“I love not typical,” says Yossi, noting that there are already dozens of versions of the song
Although YOSSI MULLER was the composer of the song “RIBOIN,” he was surprised when he heard it on Beri Weber’s One Heart (Agudah Achas) album.
“Eli Lax, Beri’s producer, was in town, and he arranged for us three to meet,” says Muller, a talented musician who, in addition to having composed quite a few contemporary hits, is also a Lakewood-based nutritionist. “I played them a few songs, and they liked ‘Riboin’ the best. But after giving them the song, I had nothing to do with it, so I didn’t know what the finished product would sound like. Actually, I didn’t even know when they were going to use it. It was a total surprise when I played the album and heard ‘Riboin.’ Honestly, when I composed the song, I didn’t expect it to become a hit, but when I heard the arrangements, Beri’s vocals, and Mendy Hershkowitz’s piano, I thought it stood a good chance.”
The opening notes “Ri-boin-kol-ha-o-la-mim” start with a bit of a surprise — they fall instead of rise, an effect that is a bit haunting. The usual leap up the music scales from the low part to the high part is missing, and instead, the high part — “ki al rachamecha harabim” — is only slightly above the low.
“I love not typical,” says Yossi, noting that there are already dozens of versions of the song on studio albums and online, with each singer providing his own twist and expression. He had originally been tempted to adapt the tune to fit a more familiar pattern for popular frum songs, but is now glad that he stuck to his original inspiration.
While almost all composers grapple with the difficulty of remembering tunes that come to them on Shabbos or Yom Tov, one of Muller’s musical gifts is his memory. He can recall tunes easily “even if they come to me on the first day of a three-day Yom Tov.” Then there are songs that come to him in dreams. The first time this happened, he only realized later that the song he had dreamed of had been his own original composition. Now he’s on guard, but remembering tunes from a dream isn’t easy.
Muller actually credits the advice of his business coach for the fact that he’s recently gotten more serious about composing. As a licensed nutritionist who sees hundreds of clients weekly, he needs to offer creative approaches to serve clients’ individual needs — and composing flexes those creativity muscles, boosting his success in coaching his clients with flexibility and innovation.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 882)