Like the members of OneFamily, musician Tal Ramon knows what it means to lose loved ones to tragedy. His father, Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first heroic astronaut, was killed in 2003 when his space shuttle exploded upon returning to earth. And in 2009, Tal’s brother Asaf, an outstanding pilot in the Israeli Air Force, was killed in a training accident.
The process of coping with loss is the foundation of Tal’s music, making him an ideal person to lead an intimate music workshop at the OneFamily Camp for youth.
“It was a privilege to meet with the children from OneFamily. Personally I was thrilled to tell my story through the music, and even more, to meet these amazing kids,” he said, adding that he did not think twice when asked to come and run the workshop.
The appreciation was clearly mutual, judging by the reaction of the 30 kids participating in the workshop.
“I noticed they were deeply moved and were undergoing a deep process with each other,” he continued. “It touched my heart to see them in such a giving and receiving environment. It gave me a feeling of the beauty that lives within Israeli society, that we are for each other and have such empathy and connection.”
Tal, who carries with him a deep legacy, is an incredibly modest and approachable young man, who has carved a path for himself as an aspiring musician whose music tells his story.
Tal Ramon chats with campers at the OneFamily Camp after his music workshop/musical performance.
During his performance, Tal told the kids that his piano belonged to his late father, Ilan, purchased in 1974 with the first paycheck Ilan ever earned. It originally came from Germany. Ilan was the son of a piano teacher who survived Auschwitz, so to Ilan and Tal, it represented the survival of the Jewish people.
On that note, Tal is creating new music in the Jewish homeland. His new album, Dmut – Character – deals with the pain of losing both his father and brother and is dedicated to both of them. His songs tell his story of loss and survival.
“My music tells my story, but also give a space for each person to find themselves in the songs’ meanings.” Tal said. “It took me a long time to share my story. The songs were written from an inner place that called out, now I want to tell my story—a story in which loss prevails but that is also inspired by other feelings.
“I called the album Dmut because it also means character in English. It’s a journey into how my own character has developed. The discovery began in private as a coping mechanism and an attempt to rebuild myself.”
At OneFamily, Tal shared advice that his mother, Rona, gave him to cope with his loss. She told Tal not to question “why me?” But rather to ask “for what” did this happen – what was the good that could come from the suffering. He said the advice helped him grow through difficult circumstance.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a song called “Dear Friend/ Hever Yakar.” Tal encouraged the teens to join him and clap to the rhythm and create a special energy in the room. Tal also performed John Lennon’s classic, Imagine. He said his father encouraged him to believe in a world without borders – that nothing should be off limits.
After the performance Yuli Luft, 17 from Emek Hefer and Noy Mekonen, 17 of Beit Shean, said they were moved by the way the music connected each person in the room through a shared experience of loss.
The teenagers in the room also connected with Tal’s struggle coping with the fact that his private grief losing his father was also shared national grief for Israel. During a question and answer session with the teens, he spoke of the therapeutic qualities in music and advised the teens to listen to his songs to find their own meaning in them.
Check out Tal’s brilliant and meaningful album Dmut, here: