I went into Shuk Machane Yehuda today to buy basil (because in my house, a lack of pesto is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment) and walked past a very interesting looking musician. I stopped a schmoozed with him for a while. Turns out that funky guitar thing he plays is called an Oud, an instrument used across the Middle East. He’s been playing it for the last 18 years and loves to bless people with his music, bringing some quiet into the hustle and bustle of the pre-Shabbat shuk shopping-spree that thousands engage in every Friday.

Niro lives in the village of Tekoa, which hovers over the rolling Judean hills that lead down to the Dead Sea. I expect this desert expanse jives with his core philosophy: to create music that breathes. Niro says the key element of music is quiet, both the pauses in the music and the serenity that it can bring to people. He loves to write music from the heart, music that has a lot of soul and communicates meaning to his audience.

I could not help but feel the truth of his words as I heard his fingers plucking out a magical Middle Eastern melody.

Check out Niro’s Facebook page. He’s coming out with a new CD soon!

Learn more about the Oud on Wikipedia

Blessing you with many joys!

Chana

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