The album ‘now’ was written “under the influence” of my pregnancy and birth, and during the first year of Ayehli’s life. It is a journey that has transported me from wherever it was i used to be (that place is fading fast…) to where i am now: a small island of hope in a vast sea of uncertainty.
‘now’ was produced by my long-time collaborator and partner gil dor, and by the one and only yoad nevo who has previously worked with artists like ronan keating, sophie ellis-bextor and the sugababes. they both arranged, played and programmed an array of instruments between them. i am in awe of the work they have done. we were also lucky to have fantastic guest performances by lokua kanza, rita marcotulli and mira awad, and so many fine fine contributions by the talented musicians who contributed to this album: the incredible zohar fresco on percussion, adi renert on keys and piano, jean paul zimbris on drums, hagar ben-ari, eli magen and wiro mahieu on bass, amir shahasar on flute, uri miles on accordion and flute, dudu carmel on oboe, dalit segal on french horn and the udi harpaz string ensemble conducted and arranged by ilan mochiach. all of these people have made ‘now’ an unforgettable experience for me, and i thank them with all of my heart.
I feel the songs on this album speak for themselves. here are a few extra words about some of them.
we: in the age of globalization and generalization, a small reminder to keep the individual human being in mind … and a warm salute to john lennon woven in with the rest.
hawk and sparrow: i accept the struggle between hawk and sparrow in nature, but i think we humans have other alternatives. war and cruelty are not natural phenomenon, and should not be accepted as such. we are fortunate to have the magical voice of our good friend lokua kanza gracing this track.
we can work it out: i had never met or heard mira awad when i decided to sing a duet with her. i saw her on a talk show in israel when she was being interviewed about her upcoming role as the first palestinian ‘elisa doolittle’, and was so very impressed i decided to contact her. mira is smart, funny and very talented, she thinks like me and even sounds a lot like me (yikes!). i think our duet puts one important thing into focus: we have too much in common to be wasting our time fighting.
my other wing: this song was written when i was in the last month of my pregnancy and performed in gil dor’s home studio just a few days before i gave birth! by then i was so big i could hardly breathe! the song, which is a psychedelic trip into the inner world of the mother and embryo, was written in the half-hallucinatory state of many sleepless nights before ayehli was born. the vocal take, though far from perfect, has all the feel and color of that unique moment in time, so we kept the demo version on the album. (and here’s a secret: most of my vocal takes on this album are the original demos done at gil’s house, in his son’s bedroom, with airplanes and lawn-mowers in the background! J yoad nevos’s magic fingers cleaned up the noise without losing the spontaneous, natural feel that can never be repeated.)
eye in the sky: i have always loved this song, but only recently found the angle that enables me to make it my own. i am singing it to myself, while reflecting with sadness and acceptance on so many things i’ve done.
nothing: watching ayehli’s amazing voyage of discovery as he grows and learns to speak has made me think about the ‘birth of consciousness’. words: what is “meaning” without words? can i free my mind of words? can i be happy without them? motor lullabies: motors. motors everywhere. their drone has become the backing-track of our lives, small motor lullabies by which to sleep and dream of waking up somewhere better. i am wondering which lullabies ayehli prefers, mine or theirs?
worry doll: gil dor came back from a vacation in south america with a gift for me: a bunch of small, colorful fabric dolls called worry dolls. he said if i put them under my pillow at night they would make my worries disappear. ha ha?.no chance. i am theee worry doll. i worry enough for the whole planet, and that was before i became a mother!
today: the beautiful and so very talented rita marcotulli played me this melody while we were rehearsing for a joint performance in sicily. from the moment i heard it i was in love. after several months of bugging her to send it to me, she finally did. i wrote the lyrics while sitting in my car in gil’s driveway (there was too much noise in his house).
(another secret: i write 90% of my songs in the car! motor lullabies! J) noa july 2002