Earlier this month, on January 6th, the renown Israeli poet, Yoram Taharlev, passed away.
Born in Kibbutz Yagor in Israel in 1938, Yoram Taharlev was a prolific author, poet, and performer. Hundreds of his songs were put to music and became part of the Israeli folklore. His phenomenal memory enabled him to recite by heart his lengthy poems as a spoken-word artist, performing all over Israel, up until his passing, at the age of 84. More on Taharlev, have a look at his website.
We were fortunate to have produced a Zoom event with him and the local, based in Holland, Israeli band ‘Zan Nadir’, last May.
In fact, he was supposed to come to the Netherlands, for a live performance, and then the corona hit us all. But we didn’t want to give up the opportunity of an event with this remarkable person and amazing spoken-word artist, and his humorous, humane poetry.
So we did it via Zoom, at the time that very few people know how Zoom works at all…
Indeed, it took me a few weeks of research, and numerous consultations with people who had slightly more experience with this new world, to find out what tools are available out there, for a performance that spans continents. Zoom had some pro’s and con’s, but we finally settled for that medium, because Yoram Taharlev said that for him, the most important thing was to see his audience, their happy faces and laughter.
Gilad Nezer traveled to Israel
Instead of bringing Yoram Taharlev to the Netherlands, the band leader, lead singer and music director, Gilad Nezer, traveled to Israel, to prepare the show together with Yoram Taharlev. Gilad told us about a heart-warming meeting, full of humor and inspiration.
Our challenges didn’t end with learning how Zoom works. We had a quadruple challenge: because of corona, the band members of Zan Nadir couldn’t perform on one stage and of course, couldn’t rehearse together. On top of it, one band member, the amazing award-winner drummer, Guy Salamon, was stranded in Sweden when the corona pandemic broke.
Gilad Nezer managed this challenge masterfully: he sent the orchestrations of the 13 songs to each artist, and each one of them recorded themselves at home, and sent the videos back to Gilad. The prodigious guitarist, Yisahy Glick, even took upon himself to play both guitar and bass-guitar.
Together with Gilad we edited these videos to serve as background image and playback music.
Big hall at LJG Amsterdam
The construction and operation of the Zoom event was an exciting challenge as well. We ‘broadcast’ the show from the big hall at LJG Amsterdam (thank you, again!) and kept very safe distances: Gilad Nezer, Yishay Glik (who was there as technical support and audio technician) and myself.
We had a whole battery of computers to manage the operation: one computer was connected to the beamer, which projected the video clips on the screen behind Gilad Nezer, the singer. The audio from these clips was transmitted to Gilad’s headset and was mixed by Yisahy Glik with Gilad’s singing, before ‘broadcasting’.
Another computer captured the image of Gilad on stage, and the screened videoclips behind him.
Yet another computer was operated by Yishay Glick, and another one by myself, as the ‘image-switching operator’ of the show, and its host.
Back in Tel Aviv there was another computer, with its video camera directed at Yoram Taharlev, while on his computer screen he could see the vast public that gathered to hear him, and his songs.
You may enjoy watching and hearing one song (translated into English) from the event of last May. (I’m also in it, as an actress!)
My job was to switch seamlessly between Yoram Taharlev and Gilad Nezer, to start and stop the video clips, and to open and close the show.
All this while we had virtual ‘ushers:’ a few people responsible for letting the public in, helping those with technical difficulties, managing the questions and comments that kept on popping-up during the show. Each one was in his or her own home, operating the mission from their own computer. Bless you, Zoom!
That was quite a challenge – and a great experience.
You can enjoy the recording of that evening, via this link
Commemoration Zoom event on February 5th
And you’re also welcome to join the commemoration event we’ll be holding, via Zoom, in honour of Yoram Taharlev and his vast legacy, on Saturday, February 5th, at 20:00. This event will be held exclusively in Hebrew.
Please register beforehand, via this link.
One final word: as much fun as Zoom events could be – and sometimes they could be fun, we all hope to be over this crisis, back to experiencing cultural event, shoulder to shoulder with friends.
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Stichting Rainbow is celebrating this year its 25th anniversary, 25 years of social and cultural activities. As part of the celebrations, I’m happy to share with you all the unknown stories about our projects – and the impact they created on people’s lives.
I’m Erga Netz, the initiator and director of Stichting Rainbow. In our early projects, I was the producer and editor and later became the director, too.
Stichting Rainbow is now headed by a board of 3 Israelis who live in The Netherlands: Nir Geva, Gilad Nezer, and Yankale Bader, and our activities in the past years focused on Israeli cultural and societal activities for the Israeli, Dutch Jews, and the general Dutch public.
We’re grateful for the constant support of foundations such as Maror, AFK, Prins Bernhards Cultuurfonds, VSBfonds, Cultuurparticipatie, and more, and organisations such as G.D.Y., and many private individuals!
In the coming weeks, I will reveal more background stories of our projects, here on De Vrijdagavond.
In the meantime, you can read all about the foundation, its mission, and projects