“After many years of performing these works in recitals, we wanted to record them—not as two separate sets but as a confluence of dance-inspired music influenced by two distinct regions and cultures. We chose to travel back and forth between duo and solo, interweaving Balkan dances and tango nuevo in the way we have done in live performances. During the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues at the time we write these words, we’ve repeatedly found ourselves performing for audiences virtually, separated from one another by the computer screen and yet connected to one another by that same screen. In recording this audio CD we sought to bring some of the live concert experience to the listener. The track order, tempos, pacing between selections, the improvisatory nature of some of the phrasing, dynamics, articulations, and embellishments, were elements in our process that we felt could contribute to providing some of the live concert feeling that we’ve all been missing during periods of lockdown.
This music is especially close to each of us: The tangos were composed for me (Zachary) to play, and like the sonatas of the Italian violinist-composers of the Baroque Era, these compositions provide an environment for exploration, an invitation to embrace improvisation as part of the process. As a classical violinist who utilizes improvisation as part of violin study and as a means to develop a particular relationship to a musical score, I feel a closeness to music that is structured in a way as to invite a particular type of partnership with the musician studying and performing the work.
The Balkan Dances are a musical reflection of the cultural influences in my (Mina’s) childhood, in what was then Yugoslavia. Certain rhythms, melodic fragments, and harmonic progressions conjure visceral memories from traveling throughout the rich cultural landscapes across the region, and of singing and dancing traditional songs in several dialects as a child and music student. My mother helped with analysis of the musical material thanks to her extensive performances of Balkan folk music as a singer and player of the traditional recorders, and her many musical collaborations across all the regions of former Yugoslavia.”
-Mina Gajić (piano) & Zachary Carrettin (violin)
Total time: 00:40:00
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||April 22, 2022|
Simply outstanding! This collection of Balkan Dances and Tango Nuevo is bound by the folk traditions from which the music derives. Brought together from a continent apart, these folk music traditions complement each other with an earthy brilliance that is both engaging and pure delight. (…) The recording was made in Sono Luminus’ acoustically delightful recording studio in the old church which they acquired in Boyce, Virginia. Recording engineer Daniel Shores again works his magic to recreate the very compelling sense of a live performance to which we’ve been invited to sit in the optimal audience seat. Highly recommended all around.
Midwest Record Review
A highly dynamic piano/violin duo, they raise the roof on a set of tangos and Balkan dances that is purely non-pareil. A killer recital that goes the extra mile, Piazzolla would be doubly proud of what they do here since the tangos they focus on were written by a cat not even born until 1975.
Purely hot stuff.
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