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På skive



Slovak, Oslo-based drummer Michaela Antalová and her partner, Norwegian double bass player Adrian Myhr, used the Covid-19 lockdown for daily sessions. These sessions quickly led to the recording of  «Zvony» (bells in Slovak), an album where Antalová focuses on flutes – the Slovak folk bass flute fujara and the Norwegian overtone willow flute seljefløyte, while Myhr sticks to the bass. The album was recorded at Antalová and Myhr’s home studio in the autumn of 2020.

«Zvony» moves freely between centuries-old folk traditions and chamber, contemporary music, but also explores new sonorities of the flutes and the double bass. The melancholic sound of the fujara flute blends organically with the dark, deep tones of the double bass, and the overtones of the seljefløyte are similar to the Slovak overtone flute koncovka. The duets of Antalová and Myhr were enriched with the addition of the harmonium, multi-track recording of the flutes and the double bass as well as field recordings of crickets captured in the Slovak village Zlatno («V záhrade, po poli, po horách») and of a male choir from the village Šumiac singing a traditional song in four-part harmony («Smutná Breza»).

The 12 short compositions and arrangements resonate with the rich Slovak and Norwegian folk traditions, but sound fresh and are not bound by the traditions. Antalová and Myhr sketch gently imaginative and emotional sonic territories, clearly affected by the season and the troubling times. Myhr often introduces a more experimental touch to these contemplative duets and employs extended bowing techniques («Ej, Nožičky ma bolia», the title piece and «Ekko») while Antalová focuses on finding corresponding ethereal sonorities to the dark, resonating tones of the double bass. Their intimate affinity and love and respect of the folk traditions are captured best in the dance «Kivlemøyane» and the brief dreamscape «Daily Ritual».

Eyal Hareuveni

Michaela Antalová (fl, harmonium, perc, field recordings), Adrian Myhr (b)

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