Yonatan Gat will release a new album, American Quartet, on November 4 via his own Stone Tapes label and Joyful Noise Recordings. It's a reimagining of Antonín Dvořák’s classic chamber piece "String Quartet No 12," which the Czech composer wrote while living in the United States in the 1890s. For it, Gat worked with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, Mdou Moctar bassist Mikey Coltun and organist Curt Sydnor.

“Since the first time I heard the American Quartet it sounded like rock’n’roll melodies," says Gat, who used to lead Israeli band Monotonix. "So on this record we took a stab at performing the 19th century string quartet live from start to finish on electric guitar, bass, organ and drums; adding some improvisation and vibe, but following the melodies and the harmonies quite truthfully. It might be ambitious but it’s also pretty thrashed out.  It was composed by Antonín Dvořák, who listened to spirituals and Native music and wrote this beautiful piece as a person from another country living in New York. Like me. Unlike Dvořák though, I cannot read music and had to learn the melodies from memory. Greg, Mikey and Curt were responding to the sheet music, each adding their unique take to it. We were also responding to each other. My favorite movement is the second, slow movement. It was the last thing we recorded together - late night studio magic. And it all happened around the time my first child was born.”

You can listen to that second, slow movement below.

attachment-Yonatan-Gat-American-Quartet-Cover-Artwork
loading...

AMERICAN QUARTET TRACKLIST:
1. Tremolos – I. Allegro ma non troppo
2. Slow American Movement - II. Lento
3. Joke – III. Molto vivace
4. Rondo – IV. Finale: vivace ma non troppo

More From Brooklyn Vegan