone wrote the thing only 50 years ago!

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