Notes from the Ground

Inside the Rehearsal Room with Heartbeat: Haifa

The musicians in Heartbeat: Haifa know how to rock out, but they also use complex musical techniques that extend beyond simple head-bobbing music. At last Thursday’s rehearsal, the group learned about Samaai, an Arabic rhythm that is used in many classic Arabic songs. The rhythm requires focus, but it opens up all sorts of musical possibilities that the group has not yet explored. Tamer, Heartbeat’s Co-Program Director, discussed the importance of playing with rhythm – not just sticking to 4/4 standard time, but being really creative with musical compositions.

The group is currently working on a new song that is filled with creative melodies and rhythms. Fans will have to be patient and wait for the official release of the song, but know that they’ll be in for a treat. Last week’s rehearsal was a chance for the group to nail down the nuts and bolts of the song and practice its structure.

We finished rehearsal with some sharing. Naomi, Heartbeat: Haifa guitarist and singer, and Itai, Heartbeat: Haifa pianist and harmonicist, introduced us to a new song they have started, and it got the group eager to work with it next week. Nadav, Heartbeat: Haifa clarinetist, talked afterwards about those moments when group members put themselves out there to share ideas:

“When someone brings something from his heart, like Naomi and Itai today, you feel like you connect with the person, and you know him or her better through his music. You can even build on it together, to create something that has both of you. I had this experience with Moody [Heartbeat: Haifa MC) the first time I came here. It was the first time in my life that I heard Arabic rap, and I had no idea what he was talking about, but I could tell he was very musical and the rhythm just took me. I said, look how cool it would be if we could be having a conversation where I say something in Hebrew and you say something in Arabic. I had never written rap before, but I went home after that day and started to write something, without even knowing what Moody had written. The next session I showed him what I wrote (and sadly he knows Hebrew and Arabic and I know only Hebrew, which is my bad). He read what I had and he said ‘Wow, we’re saying the exact same thing’.”

Much thanks to Adriel Borshansky for preparing this report.

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