The Parting

Holocaust inspired performance and education

  "Where are we going,

                Where are we going."

"And the Parting is so hard, and the Parting is such a sweet sorrow

And the part of my soul, that's alone."

Art reaches a place that mere words cannot enter.  It pierces the heart before the mind has a chance to put up walls or fences.

"I wander from room to room, climb up and down the stairs and feel like a songbird whose wings have been ripped off and who keeps hurling itself against the bars of its dark cage" Anne Frank

For bookings or more info,please call Scott at 201-394-8359 or e-mail:

scottoise@hotmail.com

 

 

Partners create a multimedia Shoa elegy

Musician and painter, once Jewish educators, inspire one another

 by Johanna Ginsberg  NJJN Staff Writer

 

He composes lyrics and music. She paints them. Singer-songwriter Scott Massarsky of Oakland and painter-puppeteer Jennifer Levine of Montclair have been working together for a handful of years, and their latest effort revolves around a series of songs he has written focusing on the Holocaust.

The two will perform “The Parting” in a Yom Hashoa commemoration on Saturday, April 6, at The Art Garage/StudioKids Art, Montclair. It will feature Levine “Painting a Song” to Massarsky’s music, accompanied by cellist Jessie Smith and percussionist Matt Olson.

 “After she heard my music, she asked me to come to her studio and play while she paints,” said Massarsky. “We never planned on collaborating; it just happened organically.”

Back and Forth

 

Oh I am so sorry

I said you didn’t want me

But there was so much

That I didn’t know

Now I see the truth

Like tears they are Streaming

From your face I know you loved me

So you had to let me go

See Below for Kristallnacht video with interpretive dancer Simone Coonrod and to view Jennifer's paintings.

 

Origin of the Parting

 

     Several years ago I was given a grant by the Puffin Foundation to display my art and perform my music and poetry in local libraries.  Around the time of the last performance of the project I was in the same library where the idea of the project had started.  I was walking around by the documentary videos and was drawn to one section in particular.  I grabbed a couple of videos, took them home, and watched them that night. One was on the Kinder Transport “In the Arms of Strangers” and the other about the Shanghai Ghetto, both events during the Holocaust.  Songs just started pouring out of me after watching them and I decided to put them in that last performance of the project dedicating the night to the children of war -from the Holocaust to Darfur.  The library gave me a random date in April for the event and a couple days later I looked at my calendar to make sure it worked with my schedule.  To my surprise the date they gave me just happened to be Holocaust Remembrance Day!  The day came and it was a monsoon outside.  I was told I could reschedule the date but instead decided to go forth.  The room was filled and the day was extremely moving.  I had many people coming up and telling me personal things about their life and connection to the work, some had tears in their eyes.  I even met a couple whose uncle was saved by the Kinder Transport!  Since then I have performed these songs many times and each time I learn something new about myself and about the connection we all share as humans. 

 

Ion

 

Ion looked down

Picked up his hat

Wore it like a crown

Held his stick

Like a staff

Smiling and proud

Behind a barbed wire Fence

His kingdom

A ghetto

Was all he had left

 

Excerpt from Kristallnacht Performance

Jennifer's Art

 

 

Flowers

 

One for you

And one for me

And one for all my friends

Not here to see them

Who knows which ones will be here

this time next season

and which will wither

In the winter wind

My life was spared

So the rest of them could live

 

One for you and one for her

And one for all the children

Left at the station

The train it left

Too early it try to save them

But it carried us like a bundle

Of thistle seeds

all scattered  around with hope

And waiting for spring

 

So pick a flower for me

There’s a purpose in every seed

My life it lies in your mercy

So pick a flower for me

 

I’ll see this through

Untill the end

I know the things of the past

Have forever changed me

It was only six years of a life

How crazy

But I was planted in the soil

Of that dream

Transplanted

To the other side of the stream

 

So pick a flower for me

There’s a purpose in every seed

My life it lies in your mercy

So pick a flower for me