Galeet Dardashti The Naming

Galeet Dardashti The Naming
Galeet Dardashti is a Brooklyn, NY synagogue Torah chanter (a rare privilege for a woman), a scholar who recently completed her PhD on the culturo-political impact of Arab and Jewish music in Israel, and a member of Divahn, a renowned group of female Mizrahi singers. With so much going on, she somehow managed to create a mixed media side-project that includes a very impressive compilation of tracks for her solo record, The Naming. Dardashti anchors the record's concept on gender issues within Jewish folklore, dedicating each song to the story of notable Biblical female icons. Her musical narratives are embellished with modern stories of women in her family and with oral traditions handed down from the Talmud and the Midrash (Jewish oral law and rabbinic commentaries). Beat production and electronics naturally complement such musical relics as the Persian santur, a Moroccan piyut and a chanting technique called the taqrir (a cross between ululating and wailing). Beyond The Naming's academic sophistication, it's a solid, noteworthy collection that boasts an air of timelessness and innovation, which holds true whether you're a Middle Eastern music novice or a connoisseur. (Independent)