Voice of the Turtle CDs
Paths of Exile Series
From the Shores of the Golden Horn
The first to welcome Sephardic exiles was the Ottoman Empire, the heart of which was in Turkey. "Shores of the Golden Horn" resounds with the blending of Jewish and Ottoman musical traditions. You will here the influence of Ottoman court music, para-liturgical maftirim, and the popular songs of the vibrant communities of Istambul, Izmir, and Edirne.
Bridges of Song
The King of Morocco remarked that his kingdom was like a desert palm, watered by Islam, with its roots reaching into Africa, and tousled by the winds of Europe. The proximity of Morocco to its Spanish homeland exposed the Sephardic community of Morocco to waves of Spanish influence for over 5 centuries. In Bridges of Song, you will discover the rich ballad and romance traditions of the Moroccan Jews, and hear the influence of Arab, Berber, and southern European musics.
Balkan Vistas-Spanish Dreams
The Ottoman Empire was quick to settle its new Sephardic subjects in its newly conquered territories in the Balkans. Over time, Sephardic music of in Balkans began to merge its Spanish flavor with the traditional musics of the surrounding Slavic peoples calling the Balkans their home, as well as with Romani, Romanian, Turkish, Greek, and Hungarian musical traditions. This recording of love songs, ballads, and lullabies leaves no one unmoved.
Under Aegean Moons
The Greek city of Thessaloniki, or in Judeo-Spanish "Salonika,"was the gem in the Mediterranean diadem of Sephardic culture. At the turn of the 20th century, well over half of the city's population was Sephardic. The Jewish community of Greece was considered throughout the Jewish world as the capital of Jewish scholarly thought, global trade, and of Jewish communal life. This recording explores the musical traditions of these dynamic communities- changed forever, but not defeated, in the face of the Holocaust.
There has always been a continuous Jewish presence in the Land of Israel. Sephardim established vibrant communities in Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, and Gaza. At the Expulsion, these communities were fortified by waves of expelled Jews newly come from Spain and Portugal. This haunting recording explores the tradition of secular Judeo-Spanish songs among the Sephardic Jews of the Land of Israel.
Circle of Fire- A Hanukah Concert
Hanukah, the Festival of Rededication, is a winter holiday which commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Graeco-Assyrian Seleucid Empire and the rededication of the Holy Temple. Common themes in this holiday include those of religious freedom, resistance to oppression, and a general air of celebration. Sephardic communities developed
A Different Night - A Passover Musical Anthology
Passover celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, and is one of the most important events in the Jewish calender. The story of Passover is told through the Haggadah, a text read and sung in a home service including a festive meal, called a Seder. Each Jewish community often developed their own traditions of telling the Haggadah. This recording explores these from these varied traditions.
The Sword of the Dove- A Purim Fantasia
Purim is an early Spring holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people in Ancient Persia. Often, the trials of Jewish ancestors were also made into ballads in the Sephardic community. This recording is a collection of Judeo-Spanish repertoire recounting the evil of Haman, bravery of Esther, the wisdom of Mordechai, and the place of Purim in Jewish life.