collaboration with
CinéVersoix and Ecole & Quartier
A wonderful selection of some of the earliest
black and white silent Jewish films from Ukraine and Russia
accompanied by

The Sound & Light Cinematic Duo

The Sound & Light Cinematic Duo

in the newspapers : Tribune de Genève 20-21.05.2006
Le Courrier 19.05.2006

Merlin SHEPHERD: clarinet, bass-clarinet
Polina SHEPHERD: piano

Sunday 21st May 2006 at 6 pm
Aula from Collège des Colombières
route de St-Loup in Versoix


The Yuri Morozov archive (Kiev) contains some of the earliest cinematic representations of east European Jewish communities and more. Black and white silent films as early as 1910 depict the Jews of Ukraine and their daily lives in both narrative and documentary forms. The films cover many aspects of Jewish interest, from Biblical times to modern life at the beginning of the Soviet Era. Many of these films have never been seen outside of Ukraine and some have not been screened for over 80 years.

Performing as Jewish musicians would have done in the early days of cinema, Merlin and Polina play Jewish music to accompany these silent films. Their playing acts as the perfect foil for these amazing historic documents. With their deep training, musical experience and by using tradition musical pieces and stylistically accurate new compositions, these films are magically brought back to life almost a century after their first screenings.

Merlin and Polina Shepherd represent two nations although their families come from very close geographical locations. At the end of the 19th century, Merlin's great-grandparents emigrated from Ukraine and Romania to escape pogroms and seek a better world in the west. Polina's grandparents escaped from the Sho'ah (Holocaust) by fleeing from Kiev/Odessa to Siberia. The different and yet vital sustenance of his western Jewish upbringing and her eastern one have brought them to a unique closeness in musical, creative and spiritual terms.

By transportation backwards in time with this historically accurate visual and aural experience, these two world class musicians bring their audiences forward to a deeper understanding of former and present day "Yiddishkeit".

Pour tous renseignements ou réservations :

Catherine Tacchini-Demolis 13 rue Hoffmann CH-1209 GENÈVE +4122 / 734.71.93