Musical director and independent rock musician, Ruvane Kurland
By Barbara A. Topolosky
Congregants at Temple Israel know Ruvane Kurland as their musical director. He leads the musical part of the service and oversees all the musical activities within the temple.
What they may not know is that Kurland has a second career as a secular artist. Since the age of seventeen, he has spent time touring the United States as an independent rock musician. He has produced six CDs of his original music.
He’s even been featured on a documentary called, “Ruvane Kurland Live from the Midwest.”
WGN, an American cable station based out of Chicago, used one of his songs for the reality show, “Around the World for Free.”
Last summer he released his fifth studio album, “Life in 360°.” “It’s the album I’m most proud of. Some of the featured artists include Jimi “Jazz” Prescott who played bass for G. Love and Special Sauce. A featured artists is Brian Fechino from the Pat McGee Band. There are Ohio musicians featured including Marc Rossio,” said Kurland.
This January, he released a downloaded version of live tracks from the past year-and-a-half of touring. You can download this album entitled “LIVE” on online media outlets iTunes and Amazon.com.
“No CDs were pressed for this album. It’s important how my touring is affecting the planet. There are environmental implications on how music is released,” he explained.
Kurland describes himself as an acoustic songwriter. During his live performances he uses a method he calls “Acoustiloop.” While performing in front of the audience, he uses a group of effects pedals. He records the sounds of the acoustic guitar, voice and hand percussion to create the sounds for the loop.
“I don’t used a drum track or other electronic instruments because it is too predictable or Karaoke-ish. When you create live in front of the audience there is unpredictability with that,” he said.
Recently Kurland decided to add the sound of the electric guitar to his music. He researched electric guitars and had two custom-built for him. Since musicians commonly name their guitars, he decided to acknowledge his Judaism by giving them Hebrew names. He named one shoshanah and the other has an orange and yellow burst on the body, so he named it Aish-which means fire in Hebrew.
He is always looking for ways to set himself apart from other independent musicians. “Last year I released an MP3 player loaded with my music. People were able to take it out of the case, put on the headphones, and then they were ready to rock and roll,” said Kurland.
This spring Kurland is buying a convertible and wrapping it with sponsor logos and information. He plans to drive it in holiday parades. He sees this a way to get out in the community and raise awareness of his music.
Some of his current sponsors include Dream Seats, Evolved, White Castle, Vidsonix, and Sarah B. at Phia Salon.
“The way I connect with my audience is my performances is more important than any single song. If you don’t create a certain mood for your listener, then you’ll be forgettable. I work hard at creating moments for my audience at my shows that they’ll fondly remember,” said Kurland.
Kurland is married to Naomi, and they have a little boy, Lyric.
If you want more information about Kurland, visit his Web site at www.ruvanekurland.com.