This week got off to the best possible start. It was with particularly great pleasure that my choir, the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir, this week welcomed the visiting Manado State University Choir from Indonesia. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, so, as their charismatic director, Prof. Andre de Quadros explained, it was quite a complicated mission to bring them to Jerusalem. Fortunately, some people understand that music can be a means of bringing people together, even bitter enemies, and choose the language of mutual co-operation rather than the language of boycott and hatred. Thus, after a stimulating workshop with Prof. de Quadros, who had us singing, miming and dancing, in a way that enabled us to hear familiar music in a completely unfamiliar way, (such as the Elizabethan madrigal, “Come Again” in the guise of a pop song) followed by a spectacular performance by the Indonesian singers, in their colourful costumes, we joined the latter and the Jerusalem Youth Chorus (a choir made up of Israeli and Palestinian high school students, Jewish, Muslim and Christian) on the stage of the Jerusalem YMCA Auditorium, where all three choirs sang, in classical Arabic, a choral arrangement of the Sufi song “Adinu Bidin El-Hubbi”. In translation, the song means: “I follow the religion of love, For love is my religion and my faith”. You can watch this moving performance on the second of the video-clips below, starting at 07:13 – preceded by the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir’s rendition of the traditional Shabbat Hymn “Dror Yikra” and followed by Allen Pote’s setting of the erroneously named “ Prayer of St. Francis” arranged by Robert Delgado – a performance so beautiful it brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,Where there is hatred, let me sow love;Where there is injury, pardon;Where there is doubt, faith;Where there is despair, hope;Where there is darkness, light;Where there is sadness, joy.”
I’m sorry about the quality of the video, especially in the second clip. These were the only video-clips of the performance that I could find on YouTube.