Angrusori’s latest album is a fascinating and moving glimpse into the soul of an isolated society, told through a musical fusion that puts tradition at the forefront.
Angrusori – a musical project led by Norwegian organist Nils Henrik Asheim and Czech violinist and singer Iva Bittová – has a new album and by all accounts it’s pretty good.
Produced by Hudson Records, the new album of the project Living in Tou was named The Guardian’s Contemporary Album of the Month in early May.
There are 11 traditional Roma songs on album, including ancient ballads collected by musicologist Jana Belišová during a trip among the Roma of Slovakia. A kind of klezmer waltz, and Tom Waits-style jazz are also on the menu.
“The result is a fascinating and moving glimpse into the soul of an isolated society, told through a musical fusion that puts tradition at the forefront: timeless songs of grief, disease and poverty take center stage. , augmented by the most subtle improvisational games, ”writes The Wire.
“The Gypsy story is that of migration – from Gujarat to Andalusia – and the music here goes through many stations throughout this journey,” says The Guardian.
The first collaborations between the Stavanger-based Kitchen Orchestra and Roma from eastern Slovakia started in 2016, giving birth to Angrusori.
“The history of Angrusori actually dates back to 2010 and involves the two cultural factories Tabacka (in Kosice, Slovakia) and Tou (in Stavanger)”, Petter Frost Fadnes, saxophonist from Angrusori tell 15 questions.
“In fact, I was not at all sure that the project would create a good match,” says Nils Henrik Asheim. “In Angrusori’s case, it was so different. Social conditions, language, musical practice. I had anticipated that the members of this band would most likely have completely different ideas about what it is like to be on stage and play a concert. I was afraid that we would be naïve in imagining a “cultural encounter”.
“Angrusori is made up of very strong individual musical characters, so the approaches are as much between us as people and between Slovaks, Czechs, Roma and Norwegians,” Asheim adds.
“Also, someone like Gjertrud Økland (violin) and Johan Egdetveit (accordion), actually brought Roma experience to the project, while Ståle, Stine (vocals) and I in particular had no experience, so the jurisdiction between us is rather floating. Nils Henrik and Roman (cello) sometimes played classical pieces together in breaks, and some played standards or string swing, ”adds Frost Fadnes.
Photo: Hudson Records.
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