The soundtrack for the 1997 film “Raising the Ashes”. (Gary Malkin, 1997)
Raising the Ashes is a courageous documentary that documents a 5 day interfaith retreat at Auschwitz, organized and led by Zen Master Roshie Bernie Glassman. As 150 people from different religions and cultures around the world join together to explore the the deep wounds left in the very fabric of this painful place, it becomes clear that this atrocity is not only borne by the German people, but by all humanity. Ultimately, there is a healing that arises in all the participants, demonstrating that while we might never condone the horrific acts that were perpetrated on the Jews of Auschwitz, bearing witness allows us to come to recognize that each of us are capable of hurting others in meaningful ways, allowing the opportunity for some kind of compassion and inner peace in accepting the wrongs that we humans have inflicted on one another throughout time. Directed by actor Michael O’Keefe, the score – composed, orchestrated, and produced by Gary Malkin – utilizes a full orchestra, integrating ancient Hebraic themes combined with searing sound design elements to atmospherically reflect the suffering and complex feelings one must go through to achieve this hard-earned inner acceptance. This score is a cathartic experience for anyone wishing to awaken the ancient strains of the Jewish culture, with a poignant emotional tonality that cracks open the heart. The film was shown at the 1997 Mill Valley and AFI/ Los Angeles Film festivals.