In case you’re not the clubbing type, Girl Talk is an electro-mashup artist who’s quasi-illegal music takes samples from other people’s music and fuses it together with other samples, creating new and original art. An opening song from a Girl Talk set may include samples as far reaching as Black Sabbath, mixed with a hip hop dance beat and the horn blasts of a James Brown song.
Now, what do indie electro dance-rock composers have to do with Parshah Balak?
Well, it’s all about the Mashup.
Parshah Balak is really not so much about the character Balak, but about a prophet named Balaam. First sent to work his hoodoo evil spells on the Israelites, Balaam later is given a gift of prophecy by God and cannot speak evil.
Here’s where things get fun: in 1967, at Deir Alla, Jordan, archaeologists found an inscription with a story relating visions of the seer of the gods named Bala’am. This Bala’am is a little different than our Balaam, because of course, the Jordanian Balaam is not a prophet of YHVH, but he is connected with Ashtar.
The Biblical writers who read the Balaam story may have, like Girl Talk, done some creative sampling, remixing and rethinking the structure of art to make it an all together new experience.
The question is: which story are you going to dance to?