Julian Kytasty and Michael Alpert: Night Songs From a Neighboring Village

Michael Alpert & Julian Kytasty
Photo by David Kaufman

Rich East European Jewish and Ukrainian musical traditions come together with Michael Alpert, a leading Yiddishist and pioneer of the klezmer revival, and Julian Kytasty, a premier bandura (lute-harp) player.

Night Songs from a Neighboring Village pairs traditions that have existed side by side and interacted for centuries, mirroring the complex relationship between the two peoples.

From lyrical love ballads and songs of flirtation to tales of marital mayhem and epics of separation from home and hearth wrought by conscription and war, this music portrays the many facets of life portrayed in the Jewish and non-Jewish song cultures of Ukraine.

Master traditional singers, musicians and composers Michael Alpert and Julian Kytasty enrich their heritage music with new compositions and arrangements that marry tradition and innovation.

They draw sustenance from the deep wellsprings of Ukrainian folk and liturgical song, the virtuosic art of the bandura (Ukrainian lute-harp), and three Jewish musical genres that reached their greatest European flowering on the soil of Ukraine: klezmer music, Yiddish folk song and the music of the Hasidic world.

Along with the Jewish cantorial tradition, these three great art forms of the Yiddish world have nourished each other while interacting closely with the diverse musical styles of non-Jewish neighbors.

"Love Songs" continues that interaction in the present day thru music, personal tale, and multimedia projection.