Maya Beiser: "TranceClassical"
The acclaimed kibbutz-raised cellist Maya Beiser performs music from her new album TranceClassical, which includes music from a wide array of composers, brought to common ground by Maya’s unique artistic vision. Maya’s performance of J.S. Bach’s "Air on G" evokes the sound of an old LP, spinning on a distant turntable. Michael Gordon’s "All Vows" takes the Jewish Yom Kippur prayer, the Kol Nidrei (which translates to All Vows), and reimagines it entirely. Maya melds cello and electronically transformed vocals, sung simultaneously while she plays, in Imogen Heap’s mesmerizing "Hide and Seek." Composer and drummer Glenn Kotche of Wilco contributes "Three Parts Wisdom," a rhythmic and multilayered new work for Maya, described as “a soaring, gorgeous tour de force for solo cello” by The Washington Post. In Lou Reed’s "Heroin," arranged by David Lang, Maya sings the haunting confessional over her cello’s arpeggios in a startlingly moving take on the original. Julia Wolfe’s "Emunah" (or “belief”) is an ancient-feeling vocal and cello duo expressing and expounding on the idea of devotion. Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz’s new "Kol Nidrei," in which Maya sings the text in Aramaic, also engages echoes of ancient cantorial styles, and has been described as “simply gorgeous” (The New York Times) and “luxuriant” (San Francisco Chronicle). David T. Little’s driving "Hellhound," written for Maya, is based on legendary bluesman Robert Johnson’s 1937 song "Hellhound On My Trail," which tells the story of a man pursued by demons. TranceClassical closes with Maya’s plaintive but ardent arrangement of Medieval visionary Hildegard von Bingen’s "O Virtus Sapientiae."