Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz
Crossing Boundaries of Language, Culture, and Style
 More of this Feature
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part One
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Two
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Three
• Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Four
  Related Resources
• Jewish/Israeli
• Quebec
• World Fusion
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Jeszcze Raz (official site from Les Disques Audiogram)

Paul Kunigis Inside World Music: What does Jeszcze Raz mean?

Paul Kunigis: It means "once more." It's basically a sentence that the Polish people use in their Happy Birthday song, but instead of singing "Happy birthday, happy birthday," we sing "once more, once more; a hundred years, a hundred years; once more, once more," lots of health and stuff like that.

Inside World Music: On Balagane there are several songs about the Middle East and politics, but also about life in general and more light-hearted themes. What were your goals for the album Balagane, and what sorts of messages did you want to communicate?

Paul Kunigis: When I first started I really didn't have any goal in particular; I don't believe I'm a preacher. I think what I wanted to demonstrate really is that language should not be a barrier, number one, not just in terms of message we want to convey to somebody. On the other hand, and that's a paradox I suppose, it's so people know that there are two language in that region - Arab and Hebrew - and that most Israelis speak Arab and most Arabs speak Hebrew, because I had the feeling that some people just thought that it was really two separate worlds, but it's not. In terms of politics - I didn't give an opinion; I just gave an observation. I didn't want to preach; I didn't want to give anybody any moral lessons or anything like that. Actually, my complaint is more with G-d than with the people, since we all believe in the same G-d then it seems to me that recently He's been deaf.

Inside World Music: It's very interesting that you mention that, because in the song "Balagane" itself you're asking G-d the question, "why is this happening?" and I believe G-d is also addressed in a few other songs as well . . .

Paul Kunigis: That was intentional - I didn't want people to think that I'm taking either one side or the other side, or whatever - I'm not taking any sides; I think everybody has their reasons. But on the other hand, where is G-d? Since they're all fighting in the name of G-d. I don't know, if somebody was fighting in my name, if I had a woman fighting for me, I think I would acknowledge it at least.

The other thing Balagane is, is the passage of life. We all go through hell; we all go through a mess in our life occasionally and the light-hearted stories is to just realize that evening the darkest moments there is a ray of hope or a light that forces us as human beings to go on.

Next page > Paul Kunigis & Jeszcze Raz: Part Three >