The commercial release of the music album Silent Prayer – an all-female collaboration of local musicians – has provided ample performance opportunities for Glen Eira women, says composer Rivka Leah Cylich.
“In the middle of the night, this tune just came to me,” explains Rivka Leah Cylich, a Glen Eira musician and composer.
“Over the next few days, this song called Silent Prayer just evolved.”
Little did Cylich know that this midnight inspiration would soon develop into a ten track album under the title of that original song.
But this was more than just a personal journey, explains Cylich, who soon realised that her music could open doors for women in her community, particularly observant Jewish women who are culturally disinclined to perform in front of men according to orthodox Jewish law.
“The point of these laws is not to stop us expressing ourselves; [they are] about creating a space for it – a different arena,” Cylich explains.
“This album is, basically, our opportunity for that.”
After consulting with an array of local female musicians and performers, Silent Prayer was recorded and launched at a sell-out concert for an exclusively female audience at St Martins Youth Arts Centre.
Tell the Sun to Rise (Sample). A sample of one of the tracks from the album Silent Prayer. Music by Rivka Leah Cylich. The artist has requested that this track be exclusively listened to by women and girls. Please respect her wishes.
“It meant the world to me to finally have the opportunity to record a song in a professional environment; something I have dreamed about for many years”, related Carmella Lewis who provided vocals for several tracks on the album.
“Sharing this experience with fellow musicians from my community was a fulfilling experience… I have something to be so proud of.”
Music producer and composer Robyn Payne expressed her excitement to see women who had never had their voices heard in public become known within the Glen Eira community.
“It actually gave them a voice,” she said.
Payne, who has more than 20 years experience in the music industry, also described the significance of the all-female production of the album in a male dominated industry.
“It is great to see women producing something of this calibre – nearly all of what we see and hear commercially is produced and performed by men.”
Although Cylich admits her initial concerns about attendance at the concert launching Silent Prayer, the sold-out audience and overwhelmingly positive reception of the album has inspired her to begin writing music for a second album.
“People…weren’t asking me ‘Are we going to have another concert?’; they said ‘For next year…’ – it’s not even a question,’ she said.
“I hope [this album] will open doors for this to happen again.”