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A Star is Truly Born

Moran Moran Chester performing at Tel Aviv’s Levontin 7 Photo: Alon Harel

by Dr. Sarah Glenn and Marvin Glenn

The STAR is cellist Moran Chester and her debut show of original music and songs called "Sabotage" appeared on the scene of innovative Israeli music at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv on July 7. Moran has written nine original and individually unique songs which powerfully engage all one's senses. Her honest and vulnerable expressions of the emotions most of us have felt in relationships could be felt with resounding vigor at one's heart level. The variety and the virtuosity with which each song is performed is enchanting and enjoyable.

An accomplished cellist, Moran uses her virtuosity with her instrument as an effective tool for expressing her emotions and perceptions of life. I've never before seen or heard a cello used to produce sound effects such as drums, seagulls and traffic. Using technology, Moran spontaneously created her soundscapes to fit her songs and pulled me into her world of pain and joy. Her music, at times, borders on the avant garde, making it startling and full of surprises. The show shone also because of the way she graciously invited several other outstanding artists to join her on stage. Together, the group of young talent created a show to remember.

Featured among the guest artists was fellow-songwriter and singer, Ruth Danon, who has a hauntingly beautiful voice. When Ruth sang Moran's attention was able to focus on her cello on which she performed in unusual and unexpected ways, getting the audience to soar with delight. The musical entourage included a dynamic drummer, a confident bassist and a male singer whose vocal renderings lent a certain empathetic touch to Moran's creations. Their masculine energies balanced the whole production. Moran acts with a gracious generosity as if she has been sharing the stage with other artists all her life, amazing in one who is supposedly new to being center stage. And she even includes her younger sister Maor, a talented trumpet player.

The whole performance was a sheer delight as one is enchanted by the variety and fast-paced presentations of adventurous music and words, as the artists, together, give birth to what will doubtlessly become a new style of musical entertainment, reminiscent of the great Jacque Brel but very different at the same time. Just as he was totally Flemish, Moran Chester and friends are creating a new style of music, steeped in the vibrant, totally Israeli singles' scene. There was ONE repeat performance on August 3, and no doubt that the audience experienced exhilarating emotions while "Sabotage" captivated their ears and heart. 



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