'Zohar's Nigun is
violinist Daniel Weltlinger's seminal musical project exploring the very
essence of the complicated and fractured nature of identity in the 21st
Century, with all the emotional baggage that that encompasses..get ready
for a wild ride!'
'The Four Questons is in fact the most progressive application of
distinctly Yiddish style I've ever heard, yet, while spinning the
ancient mode out to its farthest reaches, they also manage to preserve
its essence and, in doing so, pay lavish tribute to the genius
4. Ma Nishtana (Traditional/arrangement Zohar's Nigun)
5. Hinei Ma Tov U Ma Naim (Traditional/arrangement Zohar's Nigun)
6. Interlude (Zohar's Nigun)
7. Ahava Raba (Daniel Weltlinger)
8. Galaktoboureko (Simon Milman)
9. The Wanderer (Daniel Pliner)
10. Enio's Wedding Dance (Alon Ilsar)
11. Shema (Traditional)
is a music form that can blend in with just about any national,
cultural or ancient traditional music – a truly democratic multilingual
art form. ‘Zohar’s Nigun’ - literally translated as a song from the
depths of one’s soul - is about the reality that is one's family
origins no matter where in the world one happens to be based in the mad
mass globalised contemporary reality that is the 21st Century.
Using the analogy of four ethnically Jewish musicians from
multicultural 21st Century Australia – a land populated for an
estimated 40-80,000 years by Indigenous tribes – the conceptual point
of the band is that every single human being has a family heritage that
they belong to that is unique, not to mention virtually impossible to
simply categorise or generalise about in a simple cliche. No one can
simply ‘choose’ where their parents are from, where they happen to have
been born or what their skin colour or ethnicity happens to be - this
is logically impossible. It simply is, it is beautiful and it is meant
Devoid of the usual cultural clichés these four guys with Jewish
heritage from Australia present four very different understandings of an
ancient yet ever metamorphosing cultural and ethnic heritage. Utilising
an at times sharp sense of humour as well as a deep understanding of
history and it’s endless repercussions, the music created by Zohar's
Nigun offers an antidote to the common place predjudice and stereotyping
from so many voices lacking reason and balance who seem to dominate the
mainstream and independent media today thus affecting public perception. Shalom!
JOHN SHAND REVIEW JULY 7 2012:
“..Were Daniel Weltlinger’s violin any more fragile in Yerushalayim, it
would break just from being listened to. This spell-binding performance
opens an album from which Weltlinger has assembled other Australian
musicians of Jewish heritage to investigate matters of identiy via a
combination of original and traditional pieces.
His violin is joined by Daniel Pliner’s piano, Simon Milman’s bass and
Alon llsar’s drums. All four have a keen instinct for extracting
essences, rather than dealing in the surfaces of bravura playing. This
is in keeping with the album’s theme of sharing the music in a spirit of
peace and goodwill rather than cultural parochialism. Minimal notes and
beauty of sound are the credo when their work is at it’s very finest.
Often the violin weeps on the shoulder of the other instruments,
conjuring that singular emotion for which our language has no word,
where sadness and beauty merge.
But that mood is not relentless. Hallel is played with a swagger and a
wink, and Ma Nishtana with a sense of manic fun. The other inflection in
the music is the lingua franca of improvisation , jazz, with Hinei Ma
Tov U Ma Naim having thrilling interplay between piano, bass and drums.
The original compositions, meanwhile, stand up amid the traditional.
Milman’s Galaktaboureko spawns strong solos, and Pliner’s The Wanderer
enchants with its evocation of lonely, peaceful endeavour..”