K lezmer music is the traditional Yiddish music, and has been played in the Shtetls of the Jews in Eastern Europe for centuries. It is "sing-along" music in the true sense of the phrase, expressing all the emotions of life. It touches the hearts of the listeners, and moves them to tears and laughter. It is therefore an authentic expression of life, with all its light and dark sides. As in Blues and Gospel, people's joys and sorrows are reflected in their music. The term "Klezmer" - correctly pronounced "Klayz-mare", comes from the Jewish tradition. In Hebrew, it consists of two words: "Klej", which means "instruments", and "Semer", meaning "song". In Yiddish, the two words come together: "Klejsmer" - as the general term for music, musicians, and everything that has to do with musical expression. The origin of Klezmer music as we know it today is very strongly connected to the Cabala (a system of mystical Judaism).
The Cabala was also used as an authority in the origin of Chassidism in the 17th century. It was then, at the time of the "Baalej Schem" (miracle rabbis), that the amazing effect of musical language was rediscovered. It was said that Klezmer music could open heaven, bring the angels to life, and entice wishes and prayers directly into God's ear. Since the soul plays a large part in this ritual, the Jewish people would open and present their souls to the fullest when they sang, prayed, composed, or made music. This brings laughter and tears, as well as an extremely powerful expressivity, to the music.
JEWISH SOUL - Jewish music between classical music, jazz and klezmer.
Whether playing Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, traditional Chassidic klezmer music or her own compositions - the Jewish theme can be traced in Irith Gabriely's interpretations throughout her repertoire.
It shows in her unmistakable way of playing, giving such a rhythmic, lively, virtuoso and highly emotional performance with the captivating sound of her clarinet. Rabbi Nachmann once put it into words brilliantly: "Nothing is more kindly received in heaven than a sigh which comes from the bottom of the heart."
For Irith Gabriely it is the music of the heart which connects people - no matter if they are Jews, Christians or Muslims. She understands music as a magic force opening up heaven. Her audience is not merely consuming - but participating/taking part in Jewish traditions and the Jewish way of life, including history and stories, the language and sayings told by Irith Gabriely in between the individual pieces of her performance with plenty of humour and self-ironical charm.
This springs to life in her own group "Colalaila" with clarinet, violin, accordeon, E-Bass - but also in her duets with pianist Peter Prystaniak or Martin Wagner on the accordeon (New Accents). Her project "Church meets Synagogue" - performing together with the organist Hans Joachim Dumeier wants to express the beauty of making music across the boundaries of religion.