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Yishai Sweartz and Mona Mur Release Their LP ‘Clouds of War’

Yishai Sweartz (Tomorrow’s Rain) from Tel Aviv and Mona Mur from Berlin culminates in the creation of Clouds of War LP.

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Yishai Sweartz and Mona Mur, photo courtesy of artists
Yishai Sweartz and Mona Mur, photo courtesy of artists

Collaborative work by renowned musicians Yishai Sweartz (Tomorrow’s Rain) from Tel Aviv and Mona Mur from Berlin culminates in creating Clouds of War LP. Inspired by the life and diary of Yishai Sweartz’s grandfather, WW2 Partisan Moshe Szniecki, this project intertwines evocative spoken word and captivating experimental arrangements.

Reflecting on the project’s genesis, Yishai shares, “The idea for Clouds of War began with the profound stories recounted in my grandfather’s diary. During World War II, 17-year-old Moshe Szniecki left his hometown when all other members of his family were murdered by Nazi hordes. In the depths of the Belarusian forests, Moshe joined a Partisan group and fought boldly.” Guided by what he called ‘The Codes of the Woods,’ Moshe survived. “He made it to Israel, married, and had a family with his wife Hanna and two daughters. He died peacefully at 94, at ease with himself. He survived,” elaborates Yishai.

“The ‘Codes of the Woods’ were Moshe’s survival principle,” notes Yishai. In the summer of 2021, a creative synergy sparked between Mona Mur and Yishai Sweartz. “Simultaneously translated into English, these texts of great directness and stunning consequence were recorded on a smartphone and sent to Mona Mur in her Berlin studio KATANA. Mona used these recordings as core material, their rough quality and darkly intense attitude being an advantage.” Creating layers of other voices, Mona Mur incorporated her well-recognizable musical elements into the compositional structure of the record. Adding self-designed sounds, guitar work and signature electronics.

“To me, music is a sacred art form. You can transmit and connect on a level of empathy. Violence, cruelty, greed, ego, hate, contempt, hostility dissolve for a fleeting moment that still might change things profoundly.” – explains Mona Mur reflecting on the conceptual side of the collaboration that lead to the release of Clouds of War.

“What is the right look at the atrocities of war, holocaust, genocide? Moshe Shnitzki, 17 years old, had to transform in a split second, in order to survive, from a pious teenage boy into a warrior. Fight back or die, head into the deep dark forest, leave a civilization that failed to rise up to its proper meaning. And survive. How does that feel, how does that sound? This is what Clouds of War is about.”

As the production developed further, singer Anja Huwe, known for her work with X-mal Deutschland, brought her distinctive voice and artistic insight to Moshe’s story in her musical solo album. “One beautiful spoken word piece of hers enlightens the pitch-black clouds cycle like a faint ray of spring in the darkest of times,” describes Yishai.

Yishai Sweartz & Mona Mur Release ‘Clouds of War’ album artwork

Yishai Sweartz & Mona Mur Release ‘Clouds of War’ album artwork

Lover of all things music, Vanessa De La Rosa has been involved in the music scene most of her life in different capacities. All genres welcome, she is a past master in the art of "nerding-out" with music, and is excited to explore that passion by sharing the stories of artists everywhere. Fan of: Festivals, gear, music production, all genres, supporting artists, concerts, and merch!

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