Last updated October 26th 2015
The best artists are the ones who are not afraid to invent (and reinvent) themselves, without worrying too much about origins or originality, because it’s all there, it’s all around us, it always has been and will be; when they write it, paint it, play it, sing it – with every ever-changing cell in their body they own it, it is their own. So I am tempted just to say: I heard Liron Amram and the Panthers live for the first time at the Piano Festival and I am still flying on the songs, dancing to those rhythms, amazed and exhilarated.
Imagine, up on the second floor of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in the Blumenthal Gallery, chairs are set up in rows before a small, yet well-accoutered low stage. Friederike Maria Beer, looks on with a sad, knowing gaze from a distance; eternally surrounded by vivid color, her dancing days are long gone. The audience is seated in rows on chairs that are unusually comfortable for a one-off concert – my heartfelt thanks to the festival’s production team! Then three young men step out onto the stage: Liron Amram – guitar and vocals, Noam Havkin – piano, Maayan Doari – percussion.
The three were like a golden triangle of sound; each instrument with its distinct sound was a presence, you could feel it, and yet there were so together as a group. That is how the songs felt, there was no distance between past and present, Yemenite and Hebrew, the piano and an empty tin oil can. The museum was the perfect setting for this intimate, acoustic concert. The playlist included songs in Yemenite by Aharon Amram (a living legend in his contribution to Yemenite contemporary and liturgical music), Liron Amram’s originals in Hebrew, and a touch of Piyyut with Et Dodim Kala (time for lovers).
Yemenite vibrato and post-modern rhythmic fragmentation; lyrical melodic piano that danced into jazz-infused moments and alternative beats; organic, metallic, other-worldly percussion. The evening was a sweet mix of candor and sophistication – my favorite kind of intimate concert where the musicians just do their thing – play, sing and talk to the audience when it feels right. They made the museum feel like home.