There's no separation for me between music, painting and sculpting. Often, when I paint, a line/paint brush brings with it a musical note. The music, painting and sculpting are all intertwined within me, one cannot live without the other. These are all avenues that I have to express, even to celebrate, and together they bring out everything that I believe in.
When one color is placed next to another, it's like the sound of an instrument, and my voice, working together. I believe that the combination of my music comes from my ancestry. Chemists, movie directors, cantors, weavers and sculptures are just some of the creative minds that come from my family. Looking back in my life, thinking of all the influences that surrounded me, makes it clear for me to understand where I found my passions. My family history began in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Places where brilliant designs, colors and reach music were formed and created.
I came from a family of seven. My parents came from Uzbekistan to Tel Aviv. My mother was the most creative person I've ever known. She ran our home as a kind of school. There was a little money, there were wars going on, but we were always busy creating things. We all played musical instruments.
On Shabbat, all the kids would dress up and gather around the table, which was beautifully decorated by my mother. After a meal, we'd all get instruments and sing, and the neighbors would gather around to listen. My voice would ring out so loudly they'd have to hush me.
I was shy and lonely going into kindergarten. Music to me was a kind of medicine, a comfort. I was obsessed with singing to myself. I think performing was the only way my siblings and I knew to relate to one another. I was encouraged to be creative as a way of life, a way to be.
When I was six my mother sent me off to learn how to play the accordion, and when I was 10 she had me learn weaving. They made looms for us, and we learned to follow the old patterns and make real Persian rugs. At 13, I was singing in an Israeli choir. This choir won first place competing for classical music at Ohel Shem Theater in Tel Aviv.
In Israel there was a rich melting pot of cultures: different languages, different foods, different music, different customs. It was like living in a kind of international cultural congress. My eyes and ears registered and absorbed everything. My family all lived in the same neighborhood as us. It was a very rich cultural environment. The families living in our neighborhood fascinated me. I took in how they lived, how they dressed, how they spoke. They were like mirrors showing me different aspects of myself.
My creativity comes from all that intense family life: the music, the plays we children made up, the fights, and the love. It comes also from my ancestors, and from that rich human environment I grew up in as an Israeli child.
A BAND IS FORMED:
In 1980, life circumstances brought me to Palo Alto with my three children. While raising my children I was trained classically by permanent voice coaches in the Bay Area. Thereafter, I had also taken music and fine art classes at Foot Hill and De Anza Community Colleges. I was trained also in musicals, popular music and Jazz. I sang in private concerts, in open mic nights in and around the South Bay. I also plaid and sang in local musicals in the Bay Area. At the same time I had my own painting studio in Mountain View and Palo Alto and started to exhibit my artwork around the South bay. In 1995, I decided to finish my fine art degree at the San Francisco Art Institute.
I created my band after I got my Fine Art Degree at the San Francisco Art Institute. I was working on a final piece in the art school, and I realized that my Uzbeki roots touched all of my last works. Finally, I realized that I needed to create a band that would encompass my ancestry. The band would be a blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent.
It is the music of 'authentic' Israel that I cherish and wish to give to the world. But, beyond this, I want to be the mouth of the Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Persian, and Uzbeki Jews who immigrated to Israel and sing and play music. I would like different cultures to discover and to connect through my singing.
My musicians are Arabs, Afghani, Ashuri and American Jews. They all play authentic and acoustic musical instruments. Together, we make music that can cross all boundries. Together we hope to bring peace a little closer.
Only through art can bridges be built that cross national and cultural boundaries, and bring people together and transcend beyond differences.