Michael Chapman & Ehud Banai – EB=MC²
NaNa Disc – 17 August
It started as a dream. A dream came true. British Folk Legend Michael Chapman is performing live in a small Jerusalem club on a cold, rainy winter evening. Ehud Banai, one of Israel’s most successful singer songwriters, is in the audience. It’s winter 2013, his dream of 25 years, to bring his guitar idol Michael Chapman for an Israeli tour, is finally realized. Two years later Chapman will return for a second tour. On both tours, Banai plays the opening act and participates as a guest performer. The close relationship that develops between the two musicians mutually influences both: Banai says that his instrumental album “Low Fire” (2015) was “inspired by and made thanks to… years of love for Chapman’s music and their new personal acquaintance.” It includes a song titled “Michael Chapman Was Here”. Overseas, during the same year, Chapman produces his album “FISH” which includes a song titled “Ehud”.
Their joint concerts and friendship naturally paved the way for Chapman and Banai into the recording studio. The new album is the fruit of the love they share for the guitar and the magic it evokes. Their encounter and warm relationship created a natural sound that captures the fleeting moment, presenting us with a genuine piece of life captured by the flexibility of words and melody. Chapman’s uniquely spiralling guitar joyfully mixes with Banai’s Middle-Eastern chords on guitar and tar; a seamless convergence of the green fields of Northern England with the olive groves of the Galilee, a living testimony to music as a borderless, international language that opens new horizons.
On the new album, EB=MC², they perform Chapman’s songs jointly; Banai and Chapman play their new arrangement to Banai’s “Birdman” which they sing in both Hebrew and in English as well as other songs specially written for the album.
“Kodak Ghosts” from Chapman’s 1970 cult album “Fully Qualified Survivor” is one of Banai’s favourites. The album was playing in an endless loop on a small portable tape the inconsolable Banai carried with him in the 70’s during his retreat to Rosh Pina Wadi, shattered by a lost love. He felt as if this song about one’s solitude and reclusion in nature was written by him and about himself. Years later, Banai found himself in a recording studio with Chapman playing the chords of the song with the words he had written creating “Angel”, a new song which summons an angel to pull him out of misery and guide him “up the road”. Thus, lyrics and melodies of two heartbroken artists from different ends of the world are interwoven into a delicate and exciting tapestry of sounds and words merging East and West, inspiring each other to love and create.
An additional gem on the album is “Rosh Pina”, a song based on one of Chapman’s instrumental pieces with new lyrics written and sung by Banai, becomes a beautiful hymn to music’s enchanting power to be “like a cure for the broken heart”.
The song resonated with Banai’s experience in the wadi when the Yorkshire green sent to him by Chapman’s musical “Postcards of Scarborough” blended with the crimson of the Galilee sunset and heat of the soil, the soothing and quenching sounds of the acoustic guitar like the clear waters of the nearby spring.
Order it here: https://lnk.to/MichaelEhud