Country Yossi Article on MBD Once Upon A Niggun
Once upon a time, there was a niggun, with a lovely melody and a meaningful message. It was a powerful niggun, and it could be heard everywhere. Anytime anyone sang this niggun, it reached deep into his soul and uplifted his spirits. In days of despair, the niggun provided chizuk. In times of joy, it inspired. And so the little niggun was busy, uplifting the souls of all those who were touched by its beauty.
Years went by, and somewhere along the foggy superhighway of modern high tech, the world was advancing from the old 78 records to LP\'s, from eight tracks and cassettes into CD\'s and digital recordings. Somehow that beautiful niggun seemed to have gotten lost in the ever-changing modes of today\'s modern world.
But those who remembered that lovely niggun would not let it die. They were determined to keep it very much alive and insisted on passing it on to the next generation. "Let them be inspired just as we were," they said. "Our little niggun will continue to live on."
That is the story of how "Once upon a Niggun," the upcoming production of Mordechai Ben David, began. This is an album whose time has come. Dozens of favorite niggunim of the past combine in this awesome ambitious work. Call it a revival, a nostalgic production, a collection of oldies. It is a monumental achievement in the history of Jewish Music. It is a classic collector\'s item and a must have for anyone who is serious about their love of Jewish Music.
J.J. Fried is MBD\'s co-producer on this special project. His unparalleled musical talents have surpassed his popularity to join the ranks of the finest producers of Jewish Music. He is very thrilled with this new production. After working on various different successful projects before, he insists "This one is a definite winner. It has all the right ingredients. The right songs! The right singer! The perfect combination!"
"The niggunim span the entire spectrum of popular music of the past." J.J. points out. "In once Upon a Niggun, you will find favorites from all major chassidic dyansties, as well as Yeshivishe melodies. You will find Ani Maamin, Mitzvah Tanz, and Hakofos songs." They all come together in this beautiful package arranged by the enormously talented Suki Berry. A symphonic touch lends an air of classic elegance to the music. The songs weave together so flawlessly, that the cleverly crafted transition between songs is as enjoyable as the songs themselves.
Unquestionably, it\'s the talent of Mordechai Ben David that gives this production the true prominence it deserves. A legend in our times, MBD has earned the title of superstar way before many of today\'s vocalists emerged. MBD\'s talents just keep on soaring. Year after year, hit after hit, album after album, his steadfast popularity and universal acceptance are testimony to his musical greatness.
It\'s clear that MBD feels very strongly about this work. It\'s quite obvious when he speaks about "Once Upon a Niggun, " that it has a strong personal meaning for him. "These are the songs that I grew up with, " he says. "They are very dear to my heart. Each one has a \'yiddishe gefeel\'. It gives me great satisfaction to be singing these special songs."
Why come out with an album of cherished old songs at this time? What is the relevance for today? " I found that there was a huge demand for this type of music," MBD confides. "So many people approached and asked me time and again to bring back these shmaltzy heimishe songs." And the timing was certainly right. According to MBD, "Now more than ever, people need inspiration. At times like these, people need to connect to their Yiddishe neshomah.
Considering the wide spectrum of Chassidic and Yeshivish sources that have been included in this work, you might say that "Once Upon a Niggun" will serve aw a promoter of achdus in our community. MBD couldn\'t be happier. "This album is proof that we all share a common bound. Whatever your background, whatever your age, you will be personally touched by these songs." To whom does he recommend "Once Upon a Niggun?" "Everyone," MBD simply says. "These hartzige melodies will be enjoyed by all."
In this album MBD reaches the inner core of all generations, young and old alike, Chassdish and Yeshivish or Modern. As you listen to each of these mellow soulful songs, they most certainly cast a supreme spell over you. You are transformed into a world of ecstasy. "It\'s important to familiarize today\'s music lovers with this rich heritage of music," he insists. In fact, the songs may be old but the music is quite fresh and unique. The melodies might be revivals, but the delightful musical arrangement is certainly the product of contemporary vision.
Nothing reinforces the beauty of music like the majesty of symphonic sound. Through the rich sound of the orchestra, the melodies soar. Heimishe rhythm couples with orchestral instruments to produce exquisite music. A powerful adult choir and a charming and refreshing children\'s choir accompany MBD throughout the production. As he so aptly states, "It sounds as if the whole world is singing along!"
While MBD considers this work a landmark in his career, he is quite busy working on several other projects. His career is at a pinnacle of success. Traveling the world over, he is delighting audiences in live performances. In fact he is due to appear together with Avraham Fried and Dedi in a spectacular upcoming concert.
And "Once Upon a Niggun" is by no means a culmination of MBD\'s recording efforts. Already, he is preparing another unusual recording due to be released in the near future. Look for a collection of English favorites coming out this summer. And a delightful "rock" symphony musical production, that promises to be quite extraordinary. Its quite a remarkable achievement for a recording artist whose career has spanned several decades and is still going strong.
"Once Upon a Niggun" is due to appear in Judaica stores in time for shevuos. It\'s more than just pretty music, much more. These niggunim promise to help heal the wounds of our generation, and inspire and strengthen our weary souls. They will continue to live on, to grow and to influence the future generations. And so the little niggun, and all the little niggunim will live happily ever after.
1. Torah Medley
2. Hisvaadus Medley
3. From Darkness To Light Medle
4. Emunah & Bituchon Medley
5. Yom Tov Medley
6. Yeshivish Medley
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