Ljova - Intermezzo - with Laura Melnicoff and Valeriya Sholokhova (live via Zoom)
Here is the full performance of my "Intermezzo" for two cellos and fadolín, featuring my friends, cellists Laura Melnicoff and Valeriya Sholokhova,, and myself on fadolín.
This is a live recording, direct from the premiere -- it happened via the video conferencing platform Zoom earlier this week. I was on the Upper West Side, Valeriya on the Upper East, and Laura was in Upstate NY.
Though notated in 3/4 time, this piece takes into account the latency that one experiences during video conferencing, a slight delay between one performer hearing the other. Rather than exist in a singular strict vertical time, two of the musicians perform a form of "call and response", while a third floats a melody on top.
Thank you so much to Valierya and Laura for trying this with me, and to you for listening.
Ljova - Together!* -- performed by Percussia (premiere)
Ljova: Together!* (2020)
commissioned and performed by Percussia (world premiere)
Margaret Lancaster, flute
Ingrid Gordon, percussion
Susan Jolles, harp
live via Zoom
Premiered June 12 2020 for seventy third-grade students as part of a Bash the Trash residency at Hunter College Elementary School. Does your school want a performance like this? Contact Ingrid Gordon — email@example.comShow More
Ljova - Social Instants - featuring Leonor Falcón & Nataly Merezhuk (Live via Zoom)
Ljova - Social Instants
seven micro-duets for two musicians and video conference
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 #songsofcomfortShow More
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.
Live collaborative silent film score over Zoom, anyone? @zislepovitch and I decided to give it a try tonight just as a test - here’s a small excerpt, to the 1909 short film "The Smoke Fairy". Lots of fun. Next time we need to try it with an audience - including you! #composersofinstagram #musicians #notourlife #silentfilm #filmscore #livefilmscoreShow More
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 #zoombummersShow More
Ljova - Breathe (short demo)
Ljova, fadolíns and viola
short demo of something I’ve been trying to do the past two days. The smaller squares are three different youtube playlists on loop, all playing different takes of the same thing on viola and two fadolíns. The larger square is me playing live into Zoom. Filmed via QuickTime screen capture. (There’s probably a simpler way to do this but I haven’t found it yet.) Be safe everyone. ❤️🙏 ..... #composing #improvising #playlist #loops #fadolín #violaShow More
"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
An improvisation by Steve Sandberg and Ljova. Steve on the Yamaha VL70-breath-controlled physical modeling synth; Ljova on fadolin. We improvised this on Jamkazam last week, then I found this great Windsor McKay public domain video from 1912, and it was an amazing fit. Enjoy!Show More
Arranged for saxophone quartet and performed by Max Schwimmer on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone.
#klezmer #plume #chambermusic #saxophonequartet #saxquartet #classicalsaxophoneShow More
Ljova - April Fòóls doina (excerpt)
Zisl Slepovitch, bass clarinet
Jordan Hirsch, trumpet
Binyomin Ginzberg, organ
Ljova, fadolín and composition
Bob Blacksberg & Timothy Quigley, audience
live via Zoom
April 1 2020
Havdalah Concert with BARMALJOVA
Congregation L'Dor V'Dor is live with Rabbi Steven Moskowitz and Cantor Talya Smilowitz. Join us on Saturdays at 7 pm. This evening's concert is with BARMALJOVA, the lovechild of vocalist Inna Barmash and violist/composer/arranger Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin.Show More
Ljova's Facebook friend requests set (May 5 2020)
Here is a set I had about 15 minutes to prepare for -- playing some requests from my Facebook friends readership --
including a live solo version of "Collage", "Seacliff Serenade", an improvised folk tune and Imagine a cover... enjoy!
May 5 2020
You’re home -- I’m home -- we’re all home! You would like to make some music — and I would desperately love to make some music.
Here is a piece I wrote earlier today that I think we could play all together — right from our homes.
I give you — NetLicks!
Netlicks! is a bluesy chord progression, a juicy bass line, and a set of 21 “Licks” — small ideas that can be repeated and put together into a larger piece.
You can participate using any instrument or voice, set your metronome to 112bpm and 3/4 time, or download the templates I made for Garageband, ProTools and Reaper.
Record as many licks as you like and send them back to me in any way that’s most convenient for you — email them to NetLicks@Ljova.com, post them on your Soundcloud or YouTube, Instagram or Facebook (or Twitter), and I’ll find a way to incorporate whatever you send me into a large world-wide jam. Tag me (#Ljova and #netlicks) so I can find them easier.
Would your rather take a solo over the changes? Go right ahead! But one thing I can almost promise you — any recordings you send me will be edited in some way.
I’d like to start working on this right away and hope to be posting nightly updates.
Looking forward to hearing and meeting you all!
Thank you for bringing your talent and voice — let’s make the best of it!
TWO MORE LITTLE THINGS (that didn't make it into the video):
1) Some of these licks are rather fancy — if you’re a beginner, take a look at licks 17-20! Or feel free simply to open strings and I’ll find a way to fit you in.
2) You can download a PDF of this sheet music in Concert pitch, in B-flat and E-flat transpositions, as well as Treble, Alto, and Bass Clefs, at https://Ljova.com/netlicks
Misha V. Stefanuk - 4U (premiere recording by Ljova)
Misha V. Stefanuk - 4U for four violas (2001)
premiere recording by Ljova, viola (2020)
Deadlines are important -- as is follow-up.
This piece took nearly 20 years to record -- with apologies!
In the late 90s, I was a viola student at Juilliard and, in parallel, a student of the internet. There was no social media in those days, and musicians with websites were uncommon -- but there was a site called mp3.com that encouraged indie musicians to upload music, create custom CD compilations, playlists, and get paid in return - initially, 10 cents per stream, eventually reduced to 1 cent per stream. (Ah the good old days -- Spotify now pays $0.002.)
One of the musicians I met on MP3.com was the Moscow-born composer, pianist and organist Misha Stefanuk, who moved to nearby Hoboken after finishing his studies in Nashville. We collaborated on recording our pieces -- he wrote for me the "Suite for Jazz Viola and Piano" and "Sonata for Viola and Piano", which we recorded together -- and he also recorded my early piano pieces. It was a very joyful collaboration.
On September 10, 2001, I was in Hoboken to record with Misha, and passed through World Trade Center Path Station on the way back...
Neither of us remembers when in 2001 this piece, "4U" was written, before September or afterr. At some point I received an envelope with a score for this piece. I had been dabbling in multi-tracking violas for my own film scores, but i had never recorded anything by anyone else. I didn't know anything about click tracks, my editing skills were elementary, and I didn't have a way of dealing with a 24-page score.
Deadlines are important -- as is follow-up. I had this piece, but no deadline, and the composer was cruel enough never to follow up. I was hoping that he would be my recording engineer for this piece, but shortly after 9/11, Misha moved to Atlanta, where the picture above was taken while I was on tour with another project.
For nearly 20 years, there were always things that had a higher priority. Now, in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, I'm thrilled and exceptionally lucky to have finally recorded this piece, written for a much younger version of myself.
Below are some notes from the composer --- and the viola you're hearing was made by Alexander Tulchinsky.
4U was inspired by Ljova Zhurbin's mulititrack viola compositions which eventually led to his debut album "Vjola: World on Four Strings." "4U" is a four viola quartet, designed to be premiered by one viola player, overdubbing all the parts, however, it is equally at home played life by a viola quartet.
4U is a suite of five short movements, loosely following the sonata or suite multi-movement compositions. In many ways it follows the idea of Prokofiev’s classical symphony.
First movement starts with Vivaldi-like build up on a repeated chord, developing into irregular rhythmic ostinato to be reminded of in the last movement. Rhythmic play borrowed from Stravinsky leads into medium level polyphonic explosion ending in an upward glissando.
Second movement starts with dream like melody with continuing polyphonic development in two parts, while etheric chords are build in two other instruments. A short polyphonic episode leads to final appearance of the main theme, this time with two somewhat parallel voices playing the accompanied melody.
Third movement introduces fairly familiar waltz melody, not unlike Mahler or Ljova's father would write. Melody is played con sordino, while the counterpoint appears in sul ponticello, creating yet another surrealistic color. Middle section is played ordinary and reminisces of a menuet trio, even the number of voices excludes the first viola part.
Fourth movement perhaps requires even more explaining. First musical remark states Hanon-like, high school dropout music referring to mechanical and somewhat unmusical treatment. Then the third viola enters with imitating three large pipe organ inkling of a wedding march. The moment that gets a little out of hand, the fourth viola finally enters with the remark that reads espress-ivo, somewhat in between expressive and too much coffee. That musical character then causes the fourth viola player to first hum and then full voice sing his part, as he (or she ) gets more and more unreasonably excited, with three last glorious three-note chords on three open strings.
The build up of the final allegro is similar to the first movement but with more development in the melody, which also plays around with some extra unexpected repeating, perhaps inspired by Haydn's musical humor. Development section involves two voice polyphonic fights with each voice played in parallel intervals by two violas, interrupted repeated passages and instrumental theater ostinatos. Coda is similar to the first movement, tying together the form, just slightly little more extended.Show More
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Ljova vs. Daniel Mintseris)
Here's a fun and wide-ranging nocturnal jam session recorded late last night with an old friend, keyboardist Daniel Mintseris (@mindlessinertia) and yours truly Ljova @ljovadotcom on fadolín -- the audio was synched via @audiomovers "ListenTo" and the video is from @skype. Enjoy! #keyboards #samples #fadolín #ljova #danielmintseris #jamsession #covidjams #justdoit #musiciansofinstagram #pressplay #hashtagsarepainful #genresnotallowedShow More
Ljova - On 95th Street (excerpt)
Ljova -- "On 95th Street" (excerpt)
music by Ljova, performed by him on a fadolín made by Nathaniel Rowan
available as part of Ljova's ongoing collection of Caprices for Fadolín Solo, through Ljova's Patreon -- https://patreon.com/ljova
#fadolín #fadolin #blues #waltz #upperwestside #symphonyspaceShow More
Ljova - Shadow(s)wing
music by Ljova
performed by Ljova (fadolín) and Gene Pritsker (guitar)
Part of Gene’s reciprocal Pandemic Dances project which I was honored to join. #fun #fuyvush #fadolín #miniature #shadowswing #shadows #swing #wing #dancing #dancesShow More
Ljova x Daniel Mintseris -- Jam 3
We're back with another wild and stormy jam.... find that tedious thing you're neglecting and lend us your ears.....
x Daniel Mintseris -- Jam 3 ]]]]
September 2 2020
Ljova, fadolín (in NYC)
Daniel Mintseris (@mindlessinertia on IG) keyboards & electronics (Roxbury, NY)
Video recorded via Skype
Audio recorded via AudioMovers
(apologies for the glitchy audio on my part - I forgot to record local audio. Just pretend it's already out on vinyl...)
Grateful to Daniel for asking me to jam!
#jamsofcomfort #musicians #Covid19Jams #freeimprovisation #collaboration #telematics #performanceShow More
CURRENTS Episode IV: ¡Viva México!
CURRENTS Episode IV: ¡Viva México! is available now! The music of Latin America is a timeless journey of interconnected influences & traditions. Host Michael Morgan, Bay Area musical ensemble Los Cenzontles, & SF Symphony musicians come together to discover something new in something familiar, & very much of our world today.
Stay connected with us:
Tumblr: sfsymphony.tumblr.comShow More
Cassatt String Quartet: Ljova "Meditation on Kol Nidrei" (with interview)
Meditation on Kol Nidrei
composed by Ljova
performed by the Cassatt String Quartet
Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins
Ah Ling Neu, viola
Elizabeth Anderson, cello
Doubt, confusion, an inner repentance - these were the themes I tried to work with in creating my “Meditation” on this most solemn prayer, recited on the Jewish day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. In my composition, the traditionally familiar motifs are fragmented, inverted, and fused together in a way that is connected by question marks. Will we be forgiven? What did we do wrong?
Traditionally, the “Kol Nidrei” is a prayer recited three times — and similarly, in my piece, there are several elements that develop over three repetitions or three phrases — for example, the opening melody in the cello unfolds over three statements.
The premiere performance of “Meditation on Kol Nidrei” took place at an Erev Yom Kippur service in Odessa, Texas, featuring the Cassatt Quartet. I'm very grateful to them for the commission.Show More
Ljova - Old Coin
Here's a little folk tune I wrote in The Catskills two weeks ago -- for this one I recorded both of my fadolíns, my famiola and viola -- it's also my first homemade multisquares video, shot with an iPhone and put together in Final Cut Pro X. What do you think? If this was in Bela Tarr's gorgeous film "Satantango", this song would probably play on repeat for 25 minutes, during which you'd experience every emotion. (You need to see this film.) Dance away -- dance like nobody's watching -- more true than ever, by the way...
Los Cenzontles cover Bob Dylan's Oh Sister featuring special guests Lev Zhurbin on violin, Pablo Aslan on bass. Eugene Rodriguez voice and guitar, Fabiola Trujillo, voice, and Lucina Rodriguez, vihuela.
Ljova - Pensive Waltz
Ljova - Pensive Waltz
piano demo, July 14 2020
Happy Halloween 2020
Happy Hallowèén, from Zach Brock, Ljova and Jason Grant. You probably can't see us -- but then you can't un-see this, either.
If this gave you chills --- go vote!
#violin #fadolín #guitar #spooky #halloween #porchmusic #improvisation #dangerousShow More
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
NEW: free Patreon-only Exclusive: Dec 4 Jams -- little excerpt below -- go here for the whole video: https://www.patreon.com/posts/free-patreon-dec-44668775 #fadolín #fadolin #jams #patreonexclusive #music #bluesy #ljova #hashtagsareforkids #hasntagbrowns #whatcanbluesdoforyou
Volyner Nign - Zisl Slepovitch and Ljova (excerpt)
Excerpt from Low Gear Jams
Zisl Slepovitch, piano (left)
Ljova, fadolín (right)
The video looks like two musicians on a Zoom call, but with a twist -- we can play at the same time and actually hear each other! How is this possible? The answer, as modern parlance goes, may surprise you -- we're also connected on Skype! Watch an excerpt above and allow me to explain -- https://www.ljova.com/2020/12/low-gear-jamming-zoom-skype/Show More
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 2020Show More
Bach - Chromatic Fantasy BWV903 arranged for fadolín by Ljova
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, #ljova, #fadolín, #fadolin, s#arrangements, #transcriptions, #chromaticfantasy, #songsofcomfortShow More
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 OntarioShow More
Natalia Lafourcade - Alfonsina y El Mar (Video Oficial)
How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
music and lyrics by Ljova, who also sang on this demo and played the fadolín
Close friends know that I have a Tom Lehrer side that rarely leaves the house — but this one did. Yesterday I went to pick up my bow from Salchow & Sons, just across 57th street from Carnegie, and the Hall looked so lonely, boarded up… “Patience Patience Patience”, the posters said, instead of announcing upcoming concerts… as I was walking up to Salchow, this song came to me — you can see the original sketch at the end, my phone pointing at my shoes, as usual — always keep your sketches.
I wanted to find a way to celebrate that Carnegie has recently become more accessible, inclusive, and even more entertaining. I hope its doors will open again soon… in the meanwhile, we can sing about it!