"From the moment I conceived this project, I have felt it as a calling,” says Avi Avital, “I feel like my whole musical life has been leading up to this.
I have long been exploring different kinds of music on stage and in my recordings - jazz, klezmer, classical of course - and have enjoyed some wonderful collaborations with masters of these forms.
But it is time to go much further and do it with all my soul. The mandolin is an incredibly versatile instrument that is at home in almost any kind of music you put it to - it leads you to the most exciting discoveries, yet always stays true to itself.
The sense of being at home in places that seem foreign and even discovering aspects of yourself there, is an idea that I find very moving. And that philosophy is at the heart of his project."
The richness of authentic folk music has been shared and passed down through generations. These past traditions have been taken up by great classical composers who have blended this with western classical forms and allowed audiences to have access to this music where they would never have been able to come close to.
Bela Bartok using a gramophone to record folk songs sung by Slovak peasants, 1908
Griffiths, Paul (1978) A Concise History of Modern Music, Thames and Hudson
Andrés Segovia and Manuel de Falla on an excursion
Photo courtesy of Archivo Manuel de Falla
This project will apply a 21st century lens and reconstruct the experiments conducted by composers in the past through a modern vantage point. It will be led by Avi Avital as curator, artist and performer.
Avi’s never-ending spirit to “forget borders”, challenge conventions and playfully discover ever-new connections between genres, cultures and musical worlds will bring contrasting and complementary elements to the 6 programmes.
In 2014, his 2nd album “Between Worlds'' with Deutsche Grammophon was his first significant moment in the exploration of this topic. This was also the Between World Ensemble’s first project. Whilst playing together, they exchanged numerous languages and crossed borders of opposing forces - outwards and in, exploration and return, adventure and calm - always finding their way back home.
Avi takes the next big leap by extending this important journey and collaborating with folk masters. Every programme will identify the nuances between cultures, the commonalities and the uniquenesses of people. At every performance, after being immersed in the beauty of the musical interplay, the audience is invited to reconsider their own understanding of borders, and perhaps question whether it exists at all.