Among the many joys of having children is learning what a new generation appreciates. I’ve always been a music lover of all genres. Lately whenever I drive with either of my two medical school student 20 something sons, they enjoy listening to techno on their playlist. The first time I heard it I found it annoying and redundant. The second time I heard it I just found it redundant. Then after listening to it a third time in the car, I began to appreciate the nuances in the structure and certainly the rhythm. Clearly this is great dance music. Though I grew up as a relative purist playing both classical and rock guitar, computer-generated music might one day become dominant.
Why not use techno music liturgically? In many parts of the country, certainly the big cities, this is the favorite genre of music for the 20 and 30 somethings. This is what they’re listening to in the clubs while I am fast asleep. With its trancelike sound it would work particularly well with the mantras of Judaism: the Shema, the Barchu, and naturally repetitive songs like the Oseh shalom. A quick Google of Jewish techno music returns predominantly Orthodox material, a little of Matisyahu, and some poking fun of Judaism. I could not find any Reform Jewish music at the top of the Google list.
We are desperately trying to reach the often lost generation of Judaism: those from teenage years through the 30s. Why not try updating our Reform Jewish playlist to make worship a little more exciting. Cantors, songwriters, and musicians: can you create some liturgical techno? While you’re at it, can you write any new Jewish music at all for the High Holidays? There doesn’t seem to be much in the works and it is needed.