Ayelet formed the band “Dream Keepers” in May of 2021, featuring the prolific guitarist Bernard Falaise, contrabassist and producer Stéphane Diamantakiou, and virtuoso percussionist Hamin Honari. The four joined forces to perform at Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville (FIMAV). Theirs was the first live concert in Quebec following the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
Musicworks magazine wrote of our concert: “It must be noted that Gottlieb’s group was the most pleasant surprise of the festival; her stunning new compositions were played with gusto by a dream band featuring some of Quebec’s finest instrumentalists.”
In 2023, Dream Keepers were the recipients of a Research Grant from Canada Arts Council. They spent 2023 developing their unique sound – drawing on Persian rhythms, avant-garde, rock-inspired guitar, and Jazz infused voice and contrabass , and composed a full set of new music (13 compositions), to which Ayelet chose poetry to accompany the music.
This is a multicultural and multilingual group that seamlessly combines musical languages, world rhythms, and different improvisation traditions. It blends the acoustic sounds of Stéphane’s contrabass and Hamin’s Persian hand-drums with harsh electronics provided by Bernard, and Ayelet’s voice soaring above, singing in seven languages.
The group’s name is based on the poem “The Dream Keeper” by Langston Hughes which reads:
“Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all of your
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”
The first piece we performed and rehearsed was my composition based on these words.
Our choice to use poetry stems from our belief that poetry can leverage artists to create great music. In this project, the band performs music set to words by Victor Hugo, Dorian Laux, Almog Behar, Pablo Neruda and more… They explore universal themes, some ancient and some contemporary, presenting music in a manner that honors traditions and all the while allows for a sound that is completely new, reflecting on current, cutting-edge musical disciplines.
Ayelet sings a blend of jazz, middle-eastern and contemporary music, coming from a cultural background covering six different languages: Hebrew, English, French, Arabic, Ladino and Yiddish. The members in the ensemble have distant and near family connections in Persia, Balochistan, Canada, Greece, Spain, France, Kurdistan, Iraq, Palestine-Israel, Poland, Russia and Switzerland. Each language and country-of-origin has a rich history with poetry that provides a looking glass reflecting a different time and place.
It is one of Ayelet’s great passions to keep a connection to her personal heritage through the music she makes. In this project she sings in her six ancestral languages, as well as Hamin reciting in Farsi. This feels like the right time in global history to present such a project. Ayelet’s country of origin is at war. It feels as though hope is scarce and distant. This collaboration, this collection of songs presents a window into an alternate, possible reality, in which cultures can co-exist and actually inspire and uplift one another, as as beautifully expressed in a poem by Aurora Levin Morales composed by Stéphane Diamantakiou –
“There are no peacekeepers boarding planes
There are no leaders who dare to say
Every life is precious
So it will have to be us.”