Czech ensemble Jitka Šuranská Trio are Moravian folk music renovators. On Divé Husy (Wild Geese), they deliver a fascinating mix of rearranged folk music sons as well as originals by multi-instrumentalist Marian Friedl.
The trio features violinist and vocalist Jitka Šuranská; mandolinist Martin Krajíček; and Marian Friedl, who plays double bass as well as shepherd’s flutes, overtone flute, cimbalom, shepherd’s tube, bladder pipe and double flute.
Jitka Šuranská Trio’s Divé Husy is a masterfully-crafted recording that updates Moravian folk music for new generations.
Various Artists – Antologie moravské lidové hudby – CD 1 – Horňácko (Indies Scope, 2011)
Antologie moravské lidové hudby – Horňácko is the first volume of a CD collection of traditional Moravian folk music. CD 1 focuses on the region of Horňácko, in the Czech Republic.
Horňácko is located in southeastern Moravia, in the base of the White Carpathian Mountains, close to Slovakia. The region has a rich folk music tradition characterized by the sound of masterful fiddles, cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), bagpipes and vocals.
Several families have kept ancient traditions ranging from sorrowful songs to lively dances. The family names include the Kubík, Miklošek, Miškeřík, Prachař, Ďuga, Holý, Hrbáč, Hudeček, Kománek, Slovák, Zeman, Šácha, Okénka, Pešek, Sup, Kohút, Prášek, Pšurný, Zálešák, Mička, Galečka, Valíček, Trachtulec and Minks.
The CD includes an extensive booklet with biographical information about the artists in Czech and English. Although each volume is available separately, there is a boxed set option that includes anthologies from other regions.
BraAgas is an all female quartet created in 2007 after the split-up of the band Psalteria. The first two albums were hard to define genre-wise. “The first album called No.1 was a mix of everything – medieval and folk songs as well,” says Katka Göttlich (Katerina Göttlichova).
The four members of BraAgas have been playing for a long time. In addition to the previously mentioned Psalteria, the musicians played in other bands. “Our experiences from other bands have merged here – for me and Karla it was the Psalteria band, for Beta it was Gothart. Michaela had been sometimes the guest in different groups (e.g. Krless) before BraAgas originated,” says Göttlich.
The fact that the band was formed by professional musicians helped them record albums immediately and also with touring. Live playing is one of those things BraAgas can do really well. Their third CD, Tapas, is the result of their live concert art. The band won the music competition Česká spořitelna Colours Talents at Indies Scope Festival organized by Indies Scope Records and the Colours of Ostrava Festival supported by Česká spořitelna.
The recording of an album was part of the Česká spořitelna Colours Talents prize. “The second one called No.2 – Media Aetas was purely medieval long single and the album Tapas has already nothing to do with ‘medieval times’. It’s an album containing songs which we have discovered and adapted and also those few ‘hits’ which we’ve taken the liberty to modify; those that the listeners of world music will definitely recognize.“
The four musicians play mostly ethnic instruments and historical replicas. Many guests helped them at the studio and there were also some electronic elements. Thanks to the electronics, a new modern sound was developed for Tapas, which was produced by David Göttlich and Petr Koláček.
Tapas includes songs from various parts of Europe, including Spanish, Balkan, Nordic and Italian sources, originally dating back to anywhere within a thousand years time span, interpreted in a very modern way.
Current members include: Katerina Göttlichova on lead vocal, cittern, guitar, bagpipes, shawms; Alzbeta Josefy on vocal, davul, darbuka, duf, riq; Karla Braunova on vocal, flutes, recorders, clarinet, shawms, chalumeaux, and bagpipes; and Michala Hrbkova on vocal, fiddle, cittern.