“There are times when you want to show the flag, when you want to indicate that there is nourishment to be had from this culture” Leonard Cohen Explains Why He Chose Shaar Hashomayim Choir To Sing On You Want It Darker

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Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue – Montreal (about 1910-11)

We can hear the voices of the choir of the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue of Montreal, why did you choose them? 

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Even as a boy I loved their singing. It is what made compulsory synagogue attendance enjoyable. I’ve wanted to work with the cantor and the choir for a long time. The touring years interrupted this intention. On a secondary but still urgent note, there are times when you want to show the flag, when you want to indicate that there is nourishment to be had from this culture, that it is not entirely irrelevant to the present situation, that it does not serve a nation’s best interests to reject and despise it. This is more important in some countries than in others.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Le Dernier Empereur by J.D. Beauvallet and Pierre Siankowski (Les Inrocks: Oct 19, 2016) [From original questionnaire (in English) forwarded to me by Leonard Cohen]

2 Replies to ““There are times when you want to show the flag, when you want to indicate that there is nourishment to be had from this culture” Leonard Cohen Explains Why He Chose Shaar Hashomayim Choir To Sing On You Want It Darker”

  1. John Willison

    I first purchased Leonard Cohen’s first album back in 1968 – I was 21. Since then I have purchased all of his albums in vinyl, tape and now CD form. I have been fortunate to see him in concert three times, twice at The O2 and once in Brighton. I admire this man above others – with Bob Dylan being up there with him. People which say his songs are miserable just don’t understand his irony. His songs are beautiful and I’ve been fortunate enough – now at 69 years of age, to convert my current girlfriend and previous lovers to his beauty. A great man who will live for ever through his songs. A poet !!!
    Thank you Leonard.

  2. Andrea Sadler

    So long, Leonard Cohen. You chose a fitting time to cross over the rainbow with this great wind of change sweeping the world. I remember sitting on my father’s knee while listening to your records with my dad when I was 7 years old. I played and sang your songs on my guitar since I was 9. I poured over all your poetry through my years of teen anxiety and listened to your songs in my friend Anna’s play on Blvd St. Laurent. I’ll never forget the magic of having brunch with you in Westmount with Hazel Field, Peter Collie, Howard and Ramona Reitman. You always charmed and seduced us with your deep timber poetic voice and soulful insights. You touched us to our marrow and made an impression. I feel honored that the last time I saw you was when I was meditating in your meditation center at the corner of Rue St Dominique, right next to my apartment. At the end of the meditation, I opened my eyes and there you were directly in front of me. You had slipped in silently without my awareness. Sitting with eyes closed, in Lotus position, gone were your dark locks and deep gaze, you were no longer Leonard Cohen. You appeared as Buddha and I knew we communed. Namaste. I have Gratitude for you being a part of my soul’s awakening. Thank you and Hallelujah for your existence.