Based in Sydney, the six-piece ensemble Chaika take their name from the Bulgarian word for ‘seagull’. They create a beguiling and original sound-world, blending 4 female voices with Clarinet, Violin, Piano, Accordion, Double-Bass, Guitar and Percussion.
Chaika draws influence from folk traditions, jazz and classical music. Described as ‘cinematic, deeply touching and meditative’, as well as ‘exuberant, virtuosic and uplifting’, Chaika’s strength is the elusiveness of their style.
This is their second independent album release, which explores a rich collection of both traditional and original compositions.
From the quiet intensity of the title track 'I Monti' (Italian for The Mountains), to the frenetic virtuosity of 'Vreme Senvic', this album leaves no atmosphere unturned. Jazz mingles with Russian song throughout 'In My Garden at Night' and acapella numbers in Bulgarian and Hebrew are juxtaposed with the pensive instrumentals of 'Cedar' and grooviness of traditional Romani tune 'Opa Tsupa'. The languages featured are Bulgarian, Hebrew, Italian, Romani and English, all sung in a variety of ways ranging from sublime solos to 6 part harmonies.
Like their namesake, Chaika gently wander through foreign lands, through storms and through stories, emerging rich with experience and an enchanting tale to tell.
‘Beautiful! I love the way your pieces often abruptly shift gears, and how the textures change - how we're bopping along with an instrumental when suddenly we're into four-part female vocals… Most of all I love the soul with which you imbue your pieces’
- Martin Wesley-Smith (Australian composer)
‘Clarinet, accordion, violin & double bass all intertwine diversely & at times unpredictably giving Chaika a rich depth. … such a young & talented group of musicians’ – Eastside Radio, Sydney
Emily-Rose Sarkova: Accordion, Piano, Vocals
Laura Bishop: Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Accordion
Susie Bishop: Violin, Vocals, Guitar
Laura Altman: Clarinet, Vocals
Johan Delin: Double Bass, Vocals
Rendra Freestone: Percussion, Vocals, Guitar.