Call and Response
Cabaret-punk band Barbez pays tribute to Paul Celan
When, in 2004, musician-composer John Zorn approached Dan Kaufman to write something for his Tzadik label, the two quickly discovered their shared admiration for the work of Romanian Jewish poet Paul Celan. Three years later comes Force of Light, Kaufman’s eight-song homage to the poet.
Celan’s quiet, sometimes bleak poetry has been set to music before, but never like this; the pieces on Force of Light are played by Kaufman’s band, Barbez, which features the usual rock instruments along with lap steel guitar, clarinet, vibes, marimba, and theremin. On some tracks, poems (or poem fragments) are read by Scottish poet Fiona Templeton, but the compositions, which are mostly instrumental, stray far from any line-by-line interpretation.
Kaufman talks to Nextbook about Celan’s work and his take on it, and introduces a few of his favorite tracks.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.