Jerusalem in My Heart originally began as a multimedia performance, with the visual aspects being equally as important as the music. JIMH currently consists of Jeremie Regnier, Malena Szlam Salazar and Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. Moumneh is well-known in Quebec’s music scene, and is a co-owner of Montreal’s legendary hotel2tango studio.
These details are important, because Mo7it Al-Mo7it exists on its own island in the Canadian music scene despite the deep connections of its creators. The songs shift between traditional acoustic instrumentation (courtesy of the buzuk, zurna, virginal and harp) and off-putting synthesizer-and-voice excursions. The sharp contrasts from track to track enhance the listener’s feeling of alienation; the bird sounds in “3andalib Al-Furat (Nightingale of the Euphrates)” and “Dam3et El-3ein 3 (Oh Tear of the Eye 3)” propose a pastoral paradise that simply cannot survive the electronic soundscapes of “Yudaghdegh El-Ra3ey Walal-Ghanam (He Titillates the Shepherd but not the Sheep…)” and “Ko7l El-3ein, 3emian El-3ein (Eyeliner of the Eye, Blindness of the Eye).”
I can appreciate Mo7it Al-Mo7it for its avant-garde elements, its pacing and its structure, but having been born white and in Canada, I can’t begin to understand its deeper stories and messages. But, even with a rudimentary grasp on the album’s inner workings, without ever having seen the 16mm film projections or the photographic portions of JIMH’s performances, Mo7it Al-Mo7it is an amazing album.
By John JuliusAB, Alberta