Æ weaves rich vocal tapestry
Aurelia Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack have been performing together as Æ (“ash”) since 2007. Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., they perform internationally and have just released their debut CD, the self-titled “Æ”.
Playing to hugely diverse audiences in sold-out shows at venues ranging from Joe’s Pub in New York City to Ashkenaz in Berkeley, these two young women bring together their deep understanding of different vocal traditions to create something new and daring with each song.
They have chosen the name Æ because it represents something of a dual nature -not singular, not plural, but exactly two. Accordion and Georgian panduri often add a further dimension to the naked and honest beauty of two unaccompanied voices, creating a rich tapestry with varied texture and ambiance in their live performance.
Their repertoire includes songs from Appalachian, Balkan, Caucasus Georgian, and Corsican traditions.
In addition to their album, Æ is featured in the soundtrack of “The Great Soviet Eclipse,” the newest film produced under the auspices of the Museum of Jurassic Technology (www.mjt.org).
Æ’s work is rooted in folk culture and never falls short of being visceral and provocative – in their music; youthful exuberance and reverence for ancient tradition seamlessly coincide.
A native of Santa Cruz, Eva Salina Primack has been studying, performing, and teaching Balkan music since she was a young child. She has traveled and performed internationally, worked with many well-known Balkan and American musicians, including Slavic Soul Party!, Which Way East, Kadife, Veveritse, Seido Salifoski’s Romski Boji, Edessa, Tzvetanka Varimezova, Italian Balkan Jazz Project Opa Cupa and KITKA. Eva received a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA.
In addition to her work as a performer, Eva teaches singing in New York City and internationally at camps, workshops and festivals.
Aurelia Shrenker has been singing music from various world traditions from the time she was 13-years-old. While growing up in the Northeastern United States she traveled extensively, both on her own sojourns and with Vermont-based touring ensemble Northern Harmony.
Aurelia has focused on Georgian music over the last decade and visited the country on numerous occasions as a musician, volunteer, and tour guide. Aurelia received her B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School with a concentration in Pedagogy, Literacy and Orality. She performs both as a soloist and with Æ.
What: Æ (Aurelia Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack)
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 South Church St., Grass Valley
Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door; available at BriarPatch and the Cultural Center office
Info: Call (530) 272-4725 or visit http://www.saintjosephsculturalcenter.org
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