Matt Haimovitz launches new album and tour
Goulash!-a stewing pot infused by the musical imagination of BÃ©la BartÃ³k
A global embrace, a collaborative effort
Following his 50-State Anthem tour - bringing the music of living American composers to all corners of the US - trailblazing cellist Matt Haimovitz crosses the border and expands his timbral palette with Goulash!, a new collaborative album and extensive North American tour. Celebrating BartÃ³k's fascination with the folk music of Transylvania, Hungary, Romania, and Turkey, Haimovitz delves into his own Romanian/Middle Eastern ancestry to create a sonic tapestry that bridges genres, geographic distances, and cultures. Collaborating with musical heavyweights including legendary guitarist John McLaughlin and cutting-edge turntablist DJ Olive and up-and-coming talents such as Montreal's early Mediterranean/contemporary music ensemble, Constantinople, and Haimovitz's newly founded cello band, UCCELLO, Haimovitz explores layers of his musicianship as soloist, improviser, ensemble leader and collaborator.
On the Goulash! tour
Beginning on September 30 at the Prism in Charlottesville, VA, Haimovitz will tour extensively through May 2006, bringing the music of Goulash! and its offshoots to many major musical centers in North America, such as Boston's Celebrity Series and Chicago's Fitzgerald's night club, as well as venues off the beaten path, such as the legendary Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC, a town in which BartÃ³k lived for months, recuperating from various ailments. On the Goulash! tour, Haimovitz will be joined by an array of collaborators - UCCELLO, violinist Andy Simionescu, DJ Olive, Constantinople, and others - evolving a variety of combinations and culminating in a Goulash! extravaganza in NYC and a series of three performances in Montreal presented by CBC Radio and McGill University in March 2006. Alongside the music of Goulash!, tour repertoire will include Zoltan Kodaly's Solo Sonata, one of the cello's most virtuosic pieces, as well as Kodaly's Duo for Violin and cello and Bartok's Second String Quartet.
Goulash! the album
Launching its new relationship with Koch Entertainment Distribution, Oxingale Records is proud to release Goulash!, on September 20th 2005, a recording whose world-folk sensibility is immediately gripping, and each hearing is more rewarding than the last, revealing connections and parallels of melody, sound and texture on tracks as disparate as Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and BartÃ³k's First Rhapsody. On Goulash!, cellist Matt Haimovitz spreads his classical wings to embrace musics not easily mapped, arising from the classical mind, folk intuition and the improvisational gesture.
Sparking the fire under the Goulash! pot, Led Zeppelin's Eastern-tinged 1975 hit, Kashmir, opens the CD in a blazing 4-cello arrangement by Haimovitz and composer Luna Pearl Woolf, played by Haimovitz's new all-cello ensemble, UCCELLO, in its debut recording. In the vein of Haimovitz's infamous Hendrix Star-Spangled Banner, the cellos take on electric guitar, drum kit, string and horn sections, and the voice of Robert Plant.
The history of classical music is ripe with some of the greatest improvisers to have lived: J.S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, Franz Liszt, and BartÃ³k himself, among many others. Today, one must look outside the classical world for those who are taking musical improvisation in new directions. One of the most influential and revered of these innovators is guitarist John McLaughlin, oracle of the world and fusion genres. Haimovitz writes, "I've been privileged to know John for nearly twenty years. In this arrangement of the OraciÃ³n LucumÃ from Osvaldo Golijov's oratorio, La PasiÃ³n segÃºn San Marcos (St. Mark Passion) of 2000, John brings his legendary sound and musicality to the piece and contributes haunting solos that expand on the original form."
The eponymous track, Goulash, an improvisation by Haimovitz and cutting-edge turntablist DJ Olive, combines all the musical ingredients. Haimovitz writes, "Hooking up with DJ Olive in November 2004 on Ropeadope's New Music Seminar tour, I could relate instantly to the way he listens and responds. With his turntables, needles and laptop, headset balanced on one ear cueing ahead, the other free to hear the present moment, DJ Olive is the ideal chamber musician. We structured our improvisations on the tunes of BartÃ³k's Romanian Folk Dances. DJ Olive used LPs from his collection, and we supplemented BartÃ³k's field recordings. On Goulash, you can even hear a few seconds of BartÃ³k's own voice singing a Hungarian folk tune to his children." Preceding this musical rumination, UCCELLO plays the Romanian Folk Dances, of one of BartÃ³k's most famous and beloved compositions, in an evocative new 4-cello arrangement by Woolf.
BartÃ³k the composer is also featured in his popular First Rhapsody, played with gypsy abandon by Haimovitz and pianist Jean Marchand. BartÃ³k composed the virtuosic, folk-based First Rhapsody on his return to Hungary following his first major tour of the U.S. Popular with violinists, the Rhapsody is rarely recorded and performed on cello. Also on Goulash!, Haimovitz is joined by Romanian-born violinist Andy Simionescu in a suite of pieces from BartÃ³k's 44 Duos for Two Violins. And, using two Turkish folk tunes transcribed in the field by BartÃ³k, the 5-member Constantinople ensemble and Haimovitz arrange and improvise Menevse with one foot in performance practice and the other in new music.
Fans of Haimovitz's trademark solo playing will relish a definitive new recording of GyÃ¶rgy Ligeti's Sonata for Violoncello Solo. Fifteen years ago, Haimovitz made the world-premiere recording of Ligeti's important solo sonata, for the Deutsche Grammophon label, just days after the work's publication in 1990. For Goulash! Haimovitz commissioned one of Romania's most important living composers, Adrian Pop, to write a new piece for solo cello. Based on folk tunes from his native Transylvania and inspired by BartÃ³k, Pop has composed Gordun, a work of moving grace and unstoppable velocity.
In a time of struggle and amplifying discord between peoples and ideals, Goulash! refreshingly follows a personal voice and intuition, and celebrates musical ties that span across cultural differences.