Take a look at the summer gigs to come. The dates are filling in quick. If you would like me to visit your community please email booking at firstname.lastname@example.org
Out Of The Abyss.. And into the forest
Posted on March 10th, 2013
Yesterday I boarded the historic Queen Mary Ship, in Long beach California for the annual Jewlicious Festival. This time I participated not as a performer or a song leader. I was given the opportunity to speak about my the new groundbreaking initiative I have launched this year called Merkava Mantors. I had no expectations on what my role was going to be at this years years festival. We had a small turn out and yet a very powerful conversation about the blessing of participating in different types of mentorships. I spent the day reconnecting with friends I have not seen in years, and ones I have met on the road during my past year of traveling.
So for the past 5.5 months I have been working on my album. I have been tracking vocals, rewriting new songs, spending my life driving back and forth from LA to OC every few days. I would then leave for small regional tours, only to come back to this deep recording process. Soon after tracking and writing the album with my producer Diwon, we started our next process with our mixing engineer Danny. Mixing flipped everything on its head. I could finally hear sounds that i couldn’t hear in the tracking process and the songs were evolving rapidly. The mix changed the game, and I found myself being very critical over every second of the album. For me I have worked for months and months on this album and I wanted everything to be perfect. I still do. This was the most challenging project of my life. Some artists literally go crazy in the process of mixing an album. This is the Abyss… a place of loosing yourself in your art. Many artists do this.. Jim Carrey, Daniel Day Lewis, Bon Iver etc.. they get so lost in their music it’s hard to come back to reality. I feel like I have been in the Abyss and now I want to come out. I want to come out of this artistic vortex of sound and into the space I love doing what I do. For me climbing of the abyss means leaving all my artistic critiques in Laguna, and sharing my art with the world.
Now is the time to get lost in the forest. The forest, is a place of possibility. The open road. The trees for me represent the people I will inspire and learn from. See every person I come in contact with creates a space for me to tap into what I love about my music, and that’s simply to share.
When I tour I find myself taking time to get lost in the great outdoors and taking time to meditate and sing. On top of being with the people.
Yesterday I bumped into a rabbi at Jewlicious who told me that he finds “forests” in the middle of cities. This Rabbi lives in Montreal and he sometimes goes to abandoned buildings and sits in the staircase and pours his heart out to g-d. For him his “forest” is the space where he can hear the beautiful echo of his voice vibrate sound through the vacated spaces. For me my “forest” is the “people I meet on tour.” I live so I can share my music with the masses and have the ability to create beautiful moments for people to place in their back pockets. I bring the divine water for the trees to grow. The thing is we all water the forest with our gifts and I am so excited to be given the opportunity to water the forest once again.
This week I will head out to South By South West to perform at a couple of parties and to climb out of the Abyss and into the forest. I am thankful.
Mikey Pauker’s Hinei Mah Tov (Eeoohh!) is featured on ArtistDirect.com
Posted on January 30th, 2013
Today Mikey Pauker’s video for Hinei Mah Tov (Eeoohh!) has been officially launched on ArtistDirect.com who explain:” Mikey Pauker, an engaging musician who is transforming the boundaries of contemporary Jewish music and generating “Jewish crossover music,” has teamed up with ARTISTdirect.com to premiere his new video for “Hinei Mah Tov (Eeoohh!)”
Pauker, who has been described as one of the most profound and trendsetting Jewish recording artists in the world, says Hinei Mah Tov is “a call for unity.” The title is derived from an ancient Psalm in which Mikey translates, “How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day!”
The idea is to modernize the ancient text and make it relevant for society so the entire world has the access to the meaning. “This song brings present the absolute blessing of declaring your community by recognizing the fact that all human beings on this earth come from the same source,” Pauker said. “The director, Danny Knust of Hipster-International and I wanted to capture the beautiful diversity of people in Venice Beach and illustrating that we are all part of the same tribe. Amir Magal from Tribal Body Markings joined us in our vision, elevating our message through his self expression of body paint.”
This is an exciting moment for us. Please share this video with everyone you know. Ahhhh Yess!!!!
Va’eira and What does “No” really mean?
Posted on January 11th, 2013
In this weeks parsha via chabad:
G‑d reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring them to the land He promised to the Patriarchs as their eternal heritage.
Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of G‑d, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. G‑d then sends a series of plagues upon the Egyptians.
The waters of the Nile turn to blood; swarms of frogs overrun the land; lice infest all men and beasts. Hordes of wild animals invade the cities; a pestilence kills the domestic animals; painful boils afflict the Egyptians. For the seventh plague, fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as a devastating hail. Still, “the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go, as G‑d had said to Moses.”
The Pharaoh uses “NO” quite a bit in this parsha. What does “No” really mean? “No” creates opportunity for us to to engage in meaningful and powerful conversations. We can listen to their concerns, and hold space for them. We can even address them. Call me unreasonable, but perhaps the word “No” really means “not right now and yes in the future.” Life never works out 100% as we plan it to, so we can’t be attached to our results. We can only be open to the possibility of their manifestations in the universe. WE can be committed to our plans by fulfilling on planned actions. Moses and Aaron with the help of the divine had the power to make the impossible possible. Well then again what is impossible? Just like Aaron, Moses and the divine, we too are miracle makers.
I bless you all on this Shabbos to look deeply at any area in your life that you are having blockage and see this as an opportunity to make miracles happen, by simply understanding that “No” is just present in that moment and there are infinite moments to ask again. You have the power in you, just ask again. And Again. And Again!
Good Shabbos from Laguna, California.
Parsha Shemot and Building a Team!
Posted on January 4th, 2013
This weeks parsha Shemot, the children of Israel are growing in population so Pharoah enslaves them and demands that the hebrew midwives cast them in the Nile. Moses is born by Jochebad and Amram, placed into a basket and sent down the Nile. Pharoah’s daughter finds Moses and raises him. Moses sees an Egyptian beat a Jew, and also sees two Jews in a quarrel and stops them. Because they reveal what he has done the previous day of stopping the Egyptian fight he flees to the Midian where he marries Zipporah and becomes a shepherd. G-d appears to Moses as the Burning Bush near the bottom of Mount Sinai and tells him to go to Pharaoh to demand, “Let my People go, so they may serve me.” Moses appoints his brother Aaron to speak for him, as they assemble all the elders and ask again for freedom. Pharaoh says “No,” and Moses returns to G-d and is told that the redemption is near.
Moses is one of the most profound leaders and CEO’s of all time. Just like Gandhi he knew that a major shift had to happen. Moses had plenty of time to plan how he was going to return to Egypt to ask for the freedom of his brothers and sisters. Upon arrival Moses built a team. Just like any successful CEO he understood that for him to succeed he was committed to finding a group of other successful leaders to help him take “action,” on his vision. He empowered his brother Aaron, who was a powerful communicator to speak for himself because of his stutter. He spoke to elders, “the board,” and enrolled them in his vision so they could give support to Moses. Each elder was so clearly transformed by what Moses and Aaron were up to because they took a stand for their personal freedom even through death could have been a proper punishment.
The CEO of Craig N’ Co, Craig Taubman the creator of Friday Night Live, The Big Jewish Tent, Jewels of Elul and other creative jewish music and culture events always speaks about the the power of building a team. Craig spearheads over a handful of Jewish music events in Los Angeles bringing together all kinds of Jews and all faiths because he authentically saw a need by the Jewish community that wasn’t being filled. He proposed a high energy music Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the largest Conservative synagogue on the west coast. When he had this idea NO conservative shul was doing this yet, and now all over the country camps, and synagogues have adapted his model. Craig holds events at his house where he invites the community in to help brainstorm ideas for his up and coming festivals. This helps breed leaders for his events, because he knows that he can’t do this alone. Just like Moses, Craig empowers new community members (aka musicians, rabbis, cantors, educators, enthusiasts), to stand up and help him transform the community. If I have learned anything from Craig it has been to build your team and reach for the stars.
In 2013 I am transforming Jewish music with the release of my new record and Jewish Music Mentorship Merkava Mentors. I myself have been building a team and invite you to do the same for your endeavors. On this Shabbos may you be blessed with the ability to ask for help, build a team and reach for the stars. You can sure grab them and share the light.
Good Shabbos from Laguna Niguel, California
Mikey Pauker in
Los Angeles, CA
BBYO Pacific West Region (Artist In Residence) w/ Kosha Dillz