I think I finally figured out how to post photos on this blog! Let’s see if it works….
I’m performing piano (had to brush up on technique to play in public again…) at the Southern Jewish Historical Society’s annual conference, held conveniently here in Columbia, SC, at the USC School of Music–at least for my program on Sunday morning, October 30, 2011. I was billed as “Sounds of the Jewish South: the Music of Composer Meira Warshauer.” It was fun to put the program together, with Phyllis Leffler, who was the moderator and helped coordinate the format with me. We started with the video documentary Land of Promise: The Jews of South Carolina, since I wrote the soundtrack for it, and was a project of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, which was co-hosting the conference. I played the theme music, which I had actually performed myself on the soundtrack, and explained how I came up with it–trying to integrate Southern, Sephardic, and Ashkenazic influences. Then we presented some excerpts from Ahavah (Love), with Janet Hopkins, mezzo soprano, and Bob Jesselson, cello. It was great to perform with Bob again, and a real treat to get to have Janet Hopkins sing my music. She’s a 16-year veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, and recently took a position on the voice faculty of USC. Bob played In memoriam for solo cello (a work he premiered a few days after 9/11 and recorded for the Kalvos website “September 11 Musical Gallery” and later performed all over the world). I presented some excerpts from Tekeeyah (a call), from my new CD LIVING BREATHING EARTH, and after some great questions from the audience, we ended with Caesaria (Hannah Senesh), in a new arrangement for mezzo, cello, and piano–with the three of us playing again.
I loved being able to share my Jewish roots and influences, and also my experience as an American, epseically as it relates to the 9/11 piece. One of the questions got me to reveal my spiritual journey, and afterwards, I was happy to learn several others in the audience had some similar experiences, searching for spiritual connection, finding our way back to Judaism in round-about ways, and a few others influenced by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.
I’ll try to upload some more photos from that event, now that I think I can do that, sort of…