The Davis Academy has announced the official launch of their own record label, #DavisLoveRecords. A collaborative process with the goal of uniting the entire community, the new label is committed to adding to the songbook of the Jewish people with original compositions as well as recording new versions of traditional Jewish songs and prayers.
#DavisLoveRecords released a rock Shabbat “Hello, Goodbye & Peace” last year, which added 18 original compositions written by Rabbi Micah Lapidus, Davis Academy’s rabbi and director of Jewish and Hebrew studies. The school produced three other albums before the record label launched. “Be a Blessing” (2013), “A Palace in Time” (2015), and “Menschology” (2017). The albums total more than 70 compositions.
“The original idea was that this would be a wonderful way of honoring the creative impulse that has always been at the heart of Jewish tradition,” Lapidus said. “Judaism asks us to be creative. Judaism invites us to view our lives as works of art. To be Jewish is to create beauty and meaning and goodness. The idea of creating original Jewish music is one example of how The Davis Academy honors this Jewish ethic.”
The rock Shabbat album includes both new recordings of traditional prayers and totally original compositions “built on the timeless themes of being a mensch, living a life of purpose, and connecting with things greater than ourselves,” The Davis Academy said in a press release. There is a wide range of musical styles spanning zydeco, disco, campfire songs, alternative rock and blues.
The album includes: Hebrew songs “Or Zarua” (light is sown), “El Na R’fa Na La (A Prayer for Healing),” and “L’Chu N’Ran’na” (come let us sing to the Lord); English songs “Everything Has a Time of Breaking” and “Walk Before Me;” as well as nigunim, or tunes.
The Davis Academy is able to accomplish this new endeavor with its state-of-the-art recording studio, where skilled musicians are able to record and produce high-quality music. People who have recorded music in their studio include students, teachers and visiting artists.
“The Davis Academy has always had a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship,” Lapidus said. “Because of that, the idea of recording and producing professional quality original Jewish music was greeted with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ when the idea was first presented in 2011.”
The official record label is the culmination of years of music production at the school. Since The Davis Academy’s first album “Be a Blessing” was released in 2013, the school community has come together to participate in the initiative, Lapidus said. “Whether in the form of ‘crowd vocals’ or as featured soloists, students have a chance to get in the recording studio and share their voices.” The Davis Academy has also produced music videos of some of their songs, giving students the chance to appear on screen. Many of their songs are also performed at community events around Atlanta, featuring students, Lapidus said. “The creative bug is infectious and many of our students have also been inspired to write lyrics and create songs of their own.”
Music produced by #DavisLoveRecords is available on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/2UScXySb1xInzIfropqozH