5 May 2010

Noa's concert in East Lansing (USA)

t’s amazing how lightly some people carry heavy things. When Israeli singer-songwriter Noa dances barefoot on stage, fl congas to trade whacks with the band, it seems as if she hasn’t

But she’s all care.

During a phone interview last week, Noa paced her seaside Tel month-old daughter, Yum, which means “sea” in Hebrew.

She called parenthood “a beautiful separation from self.”

“You’re one small part of a long and beautiful chain,” she said. “Y patience, your energy to another human being.”

Far from wearing her out, she said, it’s made her want to work h “It’s made me much more committed to — it’s horribly clich' — b

At 39, Noa, or Achinoam Nini, is not wellknown in the United Sta much of the Middle East for 20 years, and the go-to gal when so having a jubilee or putting on a save-the-world concert.

She has performed with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Andrea with special significance, message of peace Palestinian-Israeli

It sometimes seems as if Israelis and Palestinians will never find promoting the idea. They intensified a decade-long, on-and-off collaboration when their signature song, “T

millions of listeners as Israel’s entry in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

Noa doesn’t have illusions about art’s ability to promote peace. Art, she said, is only part of a system — “p shape.

But music can prepare the ground, she said.

“Your mind and your heart are wide open, and it’s much easier for you to reach out to whoever is out ther

When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian tensions, Noa’s music and humanitarian work looks for common organization of parents who have lost children to the conflict, is among Noa’s most cherished humanitaria

“These are parents who, rather than cultivating hatred and vengeance, cultivate friendship and coexistenc

The lyrics to “There Must Be Another Way” put it this way: “When I cry, I cry for both of us. My pain has no

“We can mourn together,” Noa said. “If we can do that, we can also overcome our deepest fears and barr

But Noa’s upbeat concerts with Awad aren’t manifestoes. The words “Israel,” “Palestine,” “Arab” and “Jew “Our messages are universal,” she said. “I don’t write political songs. I believe in stripping things down to

Among her guiding lights in this respect are singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and acerbic genius Leon

“I never really liked the music of my generation, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I always liked the music of

Noa was born in Israel, but when she was 4, her father got a job as a professor and took the family to Bro grandparents came from Yemen.

For Noa, it was like growing up in two worlds.

“Outside it was the Bronx, but inside it was like Yemen or Israel, with pillows on the floor and my mother c Hebrew and Yemeni,” she said.

Traditional musical forms of Israel and Yemen often work their way into Noa’s multi-lingual, folk-pop soun

At 11, her life took a decisive turn when her uncle took her to see Cohen at Carnegie Hall.

“There were clouds of marijuana everywhere,” she said. “I saw this amazing man, all by himself on guitar,

Noa is always singing for world peace at a heavy venue like the White House, the Vatican or the Colosse intimacy of a folk singer.

“I’m blessed with a total lack of stage fright,” she said. “I feel very natural, and just close my eyes and sing Noa with Mira Awad 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 Wharton Center Cobb Great Hall $35 (800) WHARTON wwwwhartoncenter

Jewish Israeli singer Noa shares the stage with Arab Israeli vocalist Mira Awad
Scott Pohl, WKAR (2010-05-05)
Singers Mira Awad and Noa

One of Israel's most popular female singers will appear at the Wharton Center tonight.

She's an Israeli Jew who goes by the single name of Noa. On her current tour, she's sharing the stage with Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad.

WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke with both Noa and Mira Awad about their musical and political collaboration.

AUDIO: Noa was born in Tel Aviv, but she grew up in New York City. Along with her Israeli and American roots, she also was influenced by her Yemenite parents. Her music appeared in the James Bond film "Goldeneye", and she wrote the lyrics for the theme to the Oscar-winning "Life is Beautiful".

Noa says her connection with Mira Awad can be attributed to having had similar musical influences, despite their cultural differences.

"Both of us are very deeply inspired by the singer-songwriters of the 60s," Noa explains, "like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Paul Simon. Mira, when she plays and sings, I always think that she sounds like an Arabic Joan Baez. It's very, very beautiful, what she does. And then, we have our duets together. We sing together in three languages: English, Hebrew, and Arabic, and that's the show. That's what people are in for."


In 2001, already a star in Israel, Noa wanted a partner for a duet on the Beatles song "We Can Work It Out". That's when she first reached out to Mira Awad. Flattered by the opportunity to sing with Noa, Awad accepted, and she says there was an instant connection.

"We really enjoy the company of each other on stage," Awad says. "Our voices complement each other the way that I never encountered before. And, of course, we connect on the philosophical and spiritual and idealistic level, which is even more important when you want to keep a friendship going on, because something's deeper there."

Awad says Israeli Palestinians are exposed to a lot of music rooted in the nation's Jewish society, but the reverse doesn't happen as much. She hopes that her work with Noa will change that.

"We have little means of broadcasting our own stuff," explains Awad. "I mean, we have one radio that is nationwide, only one radio, and there are slots on the TV that allow some programs and some stuff in Arabic, but it's very limited. So, yes, even if they wanted to, they have to really, really look for it in order to be exposed to our culture."


Their biggest project to date was jointly representing Israel in the hugely popular Eurovision song contest, televised to millions of viewers around the world. The song "There Must Be Another Way" has a lyric that Noa finds particularly poignant.

"When I cry, I cry for both of us," Noa quotes from the song. "My pain has no name. When I cry, I cry to the merciless sky and say there must be another way. And this is what we believe, both of us. We believe that only if we share each other's pain, if we feel true empathy towards each other and reach out, can we find a solution to our problems."

Tonight's Noa concert with Mira Awad will begin at 7:30 at the Wharton Center's Great Hall.

No comments:

Post a Comment