Filming a Video in Andalusia
On my most recent trip to the Andalusia region of Spain, I filmed a video of the Andalusian song Li Habibi Orsil Salaam – To my Beloved I Send Greetings – in an innovative new arrangement.
Classic Andalusian music is an integration of classical Arabic tradition, with additional musical traditions that existed in Spain, and with Christian tradition and Berber traditions from North Africa.
The Jews who lived in this region were also greatly influenced by Andalusian song which they also adopted and in many places Andalusian music was integrated with piyyut – Jewish liturgical singing.
In Spain and Morocco, Jews preserved Andalusian music and its tradition and in many places Andalusian music was integrated with piyyut and therefore it felt very natural to me to film the video in the original atmosphere in which this wonderful music developed.
This single is the first song on the CD and in my next concert, which will include classic Andalusian songs in innovative new arrangements alongside ancient Ladino songs that bring together the worlds of piyyut and the music of the Jews of Spain and Spanish Morocco and original material in Hebrew and Arabic.
The video was filmed at the Castellar de la Frontera in the Cadiz region in the south of Spain, a high lookout point full of history, mysticism and spirit, from which, on days with good visibility, one can see to the Straits of Gibraltar and Morocco.
The day that we filmed started out rainy and on our way to the castle up a steep, exciting road filled with cork and pine trees, the scent of the mountains and Mediterranean flora, we prayed that it would be a sunny day so that we could film.
When we arrived at the castle, God answered our prayers and delicate clouds covered the heavens and a pleasant, soft light surrounded us for several good hours in which we were able to film on the beautiful, moving streets. Without advance planning, on the wall of one of the alleyways we found written “el balcon de los amorosos” – the lovers’ balcony – exactly like the subject of our song – a wonderful love song.
After we filmed on the street, we received a generous invitation from one of the staff to go up on the roof of the castle where a beautiful view was revealed to us – of huge, wide dimensions with flights of soaring eagles circling above our heads.
The human diversity of the people involved in the film was wonderful and multicultural, with people from Serbia, Japan, Spain and Israel, accompanied by a moving discussion about war and peace, love and compassion, and the power of music to create universal human connections.