THE JOURNAL

HEDEF
A musical exploration of time slowing down
By Amir Shpilman

When we fast we choose to deny our physical needs in order to focus on our spiritual ones. When we fast we crave oneness, oneness with ourselves and oneness with others. When we fast we hope that allowing ourselves to feel weaker will somehow make us stronger.

But as Isaiah warns, fasting can’t just be about the self. We can’t just do it for what we hope we will get back. We have to remember our capacity to give, our obligation to give.

Time stretches when we fast. A single event, that might otherwise come and go in an instant, is suddenly available for us to reflect on. A moment can feel like a lifetime, and a lifetime can feel like a moment.

This piece is called Hedef (הֶדֶף), which is the Hebrew word meaning stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity; a compressional wave of high amplitude caused by a shock (as from an earthquake or explosion) to the medium through which the wave travels; to push or drive with force.

In this piece I play with the idea of subtle shifts of energy, from chaos to stasis and back. Like during fasting, what is simple becomes complex and what is complex becomes simple. You will notice that at moments certain sounds appear near, and other times they appear far away, as if traveling long distances. Overall, I explore the repulsion of moving energy in all directions and dimensions until there is nothing left but the echo of the wind.

Fasting brings us such emptiness, but such wholeness, too.