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Composed by The Vaad
Performed by Benjamin Kaplan and Paul Wexler

Inspired by the Jack Youngerman sculpture

Samarkand is place on the Silk Road, centrally located between China and the West. It is also known as a center for islamic studies. The artist Jack Youngerman is Jewish. I was taken by the collision of what these cultures represent and, of course, sound like.

At its root, my interpretation of Samarkand is inspired by the Islamic call to prayer, Adhan, but is filtered through Youngerman’s Jewish heritage. The melody is rooted in the harmonic minor, which is distinctly Middle Eastern and wafts playfully over the synth bed in unusually (for me) long phrases. The choice of the clarinet, plays on that heritage, by giving the melody a very Klezmer inflection.

-Benjamin Kaplan
St. Louis, 2014


from 38​.​627​,​-​90​.​194, released July 1, 2014
Composed by The Vaad
Performed by Benjamin Kaplan and Paul Wexler



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Commonwealth St Louis, Missouri

Commonwealth, founded by artists Benjamin Kaplan and Chris Grabau and, “is an approach to making art that comes in response to our surroundings,” says Grabau. Kaplan adds, “St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods, both geographically and psychologically. We live in our neighborhoods. And we see Commonwealth as a way to expand that neighborhood.” ... more

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