«Sonia» is the free-improvised meeting of Israeli harpist Adaya Godlevsky and drummer Haggai Fershtman, dedicated to the loving memory of Haggai’s beloved wife and Adaya’s good friend, master translator Sonia Barchilon. Fershtman is the more experienced musician and has studied African drumming in Mali and Senegal, collaborated with Israeli free jazz heroes like Albert Beger, Assif Tsahar and Ariel Shibolet, and played in garage rock band Monotonix. Godlevsky is a multidisciplinary artist and has learned classic and celtic harp, released two albums and recently performed pieces by British harpist Rhodri Davies,
«Sonia» was recorded at Pluto Studios in Tel Aviv in June 2020. Godlevsky and Fershtman say that they were playing «with the ability and the inner call of music to manifest its own path, a path which dictates itself back to the musicians themselves while creating it». Godlevsky and Fershtman have developed their own distinct yin-yang dynamics. His playing is energetic and muscular. Her playing is more introspective, often dreamy, and searches for melodic themes. She often soars into imaginative skies, often using electronics to expand her harp’s sonic palette, while he anchors her flights with powerful grooves. But throughout these inner musical logics it is clear that Godlevsky and Fershtman are deep listeners who cherish this journey into unpredictable sonic territories.
«Sonia» explores the far-reaching and inclusive sounds and vision of Godlevsky and Fershtman, constantly moving between shifting moods and colorful sceneries. Godlevsky and Fershtman explore a free-associative interplay on the opening piece «Library Cleaner», where Godlevsky employs bows and plays on the harp as if it is a twisted electric guitar. The rest of the pieces are more compact and more focused. «Martian Spa» imagines the Celtic, steroid-pumped branch of this spring water location. The heavily processed «Kishuf» (magic in Hebrew) brings Godlevsky and Fershtman into the infectious, heavy rhythmic patterns of the Danish Selvhenter. «Full Turtle To Nowhere» gently gravitates into a playful melody, while the abstract «A Secret» suggests an intriguing, cinematic story. Godlevsky sings the wordless theme of «Take-A-Way» and together with Fershtman, both offer an addictive groove.
«Sonia», is naturally, is the most beautiful and touching piece here, highlighting the rich imagination of both Godlevsky and Fershtman, but also the elegance and grace in their work. «Hildegard-Phone-Beam-Her» offers an ironic reference to Hildegard of Bingen and Godlvesky and Fershtman takes the polymath legacy to a free walk in the African countryside. «Cajun Queen Kitchen» contrasts a strong rhythmic basis with atmospheric harp flights. «White Raven» is another free-associative improvisation that explores the timbral possibilities of the harp and the drum-set resonating with each other. «Late Night Show» is a catchy, alternative pop song with an enchanting theme. The dense and urgent «A Secret Mission For Agent Fish» sounds like a cinematic theme for a cartoon, while the last «Night Train» sketches another instant melody.
Take a walk on the wild side with these creative improvisers.
Adaya Godlevsky (harp, v, elec), Haggai Fershtman (dr, perc)