Enter The Fadolín is my new solo performance project, an ongoing Patreon-supported development of new repertoire exploring the fadolín, a unique string instrument encompassing the full range of the violin, viola, and most of the cello.
Though I’ve owned and performed on a fadolín made by the visionary Ithaca-based luthier Eric Aceto since 2008, and used it prominently in the creation of my albums “Melting River” and “SoLò Ópus“, I hadn’t written works that could be performed live, unamplified, without loopers or pre-records, specifically on this instrument — until now.
Since 2019, with gratitude to my Patreon supporters I’ve been steadily writing music — initially as a travelogue, and continuing through the pandemic via social media livestreams, on-street busking and house concerts –– having now premiered over an hour’s worth of recital and training material for myself and a future generation of fadolínists. You can hear some of it in the video playlist below — most of the works are mine, though there are also some works by J.S. Bach, his Celtic contemporary Turlough O’Carolan, plus several African-American spirituals. In addition to Eric Aceto’s instruments (I own two) I’m also now performing on a new fadolín commissioned from the Vermont-based luthier Nathaniel Rowan.
Ljova - "Going Home -- Leaving Home -- Finding Home Again" #songsofcomfort
"Going Home -- Leaving Home -- Finding Home Again"
Ljova, fadolín / improvisation
"Going Home -- Leaving Home -- Finding Home Again" -- that was the idea behind this improvisation, ...taking a familiar tune through new turf -- for about twenty minutes.
It's perhaps an unusual time to be playing "Going Home", since most of us are sitting home with no place to go. Many are restless, constantly worried for the winter that's to come. In our neighborhood, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, homeless men and families fill the malls on Broadway, with no home in sight except the home within...
Nothing is permanent –– this, too, shall pass, and we will all find home again.
Thanks for listening.
stay safe and keep in touch, dear friends!
(this was recorded as a Facebook Live on my Ljova page earlier today, I'm re-uploading here with some EQ & reverb adjustments..)
#fadolín #improvisation #variations #newworld #covid19 #songsofcomfort
We Shall Overcome -- This Little Light of Mine (live fadolín version, audio only)
We Shall Overcome -- This Little Light of Mine (live fadolín version)
There may be a curfew -- and there is a protest -- yet we can still play -- and ...I will. Much love to you all. No hashtags.
June 2 2020
Ljova - ZòóMeRung - a 5-way live Zoom call with myself
*WARNING: LOUD SOUND* — My wife gave me a great haircut; in honor of that I give you.. ZòóMeRung! -- a 3-minute suite in four movements... — ...'Twas the night of too many Zooms and all through the house, every participant was .. me! The horror! Here you see through my phone, an old iPad with a cracked screen but a working camera, my very old laptop, a newer iPad and my current laptop — giving you a quintuple selfie view! Also — more importantly -- a way to mess around with the latency and sound artifacts inside Zoom to see what they bring when you call yourself…Lots of fun— and the most precious thing happens on the last note. No reverb added. All live. #zoomthyself #zoomerung #fadolín #fadolin #newmusic #covid19 #makethings #quarantinelife #music #peoplewatchingpeople #selfie #zoombombers #zoombummers
Ljova - O'Carolan's Farewell to Music - arr. for fadolín
Turlough O'Carolan: "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music" (1738)
arranged for fadolín and performed by Ljova (2019)
as learned from Martin Hayes
"Lost in the Stars" was among the first CDs my dad acquired when we moved to the US and bought our first CD player in 1990.... and the "Youkali" arrangement ...on it was an early favorite. I saw Hal here and there, at Tonic and in the neighborhood (he lived one block away), backstage at SNL.. at one point I met him at his house in Venice, where no less than three iPods were playing entirely different music at all times... .. the world will never be the same! Thank you for leaving so many landmarks to remember you by..
Youkali (Weill / Fernay)
April 7 2020
Ljova - The Early Voter (live from the polls) #songsofcomfort
Ljova - The Early Voter (live from the polls)
October 27 2020
Frederick Douglass Playground
New York City
J.S. Bach - Chromatic Fantasy BWV903 arranged for fadolín by Ljova
(re-uploading video from December 31 2020 due to encoding issues):
J.S. Bach arr. Ljova: Chromatic Fantasy BWV903
performed on the fadolín
I’ve got one more video for you in 2020 — and ...it’s more Bach — this time a meatier segue to my post from last week.
At the beginning of March, when everything shut down in an instant, among the first things I did was write out an arrangement of Bach’s “Chromatic Fantasy” for fadolín. This tumultuous piece has always been in the back of my mind since I heard it performed by Vivek Kamath, during my first year at Juilliard, as part of Samuel Rhodes’s masterclass. It’s a piece I’ve always wanted to learn but never found the right occasion — or the right instrument. Originally composed for harpsichord, this piece always seemed too difficult in Kodály’s solo viola arrangement, and too many notes had to be displaced to a higher octave.
Enter a brand new fadolín — and the time to practice.
I hope that you’ll enjoy this version, recorded at home. I’m still tweaking some choices here and there but it feels stable and free.
Bach: Prelude in C major No. 1 from WTC, performed on a fadolín by Ljova
J.S. Bach: Prelude No. 1 in C major
from the Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846
performed by Ljova on a fadolín
Grateful to be here, fadolín in hand.
Thank you, friends. Keep ...on shining.
December 24 2020
music composed and performed by Ljova on the fadolín
recorded in the kitchen
Patreon supported — thank you, Patreons!
Testing out Fred Gayford’s brand new fadolín (barely two weeks old) in some real-world conditions — 32F/0C and snowing! My dad would like me to tell you that it’s made ...of Martian wood… What do you think? Stay safe and healthy!
Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
version for fadolín by Ljova
February 7 2021
New York City
fadolín by Fred Gayford of Carbon Fiber Violins, Cambridge Ontario