Category Archives: Music

Get in “Le Mood” for the most exciting new festival in Montreal

I know that it may not quite seem like it yet, but despite the weather outside, it is officially summer in Montreal!  And, according to yours truly, the best thing about summer in Montreal (or any season in Montreal, for that matter) are the festivals!  Just for Laughs, the Fringe Festival, Beerfest, and the Jazz Festival are just a few of the many weekends to look forward to this summer.  Whether you like live music, delicious food and drink, or stand-up comedy, this city really does have something for everyone.

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Are you “Chai” on Israel?

Ever get a card on a simcha (a happy occasion like Bar/Bat Mitzvah or wedding) with a check in it for say, 144$ (a multiple of 18)? Or ever plant a tree with JNF for 18$? As Passover is right around the corner, did you know 18 minutes is the maximum time matzah is to be cooked until it becomes unkosher? Without too much detail, once the dough hits 18 minutes, it begins to rise. 18 is also the date in the Hebrew month of Iyar when Lag B’omer occurs. We get this number 18 from the numerical value of the Hebrew word for life, “חי” or “Chai.”  The ח or “chet” is the 8th letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is worth 8 and the “י” or “yud” is the 10th letter and is worth 10, hence the connection between Judaism, life and the number 18.

The Intricate World of Stop Motion Video

As a former film student I was always turned off by cartoons and animation, but I did have a soft spot for stop motion. One of my favorite stop motion films is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s quite remarkable if you think about how long it took the eclectic Burton to make.

There are countless films and videos that use stop motion animation, all of which are extremely time consuming. Once you understand the technique involved you’ll be able to appreciate the amount of work that goes into it.

According to Wikipedia, stop motion is:

An animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Motion animation using clay is called clay animation or clay-mation.

One amazing use of stop motion that I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed is Oren Lavie’s music video for his single Her Morning Elegance. Besides the fact that I love the song, upon further research I discovered that there are several Israeli/Jewish connections to the video. Firstly, the musician Oren Lavie is a Jew born and based out of Tel Aviv. Secondly, the woman who stars in the video is Israeli-born actress/model Shir Shomron. The video was also co-directed by Lavie and fellow Israelis Yuval and Merav Nathan.

The video was nominated for “Best Short form Music Video” at the 2010 Grammy Awards and has racked up more that seventeen million hits on Youtube! Can you say viral video?

Here’s what the video looks like…

Here’s a version of the video split up to its core. The behind the scenes…

Hope you all enjoyed that. Let me know if you find any other stop motion videos that YOU enjoy. Here are fifty other great stop motion videos for you to kill some time…

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