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Olga Bell releasing ‘Krai'; NYC live premiere happening at LPR

Olga Bell

Olga Bell, who is currently a Dirty Projector and just played MoMA PS1 this past weekend (3/30), is releasing a new solo album, Krai, on April 29 via New Amsterdam Records. The album is a song cycle sung in Russian (her native language), and the description reads:

Inspired by the lesser-known corners of Bell’s homeland and written entirely in her native Russian, Krai is Bell’s second LP and first large-scale composition.

…Krai (край) is the Russian word for edge, limit, frontier or hinterland. Present-day Russia is divided into a myriad of ‘federal subjects’, including nine krais. In this capacity the term is a political designation, like ‘territory’, but for the earliest Russians these places represented both the promise and terror of the vast unknown.

While much has been written about Russia’s major cities, Olga Bell’s Krai is concerned with the rest of the map: the wilderness, the towns, the inhabitants and their stories. From the Cossack melodies of Krasnodar Krai in the West to the Chukchi drumming of Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East, Krai is a journey across the Eurasian landmass in forty minutes.

Scored for cello, electric guitar, bass, pitched drums, mallet percussion and electronics, Krai features a vocal ensemble of six Olgas (four female, two ‘male’) singing entirely in Russian. The texts of Krai are a mix of traditional, liturgical and original poetry Olga created with her mother, a former Radio Moscow broadcaster. Cossack fables, Orthodox chant and politically charged limericks collide in a dizzying mosaic of avant-garde and vernacular soundscapes.

Preview Krai by listening to one of its tracks below.

The day before the album’s release, it gets its live NYC premiere at Le Poisson Rouge (4/28). For the premiere, Olga will be joined by Melissa Attebury, Ray Bailey, Ben Campbell, Wesley Chinn, Melissa Hughes, Andrea Lee, Kate Maroney, Greg McMurray, Jason Nazary, Bryan Nichols and Gunnar Olsen. Grizzly Bear drummer Christopher Bear‘s trio with Benjamin Campbell and Aaron Artnz opens the show. Tickets are on sale now.

Olga Bell – “Perm Krai”

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