“What I’ve done with the piece is to use the sequence of numbers corresponding to the elevation of the terrain in a straight line going from the east coast to the west coast of the United States at the latitude of Louisville, Kentucky as an impulse response which I convolved audio editing with the piece. Convolution is the process of multiplying the values of one linear sequence of numbers by every other member of a 2nd linear sequence of numbers. Convolution Reverb is used widely to apply a “space” to a recorded sound.” — Steve Good Continue reading
One cold and dreary February afternoon in Moscow, I kissed my mother good-bye, waved to my friends and lovers, and embarked on the journey of my life to the Brave New World across the ocean. Soon I was on my way to the forbidden and luring place, another side of everything I had experienced so far in my ever suffering and intensely profound homeland. It was the time when tectonic plates of history moved, breaking countries into pieces, sending waves of people to new shores. The way of life in Russia was rapidly changing. The old order deteriorated in no time. In the social and political vacuum, the gangsters, party bureaucrats, and secret services became major powerbrokers. Local social and ethnic communities were quickly transformed into markets producing a few haves and plenty of have-nots. The end of the century was near, climate change was on the horizon, and the global warning broadcasted gloom and doom. I arrived in America equipped with a back-pack, a suitcase, a guitar, three hundred dollars in my pocket, and a determination to mix in into the celebrated creative exuberance of the Big Apple. In one day, I became a rootless cosmopolitan * and was soon roaming free in the streets on Manhattan.
Now, many years later, I still can recollect practically moment by moment my first day in New York as well as many other first experiences I have had in my new life. Putting together this book, I relied not only on such poignant memories but also on the notes I began to take upon my arrival to New York. I continued taking snapshots of experiences and observations during my frequent expeditions in 48 states of the U.S., in Germany and a few other European countries for the next seventeen years. Once uprooted, you become an outsider everywhere you go, and being an outsider relieves you from the compulsion to take sides or subscribe to any particular ideology. It is an auspicious point in time to begin Tribal Diaries. — Misha Feigin Continue reading
Floating Bridges radiates with high energy interplay from the first notes and reveals a musical dynamism of fluid invention and sympathetic creation from the String Trek duo of violist La Donna Smith and guitarist Misha Feigin. Recorded in June, 2007 at the “Meeting of Improvisers” in Krakow, Poland, the set opens with the nineteen-minute “Krakow Concerto.” After the initial shock but superficial comparison to the duo of Smith and guitarist Davey Williams heard live during the 1970s-80s, String Trek comes crisply into focus with its own characteristic sound and approach. This well recorded live performance captures the duo at a high point of artistic collaboration. — Thomas Gaudynski Continue reading
This recording documents a musical journey that the three of us took, meeting for the first time in Louisville, Kentucky on June 28, 2006, and embarking on a three hour musical recording session together. All pieces on this recording were improvised in the spirit of communal musical exploration and mutual respect. Waters come ashore, bringing with it the debris from the depths of the ocean. Like our imagination reveals the tide of our traditions and experience, we are left with the evidence of natural change and assimilation. Drink deep. Continue reading
If you’ve never heard a free-style jazz duet between a balalaika and a dobro, and you have a desire to do so, this CD should appeal to you. Actually, this is much more than a novelty album, as Feigin strums his guitar-like balalaika and classical guitar through seven jazz duets with Elliot Sharp (dobro), Davey Williams (electric guitar), Craig Hultgren (cello), LaDonna Smith (violin), and Eugene Chadbourne (banjo and guitar). The star billing is entirely appropriate, as each track is a stunning display of string improvisation. There is lots of variety as not only do the instruments and players alternate, but so do the free improvisations. Surprisingly accessible and at times even soothing, there is plenty of stridency, too. The duel with Hultgren is a particular highlight, as the violinist dances gingerly, without missing a step. Feigin (no relation to Leo Feigin, the producer) is strong throughout and a perfect partner. — Steve Loewy Continue reading
Misha Feigin – classical guitar, voice 1-17 / balalaika 17 | Marc Vainrot – viola de gamba 3,4 | Segei Proshutinsky – medieval flutes, crumhorn 2,3,4 | Sergei Kopchenkov – piano, harpsichord 7,11 | Alexander Ivanov – keyboard 6,11 | Sergei Gurgbeloshvili – saxophone 7 | Mark Pekarsky – percussions 9 | Mihail Utkin – cello 9 | Lliya Lungin – flute 10 | Moscow String Quartet 9 | Mark Hamilton – electric guitars, electronics 12-17 | Dannie Kely – bass 12-17 | Hussam Al-Aydi – oud, keyboards, voice 14. Cover photo by LaDonna Smith. Insert photo by Misha Feigin. Back cover photo by Valentin Mitskevich Continue reading
Searching for Irina Feigin’s book has that sweet impact that only time and distance can provide-this ex-muscovite-turned-Kentucky “blue blood” writes through the eyes of one voluntary displaced within a time warp of pathos and humor, and painfully “good” times in his domestic land in the seventies. I’ve enjoyed every moment of this glorious freak show. – Steve Dalachinsky Continue reading