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Kolyada – Winter Songs from the Black Sea
December 15, 2019 @ 7:00 pm$20 – $25
Tired of the same old same old at the holidays? Kolyada, a veritable supergroup of local Eastern European folk ensembles and artists, will join voices and esoteric instruments — like the aurally (and visually) interesting toaca, the taragot and the gadulka — to deliver audiences from the depths of winter into the sparkle of the holidays. “Kolyada: Winter Songs from the Black Sea” will feature the talents of Mila Vocal Ensemble, Orkestar Bez Ime, Nomadi and Peter O’Gorman, Dec. 15, 7 p.m. at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.
Kolyada offers sacred and secular songs and folklore from the countries surrounding the Black Sea— Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Turkey and the Republic of Georgia — all celebrating the great seasonal passage from darkness into light.
The all-ages show features traditional a cappella and accompanied songs, including ancient songs learned by Mila Vocal Ensemble on a recent trip to the Republic of Georgia, modern arrangements of Romanian Colinde (carols) written by Orkestar Bez Ime violinist, Colleen Bertsch, and original compositions for the toaca, a semantron used by Orthodox priests to call parishioners to church, written and performed by percussionist, Peter O’Gorman. Orkestar Bez Ime and Nomadi, Balkan bands featuring native Bulgarian musicians and local artists, round out the performance.
Join us for cozy night of rich musical and cultural immersion, as well as a nice break from the usual holiday musical fare!
About Mila Vocal Ensemble
Mila is a professional women’s vocal ensemble grounded in the harmonic traditions of Eastern Europe and Russia. The ensemble typically performs a cappella at concerts, vocal and cultural workshops, festivals, schools, churches and corporate and private events. The group also collaborates with instrumentalists and dancers, for special performances.
Members of Mila are enthusiastic students of vocal styles, rhythms, harmonies, languages, history and geography, as expressed in the folk traditions of Eastern Europe. Through music, Mila celebrates the beauty of these cultures.
The name “Mila” has tender connotations — including “love” and “dear one” — in many of the languages represented by its repertoire. It is also a common women’s name in several Eastern European countries.
Mila’s singers hail from unique musical backgrounds and have studied with renowned vocalists and instrumentalists from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia.
Mila is: Carol Bauer, Sarah Callahan, Anna Johnson, Rada Kolarova, Laura Lentz Landstad, Leslie Lukas, Abby Morrisette, Patti Paulson, Marie Rivers Rule, Daniela Schmiedlechner, Jana Velo, Aleksandra Veriga, Sarina Yospin Partridge.
About Orkestar Bez Ime
Orkestar Bez Ime, meaning “orchestra without a name” in Bulgarian, was formed in 2002 to recreate the sounds of the village with a presentation as festive as the music itself. Focusing on Eastern Europe and music of the Rom (“Gypsy”) people, OBI’s repertoire reaches from Albania to Ukraine, with plenty of stops in between. Orkestar Bez Ime is a winner of the 2011-2012 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music and a recipient of a 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composers Award from the American Composers Forum.
OBI is: Colleen Bertsch, Liz Draper, Scott Keever, Katrina Mundinger, Natalie Nowytski, and Eric Ray.
Thinking of nomads in more romantic ways rather than negative contemporary connotations, the name for our away-from-home musical creation “Nomadi” was a natural choice. Ages ago the Bulgars, a semi-nomadic tribe, traveled west across continents on the back of their horses in search of the richest and most fertile lands. Much like that, we moved far west from our home country of Bulgaria to follow our dreams, provide what we think is a better life for our families, and pursue happiness. Although away from home, without even realizing we carry our past and history in our blood and bones; our Bulgarian culture, traditions, and genesis are steadily rooted in our hearts. They are running wildly through our veins and if you could listen well enough, you could hear the hooves of khans’ and Bulgars’ horses racing through the wind.
About Peter O’Gorman
Peter O’Gorman is a composer and percussionist specializing in interdisciplinary performance work, new music, and diverse forms of improvised music. His use of original and unusual percussion instruments and techniques has been described as “wildly inventive”.
His compositions have been featured nationally by a broad spectrum of performers spanning from New York’s Bang on a can All-Stars to California’s Amy Knoles and more. His composition have earned him grants, fellowships and commissions, from the American Composers Forum, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Walker Art Center.
O’Gorman’s passion for championing new and adventurous works also extends to his performance career. He has worked under the direction of Henry Brant, Irwin Bazalon, Mary Ellen Childs, William Kraft, Libby Larsen, Frederick Rzewski, and John Zorn. His expertise as an interdisciplinary collaborator has led him to create numerous works for choreographers and movement based ensembles.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.