Charming Hostess has an exciting show coming up at the Contemporary
Jewish Museum of San Francisco. This new museum has an amazing space
(designed by Daniel Libeskind, no less) dedicated to sound work. The inaugural
sound pieces have been curated by John Zorn and feature luminaries such
as Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed and your local Hostess Jewlia Eisenberg.
Charming Hostess will be performing HEAVENSHOW, an electroacoustic site-specific
piece based on the Hebrew letter Hei.
Jewish Museum, Yud Gallery.
Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco
736 Mission Street (between Third and Fourth streets)
San Francisco, CA
$8 members; $12 general. Tickets include Museum admission.
Buy advance tickets here:
ON THE LATE NOTICE:
Sorry about that, Jewlia has been in and out of the hospital a bunch and
wasn't sure if this show was really going to happen. But she’s feeling
a lot better and plans to celebrate by doing a lot of deep breathing.
Hei represents divine breath. The Source of Life breathed the world into
existence with the sound of this letter. As the fifth letter of the Alef-Bet,
it corresponds on a physical level to the five fingers, the five senses,
and the five dimensions; on a spiritual level to the fifth day of creation
and to the five levels of soul from instinct to transcendence. Hei is
a name for the Eternal and the introduction of Hei to a human name (Sarai
to Sarah) indicates a connection to the Eternal. The final Hei in YHVH
both guards and reveals the power that rests in the great name.
HEAVENSHOW explores breath as creation and revelation. The piece is full
of breath, processed in many ways: through my body, through wind instruments,
through electronics. The changing iterations of the breath serve an invocatory
function; echoing the use of Hei in amulets. Most of my recent work is
based on texts of sex and magic from Babylonian Jewish amulets from the
time of the Talmud. In HEAVENSHOW, the central text is also Jewish from
Babylon, also visceral and creepy, but around 1000 years older. Here an
army of zombies in Ezekiel 37 are re-animated by Hei, the divine breath:
This is what G-d says to these bones: 'Behold, I will cause breath to
enter you, and you will live... ' When I looked, the sinews and flesh
formed over the bones and skin covered them, but the bodies had no breath
in them. Then G-d said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy, son of
man, and tell the breath what the Lord says: Come from the four winds,
O breath, and breathe upon these slain, so that they may live.'