The Arty Semite

Kutiman Conquers Krakow

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Israeli Musician and video artist Kutiman (Ophir Kutiel) has outdone himself yet again. This time, it’s with the second installment in his “Thru The City” series.

YouTube

“Thru Krakow” is an amazingly sophisticated mash-up of musicians playing around Krakow, Poland during the 22nd edition of the Jewish Culture Festival that took place there in June 2012.

Kutiman asked musicians, from klezmer and cantorial to jazz and electro-funk, to play whatever they wanted in a certain scale, and later he artfully combined them all together to show off both their music and the city of Krakow. The result rises above any one genre; it’s world music with a Kutimanian twist.

“The final result is indeed mesmerizing, but in the same time expresses deep emotions of its author, Kutiman, for whom this trip to Krakow has been incredibly important personal experience,” the festival’s website states.

“Thru Tokyo” is forthcoming. We can’t wait.

Watch ‘Thru Krakow’:

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Watch This Mashup of '70s Israeli Disco

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Kutiman is always up to something interesting.

Youtube

The Israeli musical artist (né Ophir Kutiel) is known for his inspired “ThruYOU” mashups of YouTube videos. Sitting at his home computer he is a cutting-edge composer, sampling snippets of sound from homemade movies to unite and blend disparate individuals from all corners of the globe into beautiful and totally unexpected ensembles.

One of his “ThruYou videos,” titled “My Favorite Color,” caught the attention of media outlets like Wired, CBS News and TechCrunch for its sophisticated jazz composition. Another, called “Thru Jerusalem,” created for the Jerusalem Season of Culture in 2011, involved Kutiman’s walking around Israel’s capital to film and record local musicians playing traditional and improvisational instruments.

His latest creation, “Israeli Groove Reconstructed,” delights fans of 1970s and early 1980s disco-era Israeli pop music. It’s a blast from the past, and if you watch and listen closely you’ll see and hear some of the of the biggest stars at the time, like Yehoram Gaon, Shlomo Artzi, Zohar Argov and Zvika Pick. A young Rivka Michaeli serves as our host throughout the piece.

Watch ‘Israeli Groove Reconstructed’:

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Out and About: A Librarian for the Ages; Larry David, Man of His People

By Ezra Glinter

Getty Images
  • Happy Bloomsday! Stay tuned for more.

  • The runaway bestseller not-really-children’s book “Go the F*** to Sleep” (previously covered on The Arty Semite here) now has the distinction of being read aloud by Samuel L. Jackson.

  • The Atlantic’s James Parker on Larry David, “a figure of pioneering godlessness and a loyal celebrant of the traditions.”

  • On the great bibliophile, librarian to the Vilna Gaon and Solomon Maimon, and chief rabbi of Slonim, Shimshon ben Mordechai.

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