More thrills and chills from the brilliant mind of Jewlia Eisenberg and her amazing ensemble Charming Hostess. Based on inscriptions from Babylonian Jewish amulets known as “demon bowls,” The Bowls Project sings of sex, ritual and secrets of the home.
Demon bowls deal with mysticism and magic, angels and demons, and the trials and joys of domestic life and love. Especially audible are the voices of Babylonian women: their relationships, desires and dreams. Weaving together these amulet texts with Babylonian devotional songs, apocalyptic American folk music, and a radical take on spiritual power, The Bowls Project marks the deepest and most creative work by Charming Hostess yet.
Charming Hostess is a music ensemble at the intersection of voice, text and diaspora consciousness. Founded by Jewlia Eisenberg in 1998, the mission of Charming Hostess is to make lovely noise about complex ideas. They are known for their whirl of eerie harmony, hot rhythm, and radical smarts. Their music is based on the sounding body: voices and winds, handclaps and heartbeats, sex-breath and silence. Previous recordings include Sarajevo Blues (Tzadik, 2005), settings of Bosnian resistance poetry, and Trilectic (Tzadik, 2002), a look at the political-erotic world of Walter Benjamin. File under: APOCALYPTIC-INTIMATE
The Bowls Project CD is released simultaneously with The Bowls Project: Secrets of the Apocalyptic Intimate, at Yerba Buena Center for Arts in San Francisco, July 6-August 22. This interactive sound sculpture/immersive performance installation is an international collaboration created by Charming Hostess with videographer Shezad Dawood and architect Michael Ramage. An ecstatic investigation into sex, magic and secrets of the home, The Bowls Project takes place within a stunning masterwork of ancient-meets-modern design: a towering double vaulted masonry dome by celebrated architect Michael Ramage. The dome is a place to share a secret and listen to the anonymous secrets of others, listen to live music on Thursdays, participate in ritual on Fridays, encounter embodied text on Sundays, and dig on the apocalyptic intimate whenever YBCA is open. Come and be welcome!
>> 4. Fave Reviews, various
Summer events include: Shamanistic Shabbat, medieval madrigals, butoh on the dome, African diaspora braiding to beatbox, Philippiana animist rituals, body musict and more. check it out.
Gramophone and Dynamo interprets songs of the cafe aman with a focus on the intersection of rebetika and Salonikan Jewish music.
Known as “the Jerusalem of the Balkans,” Salonika (Thessaloniki) was for two millennia home to one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish communities in the world. The folk music of Salonika is spectacular—it sings of tragic history and bawdy drunks, gritty sex and highbrow romance. Rebetika music originated in the cafes, prisons, and hash dens of Constantinople and Smyrna. With the forced immigration of two million Greek-speaking refugees from Asia Minor in 1922, cafes aman in Greek port cities like Salonika became centers of rebetika.
The 1930s cafe aman was a meeting place for working
people and underworld types. The musicians performing there were Greeks,
Jews, Slavs, Turks, and, Vlachs. The culture of the cafe aman was anti-authoritarian
and non-conformist: the music that came out of it synthesized Turkish
scales, Balkan meters, Hebrew chant, and words in Greek, Turkish and Ladino. Gramophone and Dynamo is part of this hybrid tradition, drawing from
both the violent, sexy rebetika music sung by Jewish women like Roza Eskenazi
and Stella Haskil, and on the romantic and funny Sephardic folk music
with its roots in Spain, North Africa and the Balkans.
Last updated August 23, 2010