Lifelines (2021)

This page provides streaming access to the full album and a download link, for people that have the CD. Liner notes are provided below too.

 

If you are interested in buying the CD, please click here.

The album was released end of August 2021, and is now also available for streaming on spotify, apple music, and google play music.

This album is a tribute and a testament to the musical friendships and collaborations that have sustained me throughout the pandemic. Each track grew out of a different collaboration with different musical partners and friends (some old, others new) who are all dear to me and have helped me keep my spirits up during this time. 

  1. Lulu Bi Lulu (feat. Yeraz Ensemble)a Syrian traditional love song. Yeraz ensemble is a cross-cultural collaboration that explores traditional and popular music from Armenia and the Levant, adding layers of texture through its distinct instrumentation. Following the life journey of band member Khatchadour Khatchadourian's background and upbringing, the ensemble weaves together music from Armenia, Lebanon, and Syria, with added Eastern European elements.

  2. Suita Românească (feat. Cabin 19 Trio) - a medley of traditional Romanian folk dances and melodies. The Cabin 19 trio, born during the pandemic, performs both soulful and lively re-interpretations of dance favorites from Eastern Europe.

  3. Radu Mamii (feat. Asaf Ophir) - our bossa nova arrangement of a popular Romanian folk song about a worried mother whose son is a little lost in life. Asaf, a versatile woodwind player based in the San Francisco bay area, featured here on the sax.

  4. A Pünkösdi Rózsa (feat. Lily Storm) - a Hungarian folk song (tr: The Whitsuntide Rose) about unrequited love. Lily is a singer, based in the San Francisco bay area, specializing in traditional music from around the world, with particular experience in Eastern European styles.

  5. Silviana (feat. Marco Ghezzo) - a Romanian hora composed by the legendary Romanian accordionist Vasile Pandelescu. Marco,, a violinist who grew up in the foothills of the Italian alps, lived and studied music in Transylvania, and is now based in the San Francisco bay area, plays a violin strung with octave strings on this track. 

  6. Doina Muntenească / Switchback (feat. Diana Strong) - a Romanian folk melody followed by a composition by Diana Strong, who also plays the accordion on this track. Diana is an accordionist based in the San Francisco bay area, specializing in a variety of styles ranging from Brazilian forró and choro to Balkan, French musette, and swing.

  7. Aidinikos (feat. Aydın Çıracıoğlu) - a traditional 9/8 dance from Asia-Minor. Aydın is an accordionist from Turkey, who is currently based in Athens. This track is the product of a spontaneous cross-continental long-distance recording collaboration.

  8. Nostalgiya (feat. Trio Czinka Panna) - a medley of Russian songs by V. Solovyov-Sedoi (Evening Song) and A. Rozenbaum (Jewish Tailor). Trio Czinka Panna, a violin-accordion-cimbalom ensemble, is my oldest musical collaboration featured on this album. Based in the Netherlands, it consists of my parents and myself. The typical repertoire of the ensemble includes Hungarian, Romanian, Russian and Romani ('Gypsy'), as well as Klezmer, Italian, French and romantic film music. As a bonus, this track includes a short fragment from an old recording of us when I was 13 years old.

  9. Hora Lăutărească (feat. Trio Dulce Amar) - a traditional Romanian-Romani ("lautareasca") melody. Trio Dulce Amar is an international trio based out of Montreal and San Francisco that performs eastern european and Balkan music, with a special emphasis on Moldovan music, at world music and folk dance festivals. 

  10. Ay Lachin (feat. Trio Dulce Amar) - a folk song from Azerbaijan, performed by Trio Dulce Amar. This is a live recording made in the living room of a dear friend, who also sings with us on this track.

  11. Cocek-Breaza (feat. Shasta Power Trio and Melez Band) - a mash-up of Macedonian and Romanian traditional melodies. Shasta Power Trio is based in the San Francisco bay area and performs high-energy traditional and lautareasca music from Romania as well as neighboring countries. This track was the result of a really fun collaboration we did with Melez Band (a stellar, four-piece, Seattle based band that plays Macedonian style Roma Pop).

 

The album also show cases different traditional eastern European instruments: track 4-5 feature the Moldovan cobza; 6-11 cimbalom; and 4 pan flute.

Musicians:

  • Andrew Cohen  keyboard (11)

  • Asaf Ophir  sax (2, 3)

  • Aydın Çıracıoğlu  accordion (7)

  • Balder ten Cate  guitar (1-3), Moldovan cobza (4-5), cimbalom (6-11), pan flute (4, 8), vocals (3)

  • Benji Rifati  trumpet (11)

  • Bobby Govetas  goč (11)

  • Diana Strong  accordion (6)

  • Eleni Govetas  sax (11)

  • Gheorghe Tutuianu ✝  accordion (8)

  • Ineke Koksma  violin (8)

  • Janie Cowan  bass (6, 7, 11)

  • Josh Mellinger  percussion (2, 3, 7)

  • Khatchadour Khatchadourian  vocals (1)

  • Lily Storm  vocals (4)

  • Marco Ghezzo  violin (11), octave violin (5)

  • Mik Bewsky  guitar (11)

  • Misha Khalikulov  cello (1, 4)

  • Olle ten Cate  piano and accordion (8)

  • Sergiu Popa  accordion (9, 10)

  • Sevgili Arkadaşım  vocals (10)

  • Valeriu Ichim  violin (9, 10)

  • Zina Pozen  accordion (1, 2)

 

Mixed by Jeffrey Kolhede.

Mastered by Eric Boulanger.

Tracks 5, 9 were recorded at 25th Street Recording (Oakland, CA).

Graphic design by Katya Svirgunenko.