The universe story is the quintessence of reality. We perceive the story. We put it in our language, the birds put it in theirs, and the trees put it in theirs. We can read the story of the universe in the trees. Everything tells the story of the universe. The winds tell the story, literally, not just imaginatively. The story has its imprint everywhere, and that is why it is so important to know the story. If you do not know the story, in a sense you do not know yourself; you do not know anything.
– Thomas Berry
Lordy, Lordy, sounds soooo holy. Here presented is volume four of the Orchard Recordings. As usual, the compilation is anchored by some of the wildest wordless nigns composed of late, brought down from the One and Only by the one and only Joey Weisenberg. These particular nigunim were sung by Joey’s Spontaneous Jewish Choir at Mechon Hadar in celebration of the release of his book, Building Singing Communities, and accompanying album of original melodies. The man is truly tapped in: The final track on in this collection was composed by Joey minutes before the celebratory gathering began.
Again we’ve got a knee-slapping smattering of goodness from the Jalopy Theater out in Red Hood, Brooklyn: The Relatives, Willy Gantrim and African-banjo player Essau Pwelle all lend their souls and strings to this volume.
In a special treat, we’ve got Regina Spektor reading from David Bezmozgis’s (Jewish-)Russian-turned-(Jewish-)American-experience novel, The Free World. This, along with some of her solo crooning and duo-work with Jack Dishel (of the Moldy Peaches), was recorded at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, a fine establishment with a long history of Banjo-K certification.
Sprinkled throughout are bits of bliss, wisdom and praise captured in the streets, tunnels, offices and rooftops of a certain Grand City. These, too, compose The Orchard.