“I hardly ever read one book at a time. I usually have a stack of books on my nightstand, some in preparation for a course and others for fun. Currently I am reading two books: ‘Aboriginal Music: Cross-Cultural Experiences from South Australia’ by Catherine J. Ellis, and, because linguistics and etymology are a serious hobby of mine, ‘The Origin of Speeches’ by Isaac E. Mozeson.
Ellis’ book is an introduction to multiculturalism in Australian society, first peoples’ musical traditions, and their interaction with Western concepts. The book discusses the master-disciple teaching method — a long-lost practice in the West, but still very much alive among indigenous inhabitants. Since my own music as a composer is often influenced by a variety of folk traditions, I find myself captivated by the complex and spiritual concept of ‘songlines” — or ‘dreaming tracks’ — which is unique to indigenous Australians.”
The second book Ofer Ben-Amots is reading is Isaac Mozeson’s “The Origin of Speeches.” Says Ben-Amots, “this is for me an enjoyable and edifying read, which explores the idea of common source to many languages and demonstrates with numerous examples how words have derived from other words across cultures and continents. Delving into the metamorphosis of words while knowing that they could be drawn to the same source is fascinating and most humbling. It shows that at the core, we, humans, are not only equal but also interconnected. Ultimately this knowledge helps me define my own compositional language within a multitude of musical styles and techniques.”