Ani Ma'amin: I Believe
"I believe - ani ma'amin - with reassuring faith that the Messiah will come, heralding peace." These words, written by Moses Maimonides, a twelfth century Judaic philosopher, have served not only as a reminder of the basic tenets of Jewish theology but also as the last words of hope in times of despair. It's melody was loved by my dear late father, Edgar Levant, to whose memory this album is dedicated. Poignant and warm memories are conjured up in me by these songs. Shir Eres, sung to me as a child, later became the lullaby for my own daughter. Hanaava Babanot, a love song, brings back the excitement of leading an Israeli dance troupe in my youth. I recall many of the Hebrew folk songs from the kibbutz where I lived, together with my children, for a year in the early 1970s. Having mostly originated in the Jewish shetls of nineteenth century Czarist Russia, the Yiddish songs, Reizele in particular, are reminders of the joyful days spent with loving grandparents in Winnipeg Manitoba. Adio Querida and Los Bilbilicos, sung in Ladino (the language of the medieval Iberian Jews), represent the musical legacy of the Sepharadic oral tradition. An album honouring Jewish music would be incomplete without songs for the Sabbath including my own favourite, Shalom Aleichem. And finally, there is immense joy being a cantorial soloist in the synagogue, singing modern liturgical compositions, such as Kedushah. Sample Album reviews: Fast Forward Calgary "Debut release by Calgary singer Rebecca Levant exposes a superb voice" - Penguin Eggs (Canada's folk, Roots and World Music Magazine) "the strength of this collection is it's simplicity...the juxtaposition of voice, with solo piano, cello, flute or guitar - ... a decent collection with a strong roots element". Dirty Linen (The Magazine of Folk and World Music - USA) - "a disciplined and sensitive Calgary quartet lifts Levant's lovely voice". Canadian Folk Music Bulletin - "Her songs encompass a welcome and well chosen range...RL can certainly sing and all four musicians are excellent". Synchronicity - Alberta's Magazine of Body, Mind and Spirit - "a poignant album...this selection of songs will make one pause and reflect on life, GD and self". BIO: Rebecca is a soprano and cantorial soloist who specializes in Jewish music - sacred and secular. She lives in Calgary Canada and performs in North America.