Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance

Riki Goldstein

Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

“T

his is very different from what you’re probably used to,” musician and well-known performer Chony Milecki admits about his recent album, titled The Great Farby, “but it will feel familiar at the same time. The songs are authentic, chassidish niggunim you’d hear at a farbrengen, but the music is up-to-date electronic dance music. It merges the authenticity of the shtetl with the technology of the modern world.”

The fusing of tradition and modernity comes naturally to Milecki. He grew up on shlichus in Sydney, Australia in a kiruv family and is now an acclaimed musician in Chabad circles across the world. His performances, he says, aim to “bridge the old and the new, bringing a modern dance beat to traditional songs.”

The Great Farby album is actually one long dance set, as each track segues into the other with no breaks. “I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from two very different groups of people,” says Chony. “People who exercise, and people who are dealing with grief. I was very humbled recently when a woman who lost her son wrote to me, ‘Every time I’m feeling down, I put on your album… I use it for working out and I use it to pick me up.’”

Guests such as Beri Weber, Eli Marcus, Benny Friedman, Yanky Lemmer, Shmueli Ungar, 8th Day, and others provide the vocals on the album. The tunes are all familiar, but the titles might throw you off: For example, “Anu Amecha” is called “Want You,” and “Ana Avda” is called “Dira B’Calypso.”

“We have a concept of dirah betachtonim, to make This World hospitable to Hashem,” says Choni, “and because this arrangement has a bit of a Latin sound, I figured we’re bringing Hashem into Calypso too!” 

The speeded-up electronic version of the heartwarming song played when the chassidim say farewell to each other — “Tayere Brider, mir vellen zich veiter zehn, der Eibishter vet geben gezunter leben, mir vellen zich veiter zehn” (he calls it “Bring It Home”) — is sort of Choni’s personal anthem.

“There is a lot of travel within Chabad, with people going on shlichus to the ends of the world,” says Milecki. “The English lyrics sung by Eli Marcus — ‘Hey brother, I’ll see you soon, may G-d grant you health and livelihood… my heart is full of love and brotherhood…’ —bring a warm message of love and unity to all Jews everywhere.”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 749)

 

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
What Are We Supposed to Do?
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A tried-and-true remedy — and it shook the heavens
Badgered into Submission
Yonoson Rosenblum Avatars of political correctness in search of dissenters
Drinking Doubt Away
Eytan Kobre Meaning is indispensable for generating happiness
Checks and Balances III
Mishpacha Readers The conversation continues...
Memorable Melodies of Modzhitz
Rabbi Mordechai Besser The struggling survivors became kings in shul on Shabbos
A Whole Song and Dance
Rabbi Ron Yitzchak Eisenman One of those small acts that are giant leaps of chesed
Diamonds
Jacob L. Freedman MD "Each Jewish woman is a bas Melech, Dr. Freedman!"
Streamlined Service
Riki Goldstein "JewishMusic Stream is still about classic kosher music”
Perfect Harmony
Riki Goldstein "The arrangements literally changed the entire song"
Hang On to the Glow
Riki Goldstein Back to the warm camp Shabbos memories
Marking Miracles
Faigy Peritzman The miracles are there, but our eyes are blind to them
Going Against the Current
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Wise to deny our kids something all their friends have?
Clothed in Splendor
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz When dressing up is spiritual, not superficial
The Spokesman: Part IV
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Every sentence tells a story; make yours well told