A massive one-time concert of original music full of groove, which was played on broken, neglected and worn out instruments
In a city that is filled with voices, languages, and melodies, harmony seems almost impossible.
In a city that is flooded with friction, battles, and raised voices, a symphony is almost miraculous.
In a city, which is temporal and holy, fractured and healed, broken and fixed, wholeness is always an aspiration.
Shalem, a massive, one-time performance of original music filled with groove that was played on broken, abandoned, or worn out instruments from all over the city, tried to heal Jerusalem. It created harmony out of broken instruments and composed a new, whole voice out of the discordant sounds.
For one night, full of splendor and majesty, we filled Jerusalem with a harmonious sound that resonated from broken instruments. Under the night sky and meshed together on a huge 360° stage were 100 musicians armed with instruments that didn’t exactly work and didn’t exactly fit. Professional and amateur, young and old, locals and guests. Instruments from the East and the West that have known better days and are now distinguishable by their flaws.
The instruments, which took center stage, were gathered from all over throughout the year. Each with its own imperfection and with a mark that it has left on its owner. We listened to these broken instruments with a sympathetic ear, brushed off the dust, exposed their inner beauty, and wrote, especially for them, a composition that gave voice to the magic that time stole from them. We then matched up musician to instrument, sound to score, and asked three local composers – Maya Dunietz, Nizar Elkhater, and Dudu Tassa – to turn all of this into one complete work. Tom Cohen and the Jerusalem Orchestra East and West arranged these melodies into a unique, poignant concert that draws the capacity to heal out of what has been fractured.
Shalem was inspired by the project and concert 'Symphony for a Broken Orchestra' that was originally created and commissioned by Temple Contemporary at Temple University, USA. Original support for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.