Hearing Yom’s music at a high volume on a superior acoustic system, one is transported to a primeval wilderness, a place where music seems to come from a source outside us. Or, perhaps, from a place so deep inside that it appears to exist outside our normal musical patterns and responses. One actually feels the breath as it travels from Yom’s chest through his Turkish-style clarinet. One can dance to the vibrations of the strings on Claude Tchamitchian’s bass. One can touch the resonation of Bijan Chemirani’s percussion.
“Le Silence De L’Exode” (The Silence of the Exodus) is Jewish-Sufi acoustic trance music, a fusion of Balkan, Middle Eastern and North African styles. Originally commissioned by the Festival d’Île-de-France, Yom composed the nearly hour-long “Exodus” on the theme of diasporas – specifically the Exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt.
This is concept album: an impressionistic trip through a mystical desert. The music is sometimes meditative, and ecstatic at other times. Stylistically, the French Jewish clarinetist Yom (that’s his name) leans heavily on the doina, a type of slow improvisational music marked by florid ornamentation. The fusion comes through the employment of musical scales and rhythmic patterns common to many types of Middle Eastern musical traditions.
As I understand it, the album attempted to reproduce the stage performance: totally acoustic (mixing included), recorded in the conditions of a live show with the musicians in semi-circle, listening and responding to each other in the moment. The CD was mastered with minimal editing at levels that give the music, the rustle of a page of music, the creaking of a chair and the slight click of the clarinet keys an opportunity to be heard.
Although the CD can be used as background, I strongly suggest the magical power of the music demands one’s full attention. Seek out this CD. The rewards are great.