Stories Heard and Retold

by Bob Gluck

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Electroacoustic music on Jewish themes, by Bob Gluck

Scene/Seen in Shul (19:40)
1 a. Antechamber before services (4:08)
2 b. Maariv (3:17)
3 c. Pages turning/Torah Aliyot (2:59)
4 d. Davening (2:53)
5 e. Group prayer (2:44)
6 f. Closing (3:39)

Yiddish Songs (18:37)
7 a. Unter dem kindes vigele (7:48)
8 b. Mir zaynen nikhter (1:27)
9 c. Oyfn pripethik (3:35)
10 d. Unter di khurves fu Poyln (5:47)

11 Jonah Under The Sea (9:57)

"I picture a meeting place between the great cantorial traditions, candid camera-like snapshots of subtle moments of daily, including ritual, life and what I have learned from the evolving new musical traditions ... I aim to bring together what I love about Jewish culture with the aesthetics of contemporary music."

Critic Seth Rogovoy (Berkshire Eagle), describes "Stories Heard and Retold" as "A thought-provoking combination of musique concrète techniques, found-sounds, ambient recordings and Gluck's own compositions and electronic manipulations, the album functions as a kind of soundscape of Jewish life..."

In Gluck's words: "Music has a magical quality. It can communicate ideas, feelings and impulses beyond words. Music can help us remember moments in our lives for which there are no words. It can help us structure and express ideas that words can only begin to touch."

Liner notes:

The impulse behind this collection of electronic music compositions was to craft a series of sound collages addressing various aspects of Jewish life and historical memory.

The six-movement opening work, 'Seen/Scene in Shul' is a soundscape composition that captures sound images and sense impressions of experiences that I had in synagogues during childhood. These are based upon original audio recordings, many of them made many years ago. Sometimes the focus is on very small details and the sounds are quite spare. At other points, there is a multiplicity of singing voices.

'Yiddish Songs' is a series of four settings of songs from early 20th century Eastern European Jewish culture. One can find in these richly textured sound tapestries elements of Yiddish theater, art songs and folk tunes. The settings are done in an unconventional manner; most often, the songs named in the titles are embedded within layers of sounds, some of them abstractions of the song itself. Many sounds are looped, dramatically increased in duration or otherwise digitally processed to create a surreal quality, as I consider a musical culture that is to some degree lost.

'Jonah Under the Sea' follows in a tradition of rabbinic textual commentary. This is an impressionist reflection on the experience of the biblical character Jonah submerged under the sea and swallowed by a giant fish. Using a combination of abstract sounds and sounds depicting the sea, the goal was to consider the mental state of the main character as he experiences the overwhelming experience of coming close to death but surviving, left alone to consider the actions that brought him to that moment and ponder his future possibilities.


released January 1, 1998

Compositions by Bob Gluck
Recorded by Bob Gluck on a Tascam DA-30 MK II DAT
Cover artwork and booklet design by Cynthia Beth Rubin
Mastered at Cotton Hill Studio, Albany, New York
Manufactured by ESP, Buffalo, New York

Gear: Mac Quadra with Max, Studio Vision Pro, audio editors and samplers

Many thanks to Joel Chadabe and the people at EMF for much help and support; thanks to many friends who helped fund this project, especially John and Ruth Rauch and The Center For Jewish Culture and Creativity, Los Angeles, CA.



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Bob Gluck New York, New York

Bob Gluck is a pianist, composer, writer, rabbi, educator. Chronogram: “an accomplished and passionate pianist in the most elusive tradition of avant-garde masters Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, and Don Pullen." Author of two Univ. Chicago Press jazz books. Collaborators: Michael Bisio, Jane Ira Bloom, Joe Giardullo, Aruan Ortiz, Neil Rolnick, Dean Sharp, Andrew Sterman, Tani Tabbal... ... more

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