I thought of you all this afternoon during my concert in the neo-natal
ward of Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba Israel. It was as if you were with
The babies, their parents and the medical staff, all loved the low soft
tones of my Turkish bendir/tar. Following is my memoir:
On a Gentle Note
Today marks another milestone for good news from the Middle East.
When I entered the neo-natal ward to provide the first Voices of Eden
healing music program at Meir Hospital, I awaited instructions as to where
to sing first. My colleague was soon to arrive with her accompanying harp,
but in the meantime, it was time to begin with the Turkish frame drum
In the open room, amidst the machinery noise, the monitors and bassinets,
young Arab mother held her pre-term baby named Mohammed to her bosom;
taupe colored fabric of her head covering brushing gently against his
body. The baby squirmed and raged in discomfort, his mother uneasy and
seeming unsure of how to calm him down. She welcomed me to sit with them.
began playing usul Semai, an Arabic rhythm measured in 10/8. The baby
immediately opened his eyes and focused his gaze upon me. A little while
later I added Lama Bada, a traditional tune in the eastern scale (maqam)
Nahawand. He released his tight grip and his mom relaxed her embrace as
well. She began to coo and cradle him gently. He smiled and she laughed.
As the music continued, his body rocked gently to and fro, from side to
at an even pace.
Another mother came to join us. Her baby was even smaller than Mohammed.
He was tightly clasped to her bosom. It was at this point, that I noticed
the harpist sitting by my side. I had been so absorbed in my singing that
didn't notice her enter the room. Effortlessly, the harp joined in, also
more mothers, and a few moments later, the doctors and nurses as well,
fallen into a quiet lull. Even the machinery seemed to lower it's
electronic hum. It was a still and magic moment.
I wished I had a camera to capture the intimacy of those two mothers,
sitting side by side, cradling their babies. I wished that the masses
share this simple moment of harmony from the most unlikely of settings.
Here in the neo-natal hospital ward, doctors and nurses attended to the
infants, Arab and Jewish alike, while their parents nursed and coddled
and the musicians created a healing environment with conscious voice,
rhythms and healing harp.
We moved from room to room. Parents and nurses congregated in the larger
room of the healthy babies ward to enjoy the healing music. The babies
began the suite with their unanimous cries and quieted down as the singing
continued. Even the doctors and nurses quieted their voices and began
speak in whispered tones to one another. One of the doctors commented
they were so enjoying the music that they didn't want to disturb its
progress. "It made them work more easily", she added.
It was wonderful to behold the medical staff so committed to the health
well being of the innocent vulnerable babies. It is a pleasure to discover
advanced medical professionals with sophistication to appreciate the
complimentary healing value of consciously produced sound.
The neo-natal staff at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba is to be commended.
individuals are bringing the next generation, our future leaders, into
world on a more harmonious note.
It's a nice way to start
All the best,