Ever since I was six years old, I spent a week staying with my aunt and uncle in Jerusalem.
My friends there were a brother and sister, Ari and Shari. She was interested in history, philosophy and literature, and had talks with her father about someone called Plato. I thought she was very smart and felt lucky she wanted to play with me and share her most beautiful doll house.
Her younger brother painted expressively and loved music.
They had real concerts in their living room, where I heard musicians, who’s faces I recognized on records years later.
I would hear their mother play the piano when I went to sleep in the next door house, as my window was open to the dry night breeze and pine trees.
Ari and I loved to do foolish things like sitting above the Monastery in the valley of the Cross, holding a fishing rod waiting for fish to come. We also tried to translate the Yellow Submarine so it would fit the Hebrew as well. Some of it was good and worked, too bad we lost it. He recorded different ordinary sounds at home and explained to me it is also music.
Other times we would stroll through the valley to the Israel Museum to the Isamu Noguchi sculpture garden.
At the time, I did not know anything about Japanese gardens or Yitzhak Danziger, who would later influence my art so deeply. I only felt that the surroundings were beautiful: the valley and the mysterious monastery, the walk to the museum garden, and “my sheep”- on whom I climbed upon every summer visit, hugged or imitated until the garden keeper came and shouted at us.
Listen to Wink by Ari Ben-Shabetai : Composer: Ari Ben Shabetai, Wink4 PBk
All sculptures by Yitzhak Danziger, photo by Ari Ben-Shabetai .
More here: Hallelujah!
Very moving story- thanks for sharing.
I love those childhood memories. very inspiring!
What you wrote about your cousin Ari reminds me so much of my son. Oded also records about every sound he finds, creating a “sound library” (-: to incorporate into his music (he also treats all kinds of noises as music). Next October he will be studying at the Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem. (In a paralel department to the Composition department)…