Finally in February, after a couple of false alarms, it snowed in Jerusalem. Like, truly snowed. And snowed and snowed.
Which meant that the snow party was on!
My friend and I arrived too early, while the organizers were still setting up the tunnel. Yes, the tunnel. See, this party takes place under one of the bridges in the Valley of the Cross. I took a picture to post to my Facebook group about cultural events in the city and one of the organizers came up and asked if I could send him the picture so he could share it on the Facebook event page.
I sent it to him and then walked around the valley for a while, as my friend and I smiled at other happy snow-lovers and built the world’s smallest snowman. And then we went back.
The party was just the cutest, but more than that, it was meticulously organized. There were two bars abundantly stocked with drinks including hot apple cider cooking on gas burners. There was an amazing DJ hooked up to a robust sound system. And, most importantly, there were a couple of hundred shining happy Jerusalemites boppin’ around in their winter gear while the snow fell around us.
The next day I wrote to the guy on the other end of the email address I’d acquired only to find out that he wasn’t one of the organizers but he is a local musician. I’ve since gotten to know him and his music and feel it’s only right for humanity to help spread the word – or should I say the music – that is Moti Amir.
Moti is a Hebrew folk musician from Nachlaot who writes and performs what he calls “sacred secular music.” I’ve been to one of his concerts and ended up contributing to his headstart campaign since his music moves me.
He told me that he’s influenced by Nick Drake, Amir Lev, Eviatar Banai and Bombino. I think I love his music because it feels like an expression of a sincere, effortful and honest way of being in the world.
His music is tight with beautiful melodies, poetic lyrics and enchanting accompaniment that is more than just accompaniment. Moti sings and plays guitar and the oud, cello and percussion are each in themselves an intriguing part of the whole.
Now that Moti reached his headstart campaign goal, he has almost completed recording his first album. All 11 songs in the album are original pieces with two of them composed on lyrics by others. His intention is that the album will be one unit that takes listeners through a journey from the first song to the last.
His upcoming concerts in June are in Haifa and Tel Aviv and his next one in Jerusalem is in August. You can follow him on his Facebook page “Moti Amir” to receive updates and get a sneak preview of the opening song of his album.
People, this is Jerusalem – adorable snow parties and mesmerizing musicians. When are you coming to visit?