Irari (Irina Mikhailova & Ira Stein) | Esquisses

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World: Eastern European World: Asian- Central Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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by Irari (Irina Mikhailova & Ira Stein)

Multi-talented vocalist Irina Mikhailova and pianist/ composer Ira Stein are joined by various instruments in haunting and sublime arrangements of beautiful Eastern European folk songs.
Genre: World: Eastern European
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Aj Mori
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6:24 $0.99
2. Winter Light
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6:56 $0.99
3. Peline
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5:27 $0.99
4. Chereshko
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3:31 $0.99
5. Shto Si Goro
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5:06 $0.99
6. Razvil
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4:20 $0.99
7. Gryoza
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9:45 $0.99
8. Dujnel
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5:55 $0.99
9. Cradle Song
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7:02 $0.99
10. Rado
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4:58 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
IRARI is the unique combination of multi-talented vocalist Irina Mikhailova and pianist/ composer Ira Stein playing haunting and sublime arrangements of ten beautiful Eastern European folk songs. Joined by a group of renowned and inspirational artists, including Paul McCandless on English horn, Dann Zinn on soprano and tenor sax, and Hans Christian on cello, IRARI weaves a sensual tapestry of landscapes and emotions with melodies that linger on and on in the ears of the listener.

Irina is a cross-pollinating vocalist, composer, and multi instrumentalist whose musical style reflects the rich traditions of Russia, the Middle East and Asia. Born into a family of professional musicians in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, Irina currently resides in San Francisco, California. Rich with the multi-ethnic sounds that surrounded her childhood, and the power and depth of her own soul, she lends her warm and other-worldly vocals to an eclectic range of music from classical to traditional, as well as electronic and other crossover genres. She has worked and recorded with an amazing cast of musicians, including Glen Velez, Hamza El Din, Paul McCandless of Oregon, and pop sensation Jewel.

Ira Stein's piano style is deeply rooted in classical music, and also inspired by such artists as Ralph Towner, with whom he studied at a young age. Having started recording at age 18 on Windham Hill Records, and then later with Narada, pianist Ira Stein is now exploring new worlds on his own with several intriguing collaborations. In addition to this album ESQUISSES with Irina, Stein has also released a live album of lyrical and elegant improvisations of Bach Chorales, called BACH IMPROVISATIONS, featuring himself on piano, along with soprano sax and cello.


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Stefano Krieger

The arrow released from Cupids bow set into motion!
What is a defining moment in life? Is it that special something you once purchased or even created out of imagination in your mind that changed your world for the better, made you redefine everything you once thought you knew?

Perhaps it was that day when you stood at an alter, hand in hand, eye to eye, making promises, being oh so in love, a time in your life that you would cherish and consider to be without hesitation, a moment that you could say defined you, made you a stronger person because of it.

These are questions I have asked myself countless times growing up these years, a time when I made life so complicated. In reality there had always been a simple explanation.

Are you ready and willing to believe in something new? Are you ready to experience life as the butterflies we were all meant to be, those who step outside the boundaries of our radio induced beat box of modern media and into a world filled with measures gift wrapped lovingly along ledger lines into notes singing surprises?

If all this so intrigues you, then I ask you so graciously from my heart to make space in your life, for just one more note. Leave open a place in your heart for the magic that is the music of IRARI. It is a place of no regrets, a place to inspire, a place to explore the meaning of love, songs reaching out to you.

Esquisses, the title of the CD, is an album without doubt that heals hearts. It is the arrow released from cupids bow set into motion by vocalist Irina Mikhailova and her always eternal and scintillating voice. She is committed and absorbed, connected in spirit to these lovely Piano arrangements, the dancing keys of Ira Stein.

It is difficult to believe that this CD once began fundamentally as an idea, a foundation without a building to house their soon to be rising empire of incredibly beautiful melodies. It was only but a matter of time until all the pieces where to be put into place.

IRARI is a model of structure, a testament to Irina, a truly remarkable musician and woman sharing an incredibly compelling and romantic journey of songs with you, songs gripping your heart with compassion and longing. Long after the music has ended, the experience remains; stars on a starry night.

The utmost care has been given to each song, preserving the integrity and original flavor of the songs. Not one instrument was sampled. Consider this CD to be the likes of a fine wine that has matured, become more desirable, revered for its richness and quality. This is precisely what they have achieved. The cork is out of the bottle.

The key moments of this CD will always revolve around the singing, the celestial energy of Irina and the accompaniment of Ira. In essence they are the center of the album, while never crowding the composition leaving the arrangements open for interpretation.

I cannot say enough about the magic of Irina and her voice, it needs to be experienced and heard to fully appreciate and comprehend the brilliance and beauty of it. It is a translucent dream, dreaming so beautiful, a sensational and oh so sensual ballet of incredibly lovely notes that demands ones fullest attention as she layers and harmonizes. The strength and tenderness of her voice rivets me.

Irina brings depth to any platform of music that she feels compelled to bless us with. The instruments, the performers that she brings into her arrangements and compositions, they are in essence her children, she believes in them, trusts them, knows exactly what she is thinking musically.

John Loose, Dann Zinn, Paul McCandless, and Hans Christian: percussion, sax, horn and cello are a welcomed addition to IRARI, adding an element of depth to the arrangements that may not have been possible.

But in all honesty this is impossible to believe. I say this because Irina has an internal and underlying quality to her that cannot be found elsewhere, it is there all the time, giving to all music including Esquisses an element of mystic and charm, spinning gold from a single idea from her heart. When she sings, we all listen.

Remember we are her audience, the butterflies rising. This is the change you have been waiting for, the music that completes you. Painting rainbows is the nature of IRARI, heals you with color and sound. Once you experience color, you will never go back!

No one does a love song better then Irina!!!

- Stefano Krieger