The Nigun Project: Sing for Your Life


When I first came across this nigun in a mid-century Lubavitch anthology, the string of eighth notes that make up the first theme immediately suggested to me the beat for this arrangement. It sounded like a hip-hop beat to me. Through the happy collaboration with Dan Wolf and Tommy Shepherd, of the hip-hop collective Felonious, this concept for the piece has been realized.

The idea for the Nigun Project was to capture the beauty and power of wordless melodies. Wolf’sand Shepherd’s art as rappers is focused on the use of language, necessitating lyrics being an important part of the song. This piece synthesizes poetry and the wordless nigun in a unique way. I suggested to my collaborators that they build their verses around an old Hasidic story about the Baal Shem Tov. The story is as follows:

Listen to Lockwood, Shepherd and Wolf’s musical collaboration:

Dan Wolf on collaborating with Jeremiah Lockwood for The Nigun Project:

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The Nigun Project: Sing for Your Life

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