Apollo Chamber Players
Gilad Cohen composer
Arthur Gottschalk composer
Malek Jandali composer
Javier Farias composer
Navona Records presents ANCESTRAL VOICES, the Apollo Chamber Players’ next installment in their 20×2020 project. 20×2020 is an initiative to commission 20 new folk music-inspired and multicultural works by the end of the decade. This fiery release comprises four 20×2020 works from composers Gilad Cohen, Arthur Gottschalk, Malek Jandali, and Javier Farias.
A landmark work – recorded in Havana, Cuba – highlights the album: Gottschalk’s Imagenes de Cuba incorporates sounds and music from Cuban culture, from the Cuban national anthem to protest songs to the sounds of a busy Havana square. Cuban percussion virtuoso Adel González joins for the final movement of the work, an exploration of historic salsa and pachanga dances. Cohen’s Three Goat Blues is inspired by the Passover prayer “Chad Gadya,” a fable that concerns a goat that falls victim to the natural laws of predator and prey. Using an ancient Provençal Jewish tune of the prayer as a musical source, Cohen reimagines the plight of the goat and its journey from oppression to salvation through unique bluesy rhythms and Pink Floydian musical effects.
The soundscape of Javier Farias’ Andean Suite is situated on the Andean mountain region, an intersection of geography and culture from several South American nations. He melds the sounds and virtuosity of a classical guitar with string quartet to evoke the ceremonial blood fight of the Peruvian Yawar Fiesta, the Altiplano (“high plains”) of the Andes, and La Diablada, the traditional dance of the Bolivian Oruro Carnival. Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali’s String Quartet in E-flat Major connects Middle Eastern modes and Western classical forms. His passion for humanitarian efforts and the music of his home country emanates through expressive and powerful settings of centuries-old Syrian folk melodies, thoughtful interpreted by Apollo Chamber Players.