Bagel on the Malecon

July 9, 2006 12:03 AM

A very New York-bred outlook at old-time Cuban music, recorded entirely with .. violas! This was my attempt to create asymmetrical but memorable melodies, clear textures crammed with material, and experiment with multitrack viola as a concept, an ensemble. The sound of the classic Cuban bands had all that - except the violas, that is. This track appears on my newly released CD, the VJOLA: WORLD ON FOUR STRINGS

posted by barmaljova (19 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

Great stuff!
posted by soplerfo at 6:23 AM on July 9, 2006

yes, that's very much like the old time cuban music ... very good
posted by pyramid termite at 8:30 AM on July 9, 2006

Very nice.
posted by muddgirl at 9:18 AM on July 9, 2006

Wow, I really like that.
posted by jayder at 10:48 AM on July 9, 2006

Fantastic stuff, thanks.
posted by edlundart at 2:48 PM on July 9, 2006

That's gorgeous.
posted by thivaia at 10:00 PM on July 9, 2006

Viva las violas! I love the staccato work. Was that actually some strumming towards the end? I haven't heard anything quite like that before. Bravo!
posted by snsranch at 5:00 PM on July 10, 2006

Can anyone reccomend music similar to this?
posted by nervestaple at 5:02 PM on July 10, 2006

There are other tracks on my album VJOLA similar to this (e.g. Ori's Fearful Symmetry, Plume, Seltzer Do I Drink Too Much?, Crosstown, etc etc), so check it out if you like this track!

And other groups in somewhat similar vein are: Tin Hat Trio and Kroke (among many others, these are just my favorite).

Also, if you want to get back to the traditional music which gave inspiration to this particular track, check out the old Cuban masters, like Beny More, or newer recordings by Buena Vista Social Club, and Afro-Cuban All-Stars.
posted by barmaljova at 5:32 PM on July 10, 2006

posted by chococat at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2006

simply beautiful
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:43 AM on July 12, 2006

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:26 PM on July 15, 2006

For fans of this track - the album on which this track appears just got a great Billboard review! Here it is:

An album of solo viola music doesn't usually grab the spotlight. However, this self-released debut recording from 28-year-old Russian-born Lev Zhurbin (aka Ljova), one of New York's fastest-rising composers and instrumentalists, is something special. Using his rich-voiced viola as his multitracked and quick-witted medium, Ljova weaves together diverse elements from around the world to create surprising, yet organic textures in mostly original material (save Björk's "Army of Me" and a traditional Romanian tune). From the honky-tonk drawl of "Coffee & Rum" to the Cuban son of "Bagel on the Malecon" to the Balkan slides of "Middle Village," Ljova continually delights. —Anastasia Tsioulcas
posted by barmaljova at 8:15 AM on July 17, 2006

Really rich and evocative - great phrasing.
posted by kellykessler at 8:02 AM on July 22, 2006

Truly terrific
posted by Miko at 1:43 PM on August 25, 2006

Amazing combination. I really like the way that sort of Caribbean rhythm works with bowed instruments. Keep 'em coming, yeah?
posted by micayetoca at 5:41 AM on August 26, 2006

This is one of my favorite songs... and not just on this site, either.
posted by empyrean at 12:38 AM on December 4, 2006

Wonderful! I love that old-timey Cuban music, and this captures the spirit perfectly.

(If I may ask: how come you spell it Ljova rather than Lyova, which would make more sense to English-speakers?)
posted by languagehat at 5:51 AM on February 17, 2007

thank you for your warm comments, everyone! here's a live performance of this tune on YouTube from Joe's Pub in New York (January '07):
posted by barmaljova at 6:10 PM on May 23, 2007

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