Dead Sea Strolls composer, producer, collective of artists from middle east and US 2002
Sand Between the Toes, 2010
Across Many Oceans composer, producer 1995
Prayersongs Bat Kol, with Eyal Rivlin and Michelle Wolf, co-composer, producer, engineer, 2006
Seasons of the Soul (film soundtrack) composer, producer, engineer, 2004
Ashreynu with Tirzah Firestone and Lisa Antosofski, producer, engineer, 2002
Dead Sea Strolls
Born of an intimate encounter with the land and cultures of the Middle East, Dead Sea Strolls is a spirited collaboration in the ethnic/world music genre between composer/keyboardist Sheldon Sands and noted Israeli, Palestinian, and American musicians. Drawing on the rich ancient modes and intricate rhythms of the region, evocative melodies are brought to life with exquisite performances and burning improvisations on oriental and western instruments.
Dead Sea Strolls features performances by the most acclaimed ethnic musicians of Israel including Eyal Sela and Yinon Muallem of the group Darma, Mosh Ben Ari and Udi Ben Knaan of Sheva, Yair Dalal, Waseem Bishara, and Nabil Azzam- playing traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern instruments including the Turkish clarinet, ëud, baglama, darabuka, udu, bandir, Persian tar, violin and western clarinet. Most of the basic tracks were recorded in Tel Aviv in the spring of 1998. The CD was completed in Colorado at the Boulder Sound Company, with additional contributions by Jesse Manno, Beth Quist, James Hoskins, Zahara, Hal Aqua, Lisa Antosofsky and others.
“As an artist in residence in Arad, Israel from October 1997 to June 1998, I had the opportunity to compose music inspired first hand by the landscape, culture, language and profound spirituality of the Middle East. Situated in the Negev desert in the south of Israel, Arad overlooks the Dead Sea, (the lowest point on Earth) with the mountains of Jordan easily visible in the eastern skyline. The melodies and sense of musical form, color and texture of Dead Sea Strolls emerged from my walks and contemplative experiences in the desert, the Galilee, along the Mediterranean shoreline and the streets of Jerusalem. These tunes are my short stories, and I hope you find joy and tranquility in your listening experience.
“This is a concert you don’t want to miss! I was very moved by the poetry and songs”
“Dead Sea Strolls is an exceptional recording that unites some of the Middle East’s most distinguished Israeli and Palestinian musicians in a collaboration that rises above cultural and political barriers”
Sand-Between-the-Toes represents a lighter side of Sheldon’s musicality, combining his love of folk, blues and Americana traditions with the endearing verse of A.A. Milne. Sheldon is joined by renowned vocalist Marta Burton and the talented folk/ bluegrass band, Stray Dog, including Jeff Hooton (double bass/accordion/vocals), Eric Woods (mandolin/guitar), Anne Zinschlag (vocals) and Joe Rigley (dobro/guitar) and with guest Jesse Manno (bouzouki, laouto).
“The performance was amazing…one of the best I’ve seen. I don’t think I have a favorite part. Every time I heard the next song, I thought, this is my favorite.”
“This is a concert you don’t want to miss! I was very moved by the poetry and songs”
“Rilly good! I likte the songs!”
By Bat Kol, featuring Sheldon Sands, Michelle Wolf and Eyal Rivlin Bat Kol brings a fresh voice to ancient Hebrew mystical prayers and longings, with beautiful vocals and an infectious fusion of Western, Middle Eastern and Indian musical styles. The Sages taught that the “BAT KOL”, a voice from heaven, was frequently heard from the ancient Isrealites, and became a channel of communication from God. www.myspace.com/batkol
“These melodies go right to the heart. I recommend this disc highly.”
“Truly beautiful, contemplative. What more can I say? To date I have bought 4 copies of their Prayersongs CD –1 for me and 3 for friends. Maybe I should buy stock in the company!”
Across Many Oceans
Across Many Oceans confirms Sheldon Sands’ growing reputation as a brilliant “sound painter”- a distinctive and daring creator of contemporary instrumental music. On Across Many Oceans Sands dips his creative brush into a rich palette of world music influences and, with a superb cast of collaborating musicans, creates a series of extraordinary paintings- each a unique creation, together a masterful cohesion of musical polyethnicity.
Along with the fine keyboards and samples of Sheldon Sands, the record includes strong contributions by the noted Celtic group Colcannon, Ty Burhoe (tabla) and Mark Miller (flute, sax), Elizabeth Hardin (oboe), Jesse Manno (bouzouki), Deen Peer (bass), Beth Quist (vocals), Marty Peters (guitar), and guest contributions on didgeridoo, uillean pipes, cello and timpani.
Evocative yet highly accessible, the initial response to Across Many Oceans has been tremendous. Superbly produced, this transparent recording brilliantly cuts across folk, world, jazz, and ambient genres.
“Delicate and endearing, cheerful and melodic, this top-quality production by Sheldon Sands is a colorful cornucopia of cultures and instrumentalists. If you’d like to go on a world cruise or it your heart just needs a gentle lift, give Across Many Oceans a whirl.“
“Rather than a ragged hodgepodge of “wannabe” world music, this release comes across as a solid cohesion of musical polyethnicity, a melodic journey through many cultures, often simutaneously. This predominantly instrumental album offers a blend of synthsized samples and live instruments. The synth is often a mere backdrop, the pastel canvas upon which the instruments stroke their living melodies, an effect which provides a wonderful multi-layered and textured feeling.
This collection is upbeat overall, from a theatrical/dance piece to a pseudo-samba and an “east-meets-west” mildly mystical selection entitled ‘Half Moon’, a piece which evokes an unknown memory of forgotton future. A favorite is ‘Quiet Eyes’, a very moving song, slow and full of emotion, thanks to the lyrical oboe. It is a song for exploring the depths of a love, or for seeing through to the other side of a loss.
From pure Celtic fiddle to the cross-cultural instrument blend of the bolero-esque ‘Across Many Oceans’, this album is enjoyable from beginning to end, suitable for many moods and occasions.”
“After listening and being joyously fed by your music, I am moved to write you. Congratulations! You’ve created a beautiful piece of work, lyrical, deep, a healing balm. I truly look forward to using your magic in my work with dancers.”
“We run a music programme during the day with minimal advertising and a mix of music that has lately included Sheldon’s CD (Across Many Oceans). We have received a lot of calls asking after various tracks off Sheldon’s album and asking where it can be purchased. It is interesting to note that there is a real response to some artists more than others. The response to Sheldon has been similar to that of Enya, Deep Forest, Loreena McKennit. Not “New Age” or “Ambient” but sort of ethnic/world/dance/Gaelic. Our listeners really like this sort of music and are active enough to call and find out about it.”
Seasons of the Soul
Soundtrack to the film by Chuck Davis
The Holistic Teachings on the Jewish Holiday Cycle
Traditional Melodies and Original Compositions by Sheldon Sands
Joined in the studio by Eyal Rivlin (guitar, Native American flute), Sandra Wong (violin) and Meg York (clarinet), Sheldon Sands has created a lush musical soundtrack that transcends any one film. Let it be the accompaniment to your life!
Through deep and unique teachings from masters Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Dr. Michael Kagan, Seasons of the Soul explains the wonderful interrelationship between the Jewish holiday cycle, the cycles of nature and the psychological and spiritual cycles of the human soul. http://www.throughlineproductions.com/films/film_sos.html
“Deeply moving, has revived the beauty of the Jewish tradition.”
“I found watching Seasons of the Soul a deeply moving religious experience. The photography is powerful, the music is sweet, and the insights are many and profound. I recommend it wholeheartedly to those who are in search of a gateway into the Jewish way, to those who love nature and to those whose hearts are open to the holy. In the words of one of the songs in this film, I came away feeling that I had been ‘silent amidst miracles’ and I was uplifted.