Yurodny - Haivka: hi-tech, avant-garde Balkan folk grooves

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Artist: Yurodny
Genre: Jazz
Label: Diatribe

Irish outliers Yurodny, led by saxophonist Nick Roth, may be fishing in the turbulent waters of the avant-garde, blending jazz, free improv, Balkan grooves and 20th-century classical harmony, but their nets also reach down to the slower, deeper undercurrents of traditional music.

Haivka ("Spring Song") examines the Ukrainian folk tradition through a radically technological lens ("new sensory interfaces that map physical gestures in real time and create new possibilities for responsive live electroacoustic instruments") along with hand signals from guest composer Alla Zagaykevych based on the ancient Irish Ogham alphabet.

But if that all sounds just too esoteric by half, the results are not, and that perhaps is this group’s strength: they make their daring sonic explorations subject to the earthy, visceral impulses of traditional music-making.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director