Sacred Sounds of Jerusalem


Recorded over a period of a week in Jerusalem, these recordings capture musical expressions of faith as exhibited by the three Judeo-Christian religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Also included is a fourth recording, accounting for the spread or diaspora of these faiths around the world. These soundscapes are much like the city of Jerusalem itself: traditional yet modern, deeply spiritual yet painfully divided, each struggling to be heard above all others, sometimes gracefully, though often forcefully.

Notice the subtle layering of sounds- one tradition shadowing another, sonically intermingling, an aural tapestry of faith. The Islamic call to prayer asserts itself over loudspeakers, resounding in multiplicity across the city. A solitary Orthodox Jew rapidly utters prayers in Hebrew, amidst countless others at the Western Wall. A Christian hymn sung within the cloistered and echoing walls of a Gothic cathedral. And a group of Nigerian Christians, singing a hymn in their own language, celebrate their strong faith.

These recordings offer a mere taste of the diversity of sound and traditions that make up the sacred tapestry of Jerusalem, perhaps the most coveted and fought-over city in the world. Despite the conflict and palpable tension that is present in the city, these sounds offer, to me, punctuation marks of peace amidst a daily existence defined by struggle and animosity.


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