listening

When I started writing music about 17 years ago and I founded the first ensemble of the Segulot Ensemble, I was fortunate enough and sent to me a dear man named Mark Smulian – a talented and experienced English musician who played with many of the world’s best, and at the time lived in Israel nearby.

To my delight, Mark connected to the music I wrote and worked with us for about two years as a musical arranger and producer.

Many of the things I was privileged to learn from him at such a preliminary stage – professional and technical knowledge as well as insights, perceptions and musical approaches that helped me to ‘get into things’  very quickly …

One of the important insights he gave me was (I do not remember his exact words, but that was the general message) that a real musician is a person who first of all has the abilities to listen and to restraint himself. In other words, these abilities were more important, in his eyes, even more than performance qualities and musical expression.

This insight reverberated in me for a long time during which I digested and internalized it, understood the necessity of these abilities, practiced and realized them during the rehearsals and performances with that ensemble and with other ensembles that I established after, and even tried to project them into other parts of my life …

Listening and restraint occur, in my experience, in those moments in which the choice is made to set aside the automatic needs, impulses, emotions and thoughts that exist in all of us, and to give what is happening around us, in all frequency range, a place within us to enrich, expand and make us more aware and sensitive …

In other words, the emptiness that we create while listening is first of all ‘for our own good ‘ and when we are good, it will be better for everyone with us…