I have a bunch of interesting cases to tell you about, but I wanted to take the chance today to tell you about a wonderful event yesterday here in Boston celebrating Jerusalem Day, which fell yesterday on our calendar. An Israeli group called Koolulam had an event for around 2,500 people at the House of Blues. Koolulam is “a social-musical initiative aimed at strengthening the fabric of society.” It brings a lot of ordinary people together to learn Koolulam’s arrangement of a song, to sing it together, and to experience the happiness of making music.
We warmed up with an Israeli song most of the crowd knew, Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu, and we warmed down with another one, Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh.” But the main event was—wait for it—Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.”
Why am I mentioning this to you? One of the themes of my political posts has been that our real problems are not political but cultural, or rather, that our political problems are symptoms of our cultural probems. We have to be the right kind of people if we want to have the kind of government and politics we used to have. There are lots of things we could recommend people do to try to improve the cultural climate. Most of them would be controversial for one reason or another and I won’t even mention them here to avoid derailing the post. But making music with people from all walks of life, all across the political spectrum, and from all sectors of your community, promotes your own happiness, promotes solidarity and community cohesion, and has the advantage of being really fun and non-controversial.
Koolulam may not be coming to your city. But I’ve participated in amateur choral singing, at a very high level and at a not-so-high level, for many years, and I can tell you that every city will have opportunities for singers of all levels and even for singers with no experience. Go sing! It will be good for your soul and good for the world.