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Thread: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

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    Default Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    The Mandolin Cafe has posted the following news release:
    Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    New York based mandolinist Joe Brent interviews Avi Avital on the heels of his Carnegie Hall debut and newly released recording Between Worlds.



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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Nice detailed interview, Joe!

    I enjoyed the concert, and it is always a treat to experience the acoustics of the Weill Recital Hall. It's a small, but extravagantly elegant space with glittering chandeliers and lush velvet curtains along the walls. Maybe the nicest space in the City for chamber music, it seats about 250 people.

    It was an interesting contrast to Thile's show in the 500+ seat Zankel Hall downstairs. Avital was able to play without any microphones or amplification. And their styles and instruments are so very different. There were really very few moments, even in the Bach Dm Partita that reminded me of Thile's solo show.

    What was most interesting to me in Avital's program was the contrast between the solo works and the duet with harp, and the piece with string quartet. Each brought out different qualities in his playing and his instrument. And the room 'loves' those instruments.
    BradKlein
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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Wow - what a monster of an interview!

    Thank you... there's plenty to think about in there.

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    I have been thinking about some elements of the discussion recorded here, in particular those concerning the folklorist approach to composition - those classical compositions that spring from folk music.

    It does seem to me that the mandolin is well placed to draw from those two springs - folk and classical, but perhaps the danger in doing so is that that it burrows itself further into a niche without ever truly exposing it's capabilities as a valid contemporary instrument.

    The relative sparsity of contemporary non-folk music composed for mandolin makes the recourse to folklorist compositions a smart move but there's only so far this can be mined before the mandolin as an instrument starts looking a bit threadbare through it's second hand, hand-me-down materials.

    That's why i am glad to note the inclusion of some new compositions in Mr. Avital's repertoire too. Surely there's an argument to be made that today there may be more people composing for the mandolin than ever?

    The problem maybe in finding the right setting for the mandolin - the right combination of instruments and composition.

    In this i see the emergence of new forms of chamber music as providing an ideal vehicle. Chamber music gains from its intimacy and interplay and in doing so provides a welcome space for otherwise sidelined instruments such as mandolin, oud or indeed the accordion or bandoneon.

    There is something delightfully punk, or , yes, folk, in these unorthodox chamber orchestras - a defiant assertiveness that must borrow from some of those minimalist ensembles that would play lofts and small venues all those years ago... or from the single-minded vision of Astor Piazzola who fashioned a new sound and setting for his instrument or even those stripped-back ensembles put together by Mr. Monroe back in the day.

    The material may differ but the spirit is the same.

    If anything, it's this independent and D.I.Y. attitude to making music that I associate with 'real folk' music - if i can oppose that nebulous notion to 'folk' as a genre - and, for me, it's a bud that should be nurtured and supported... it's good to know that there are people out there who care more for the mandolin, music and possibilities than for the self-interest of genres and boundaries.

    I guess that some play for the wider perspective - more power to them.

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    " In this i see the emergence of new forms of chamber music as providing an ideal vehicle. Chamber music gains from its intimacy and interplay and in doing so provides a welcome space for otherwise sidelined instruments such as mandolin, oud or indeed the accordion or bandoneon. "

    I think you might be right, but I'm not quite sure who or what you have in mind.
    Could you give us some examples please?
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    I am hesitant to draw up a rigid definition to this approach as many of the artists/projects that i would propose to share in it are drawn from different disciplines and different aprts of the world... but still i will vouch for them sharing in an aesthetic of intimacy, improvisation and reinterpretation... and also innovation or composition.

    Off the top of my head - and to greater or lesser degrees of succsess -

    Various ECM projects - those by Anja Lechner and Dino Saluzzi - DUO - for example

    Anouar Brahem - particularly on the album 'Le Pas du Chat Noir'.

    Then we have the Americana branch - centering around Edgar Meyer with projects such as Short Trip Home, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Appalachian Journey...

    I just remembered - Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana.

    And, Melonious Quartet must also be mentioned.

    I would also include various projects from the Martin Hayes, his duos with Dennis Cahill, and projects such as Triur, with Caoimhin O Raghallaigh.

    Is there an emerging aesthetic or am i just lumping things together?

    I don't know for sure... its up for debate.
    Last edited by M.Marmot; Jan-24-2014 at 7:58am. Reason: more - i could have added more

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Noting today's anniversary of this fine interview of Avi by Joe Brent.

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by M.Marmot View Post
    Wow - what a monster of an interview!

    Thank you... there's plenty to think about in there.
    And thanks for revisiting this interview.

    Avi, as shown by this interview, really knows a lot of musical sources. He has an informed perspective from which to promote mandolin. And I am always impressed by his ability to not only do 'really cool and thoughtful projects' but to actually get noticed by the greater musical world. I'm usually left asking myself, "How does he pull this stuff off? Meaning, that many other musicians are doing 'cool and thoughtful' projects and end up without a tour, or contract, and just a you-tube video."

    In the end, I don't care. I'll be at every Avital concert in my neck of the woods. Go Avi !
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Noting today's anniversary of this interview.

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Another feature interview celebrating a birthday today.

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    Default Re: Avi Avital - The Carnegie Hall Debut Interview

    Between Worlds is still one of my favourite mandolin albums. And Avi Avital seems like the sort of guy I'd really like to meet.

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