Thursday, December 10, 2009

New CD, New Blog, New Video...

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Happy Hannukah Dear Friends,

I'm so happy to share with you lots of newness. Here is my new blog. You can sign up to get messages with new music, CDs, articles, letters, paintings, bootlegs, and links to new music videos! and...

I've Just Released a New CD!

Here is a song from my new disc "Relax and Know" (Harpu U'Du)

It is a disc of 7 songs for relaxation and healing, plus a spoken word relaxation/guided imagery process in Hebrew and English with musical accompaniment. This music is so soothing...it is good for calming down, letting go, and for healing treatments like massage. It is also wonderful to dance with, or for doing any kind of gentle movement. This music was born from the meeting of the worlds of healing and music that has been part of my life for the last number of years. It is especially recommended for soothing babies (and mothers), and as a support for healing treatments. This song is called "Ashira"..."I will sing to G-d with my life, I will sing to Him while I'm here. And my words will be sweet to Him, and I will rejoice with Hashem." You can order this CD through my website http://www.koltziona.com/cds.htm through paypal or check. and...

I have a new music video!

Go to http://vimeo.com/8095578 (you need to email me for the password) koltziona@gmail.com and...

I have a new email! koltziona@gmail.com

Happy Hannukah!!!!!!!!

love, Tziona Achishena

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sister Heart

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Here is the title track from my upcoming CD "Sister Heart". It should be available soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

With Drums and Dances: New article published about Tziona Achishena


"With Drums and Dances” (printed in the weekly newspaper Mayanai HaYeshuah, parashat Re’eh, 5769)

Rabbi Mordechai Sheinberger told her that her role in the world is to awaken women’s hearts; the Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi told her that she sings like Miriam the Prophetess. With a new album, which brings together music and healing, her two loves, Tziona Achishena Zilbershtein is trying to fulfill her life’s mission.Tziona Achishena Zilbershtein was 26 years old, living in California, when she met her first religious Jew. In addition to her musical pursuits, she was working as a hospital chaplain with terminally ill patients. Behind her were over 20 years of dance training, but all of this did not satisfy her. “ I was always searching”, she remembers today, “searching for G-d in a world that said that He did not exist. I was searching for G-d, searching for truth; I wanted light but I found a lot of darkness. I always sang, and that was for me a point of light in a dark world, which reminded me that I have a soul, that there is more than just the physical world. I wanted my singing to be clean, like prayer, but I didn’t know what prayer was.”After a number of months, in a brave move, Tziona left the career that she had begun, and her family, and moved to Israel, alone. “When I arrive it was nighttime, and from the plane I arrived directly to Bat Ayin (in the Judean hills.) I woke up in the morning and the first sight that I saw was the mountains of Judah. I felt like I had been connected to electricity. I felt deep within myself that this is my place. I know that the music and the healing that I receive are in the merit of the land of Israel. The true inspiration for song and music come to me from the land of Israel, and that is the reason that I wanted to come here, and was willing to leave everything familiar and comfortable. There is simply a different power here.” She speaks ..........and movingly about a place that sometimes seem to us so natural and taken for granted.When she moved to Israel she meet Rabbi Mordechai Sheinberger from the old city of Jerusalem, who told her that her goal should be to awaken something sleeping in the heart of every woman. The name Tziona she chose when she made aliyah; Achishena she received from the Rabbi that officiated at her wedding. And it seems that there couldn’t be a more fitting name for her.What is your story?She lives with her husband and two daughters in the village “Or haGanuz” near Meron, and besides making music she gives treatments in Guided Imagery, Qi Kung, and Shiatsu, and teaches in the program “Haysham” at Elima college of alternative medicine. At the midrasha “Tzafnat” in Tzfat, she teaches a course called “Meditation and Nigun”. “For me, music is also healing, because the best music awakens the soul of the musician and the listener, and causes a revelation of the soul as well. Music heals because this is the place where the body meets the soul.” Her singing voice is moving, touching, really surrounding, and her own melodies for ancient prayers bring in a renewing power, to the point that many women testify that her singing connects them to the Creator, playing on the strings of their souls with ethnic sounds. “And Miriam the Prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took her drum in her hand. And all the women followed after with drums and circle dances.” she astonishingly sings on one of her best know albums, “Miriam’s Drum”. “I’m sure that that is how Miriam the Prophetess sang” complimented the Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi after her performance this Passover in Tzfat. It seems that this winning combination will meet again next week, in the women’s tent of the Hada Knishta music festival. At her concerts she sings, plays a variety of instruments, including Miriam’s drum, and dances. It was written about her in NRG (Maariv newpaper’s internet site) “She posesses an amazing voice and a no less amazing story.” But at her concerts, besides little hints, she prefers to talk more about G-d and less about herself. “So what is your story?” I ask her, and she laughs. “The most amazing story in the world is that a girl who grew up in America and never even heard about the land of Israel, could be living in the village of Or HaGanuz, with a window facing Mount Meron, in the shade of Rebbe Shimon (Bar Yochai). That’s really a miracle.”Don’t forget to breatheShe has recorded more than nine albums to date. Her newest release Relax and Know, is made up of songs that she uses in healing treatments. “These are songs that help to connect to another vibration, to relax,” she explains. “The place that I want to be in is that someone, after experiencing a concert or a treatment, is different than they were before. If I feel afterwards that I am exactly the same as beforehand, then I know that it didn’t happen, that I did not do what G-d wanted me to do.” Even before coming to Israel, she was drawn to the world of alternative healing. “I had some amazing experiences with sound healing, and I understood that sound has the power to heal, but it remained on an certain level–a clear understanding with a desire to bring healing. Exactly how to bring it down I learned only in more recent years.”In the genre of women’s singing she can be described as a pioneer, the Nachshon ben Amminadav of women, who was prepared to be the first to jump into the water, as was written about her in the column “The Jewish Beat”. “When I started to sing for women, it was really something new, not like today. They would ask me to sing something “happy” , but I came to tell them that the true happiness is to be ready to be changed, to open up, to make space for G-d. Like in Miriam’s circle, with the drums-the women danced in a circle, so that the Shechinah (G-d’s Presence) would dance in the middle. That’s my goal, the there will be space for the Shechinah, for G-d, between us.”Singing is a place of freedom, says Tziona, and we have to find the way to sing within the bounds of the Halacha, which would seem to limit us, but can make our song the best, the cleanest, so that we can be like a channel. How does she explain fact that her singing warms the heart? “When women hear a woman’s voice, it does something within their souls. The audience is limited, but very much alive. There is a power to women’s prayer, and we have no idea what a woman’s voice is, just that is something too strong for the whole world to hear at the moment.”I heard that you lead a holistic life. What does that mean?“A lot of breathing. Breathing the air of the holy land. To remember to breathe.” she answers, and adds that she tries to see the connections between things. “If some place in my body hurts, I don’t want to leave it only on the physical level, but rather to try to hear what the body is trying to tell me. To see the connection between what I eat, think, do, read–that everything is connected to everything else. To be in a process of consciousness.”“Instead of putting the emphasis on our differences, we should put the emphasis on what connects us. A little less external orientation, in sects and appearance, and more connection to the heart of the matter. We can be women from every walk of life, and still the main thing is that we are together, like it is written about Miriam that all the women followed after her. As women we can get to such a place, we can rise above divisiveness and get to unity.”“I believe that we are preparing for redemption” says Tziona near the end of our conversation, “and when the miracles and wonders happen, we are going to have to praise G-d. Each of us with her drum, and her faith. The day will come when we will see such miracles, that we will have to sing and dance, and every meeting of women is a preparation for redemption–to remember how to do this. That is the song of women–to remember and to know what to do in the moment of truth.”

Shalom to All My Friends!

B"H

Hey holy sisters...
This is a way for me to keep in touch with everyone, to let you know about new music coming out, new CDs, and to share a bit about what is going on in my life, and the process as a whole.

Two new CDs are on the way!!!!!!!
"Sister Heart" is still in progress, but you can hear the title track here. Singing in English is so personal and powerful to me, and to find my voice in my own language after years on this journey feels very real.

While working on Sister Heart, another CD was born without my even knowing it was on the way. This was something beyond the rational mind, like those births where the woman doesn't even know she's pregnant! This disc is called "Relax and Know". The music is a meeting of worlds that is very precious to me...the worlds of music and healing. Those of you who have followed my development over the years know that exploring these two worlds has motivated me to where I am today...living in Israel, performing and teaching and teaching, recording and composing music that connects me with what is true. In the last few years I have also been privledged to learn and teach guided imagery, Shiatsu, and Qi Kung at Elima, the school of alternative medicine here in our Yishuv, Or HaGanuz. "Harpu U'du....Relax and Know" is bringing it all together, songs that have a deeply relaxing effect on me and other listeners. It has elements of improvisation, interesting instruments like an African harp, and my flute playing, which is a totally new gift that Hashem opened up for me in the last year. Another new wonder is my recording studio, which, thanks to help and encouragement from my Chevruta and guardian angel Sheva Chaya, started to open up in the last year. This music was recorded by me at home: a totally different, free, open and dynamic way to create.

Sweet friends, this is just the beginning. I hope I will be able to share more with you, more music, Torahs, and little windows into my world. I want to use this space to share music as it is being created; new songs as they are being born, unfinished but very alive recordings that won't be published to disc.
I also have a new music video!
I'm sure you will help me keep this music and video just for women and girls. It is a delicate dance to be a creative musician, dancer and singer, opening up this expression to get to all the women who it will inspire, and praying that it will reach the right ears and eyes.
Lots of love and lets stay in touch,
Tziona Achishena