Yochanan Sebastian Winston - Kabbalah Suite [mp3]
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Composer and flutist Yochanan Sebastian Winston makes his Friends of Unseen Rain label debut with a suite combining jazz, electronics, and a compelling meditation on Jewish mysticism.
“My Kabbalah Suite (Meditations on the Ten Sefirot – 2011) was originally inspired by a trip to Carmel, California with my daughter Sarah in the Spring of 2010. While driving through Carmel, I was struck by how many intelligent and seemingly spiritual gentiles there were who I felt would profit from exposure to the traditional Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah. When I returned home to San Diego, I began a conversation with Rabbi Philip Graubart of Congregation Beth El in La Jolla that subsequently resulted in his commission for a piece based upon the ten sefirot.
“The compositional genesis of the piece came from analyzing the gematria (numerology) of each sefirah’s Hebrew name. I then assigned the numbers to a series of notes, rendering ten chords (one for each sefirah) and then adjusted each chord to suit my ear. Then, I transposed the chord sequence ten times using various standard techniques that gave me the pitch material for each movement. After creating the chord progressions, I spent many hours in traditional prayer and meditation in an attempt to access the inner, hidden nature of each sefirah and attempt to manifest the mystical into sound. How well I succeeded will obviously depend upon the listeners’ judgment.”
— Yochanan Sebastian Winston