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Jerusalem of Music

July 7, 2011 | By

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The Israeli composer Kutiman–also known as Ophir Kutiel–might not play an instrument, but he can make a symphony.

Kutiman came to the world’s attention with the project ThruYou. He collected YouTube films of amateur musicians playing in front of home video cameras  and played the tracks together, mixing them into amazing, funk-laced symphonies. The result, when he posted them online, garnered literally millions of views, so many that his servers crashed.

His newest project, “Thru Jerusalem,” utilizes the same cut-and-paste approach, showcasing different musicians and mixing them together using the wonders of technology. This time, however, all the content belongs to Kutiman himself.

He spent two years in Jerusalem meeting the musicians, collecting all the sounds and video, and arranging it, from the droning sunrise tuba that opens the video to a drum machine played in a mechanic’s garage, to a Christian monk walking through the Old City. Hip-hop, classical, and Middle Eastern music all combine into a five-minute tour of Jerusalem that constantly catches the viewer by surprise–just as, from minute to minute and instrument to instrument, the song surprises itself.

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