'FIGHTING FOR HARMONY', THE ELECTROCARPATHIANS' SECOND ALBUM, IS PRESSED AND AVAILABLE. This project, recorded in 2005, was fueled by a continuing search for Byzantine roots in dance music originating in South California and Tijuana. It was released by Global Village Music (New York) in 2008. Not yet available on CD Baby or Amazon.com, but you can get it from us directly! Give us a ring (619)262-7041 or send an email... Below are the liner notes- get a feel for what this album is all about:

1. CROATIAN CHA-CHA. We learned this from the Klezmer trumpet player Phil Tauber, who began his professional career as Ziggy Elman's protégé in Hollywood/Los Angeles. According to our friend George Svoboda (Czech-born classical guitarist), the tune originated in the town of Banja Luka.

2. MARYSHKA AND THE HUNTER. A Slovak folksong. Significant Slovak migration to South California seems to correspond with the rise of the aircraft industry, as many came here indirectly from Chicago, as metalworkers. However, before 1919, Slovak immigrants identified themselves as Hungarian (the roots of San Diego's Hungarian community, which are associated with law enforcement, go back to the time of Wyatt Earp).

3. ECH GENG A MENJES VUETERS GUERTEN (I Went to My Father's Garden). A Transylvanian Saxon lullaby. The town of Anaheim is the seat of California's old (and artistically influential) German community. In June 1990, after presenting a lecture-concert on the singing of Sarah Goohs, a Transylvanian Saxon, we were given the manuscript of this traditional piece by Hans Steiner.

I went into my father's garden, I lay me down and slept. I dreamed a dream that snow fell over me- Yes, the snow fell over me.

4. KAMARISKA. We preface this Russian tune with a Ukrainian Hopak.

5. IN ADES (In Odessa). From 1991 to 1995, we opened our monthly shows at the Better Worlde Galeria with our special arrangement of this Yiddish folksong, which tells of a Jewish longshoreman's misadventures in the red-light district of Odessa. Since then , it has been claimed that the piece is of '2nd Avenue Theater' origin. However, our written source, supplied by ethnographer Yale Strom, is not only clearly a folkloric transcription, complete with multiple-meter markings, but the Yiddish is written in a Central Slavic alphabet, so we believe this song truly comes from the Old World.

6. RUMANIAN LAMENT. In the late 1950's, a string of Belly-dancing night clubs dotted the southwest coast from Seal Beach to Tijuana, creating a small but vibrant circuit, where beachcombers gathered to witness musical talents such as the late Arab-American oud player Richard Barham. The music was variously described as Greek, Turkish, and Hungarian. This environment ultimately shaped Surf Rock, one of California's only 'indigenous' musical forms (see books by flamenco guitarist Paco Sevilla). We send this one out to Richard, who could sing equally well in English, Arabic, and Armenian.

7. PERDIKA (Kerkiraikos Choros). This Greek standard comes from the island of Corfu.

8. POLISH-MEXICAN MEDLEY. This piece was conceived in 1991while we were playing a two-week gig at the Charleston, a historical bar in Chicago (near Division and Hoyne). The old Polish neighborhood had a large Mexican population- the local Catholic Church featured Mass in Polish, followed by Mass in Spanish.

9. RUTHENIAN PLAINCHANT. Ruthenians come from a mountain homeland, once prized a game preserve by Hungarian Kings, and known variously as Subcarpathian Ruthenia, Podcarpatskaya Rus, or the Transcarpathian Ukraine. After the Hungarian era, Ruthenia was part of Czechoslovakia, then for a brief question of days was a sovereign country (today, independent Ruthenia's frantically minted coins and stamps are extremely valuable). Since 1944 the region has been part of Ukraine. Ruthenians who immigrated to the American Midwest were referred to by their Czech-speaking compatriots as 'Russians', which has led to some confusion about the origin of pieces such as this one.

10. BRZO BRZO. A Macedonian dance, played by Mark on the accordion alone.

11. HOPAK. Our arrangement of a classic Ukrainian tune- that South American touch is supplied by the charango, a ukulele-like Andean instrument made from the carapace of an armadillo.

12. SHANO DUSHO. A well-known Serbian folksong, played in the 'American style' (as a waltz). Serbian folkmusic had been largely 'skipped over' by the early ethnomusicologists like Zoltan Kodaly and his students, and was documented instead by a generation of French collectors who tended to set tunes such as this one into conventional European forms like the waltz. Serbians who answered South California's 'call to industrialization' between 1920 and 1955 brought this type of sheet music with them, fostering a 'Serbo-Croatian' repertoire which was not directly Balkan in origin.

13. TESLA'S FAVORITE VEIL DANCE. A 'medium-slow' belly-dance.

14. KRIVO ORO. This is based on a tune from Panagiurishte that was collected by Boris Kremenliev while he was a professor at UCLA.

15. GAITANAKI. An old and beloved Greek folksong.

16. NUMBER FIFTEEN. Our special medley of a traditional Georgian melody with 'Pendagiotissa', a Greek bouzouki tune. Guaranteed to produce sleep-like symptoms in vodka-drenched Kozatchka dancers.

 

Beatriz Basile on Double Bass
Bouzouki

Beatriz

 

   

 

 

 

Teresa Mross, violin
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Jeff Basile Pekarek