Yuval Ron with Oud
by Rama K. Ramaswamy
Yuval Ron is most often described as a “World Music artist, composer, educator, peace activist and record producer.” The Yuval Ron Seeker of Truth Ensemble was formed in 1999 and according to YR music, they “endeavor to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the people of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. The ensemble includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide.”
Wellesley College and its Office of Religious and Spiritual Life hosted an evening concert featuring the group in the Jewett Auditorium. The Ensemble’s focus is music as the universal language, without words, “which serve only to plug up the mind.” Rather, the Ensemble’s aim is to produce “music via which you can loose yourself and connect to the source of life.” The group’s instruments included an oud (which looks somewhat like a guitar) and a zuna, (which somewhat resembles a reed trumpet).
Ron sees himself as an envoy of peace and his “live music” as a bridge between people of different faiths as well as a path towards spirituality and most importantly, “joy.”
“It’s very different from anything I’m used to or have heard - it’s good, though,” a Wellesley College student commented.
“It seems very clear that this ensemble is highly musically experimental,” another attendee and Wellesley resident said. “I enjoyed the somewhat grass-roots, folksy harmony, none of which was mechanically produced.”
Members of the ensemble include a Palestinian, an Armenian Christian, Sufis from Pakistan and Turkey, a Jewish Moroccan dancer, and Israeli singer Maya Haddi. Having grown up in the part of the world where Judaism, Christianity and Islam all began, even the composition of Yuval Ron’s ensemble represents its leader’s beliefs about the power of music; he believes that it can create calm, peace and unity.
Members of the ensemble switch in and out, depending on the performance put together by Yuval Ron for a particular event. At times, the group is accompanied by Turkish whirling dervishes or Middle-Eastern belly dancers as well.
Yuval Ron has taught in over 50 schools worldwide and offers a mentorship program, more information about which can be found at: http://yuvalronmusic.com/educational-programs/.