Working together across an ocean, Chicago-based chamber group Fifth House Ensemble and Mediterranean folk band Baladino created Nedudim, a collaborative project that explores the rich traditions of Middle Eastern, European and American folk music. Described as “a sharing of cultures and a celebration of music that transcends borders,” the work is equal parts new and old with some compositions dating back to ancient Spain and others as recent as 2005.
During a visit to DePauw University to perform Nedudim earlier this year, Baladino vocalist Yael Badash and string player Thomas Moked along with Fifth House bassist Eric Snoza and its executive director Melissa Snoza joined Dean Mark McCoy in the studio to talk about this collaborative experience.
On cross-continental collaboration:
“I think it’s quite good not to live in the same city, because when you are so separated you have to do lots of your work online. And when you finally meet, you are so eager to work together; you don’t have much time, and you have to work really quickly, and you have to prepare really well.”
On global influences in music:
“When you play for a traditional audience, they tend to be very stuck in their laws or how it’s supposed to sound. But we have so many people in the world, so many musicians, and each one is an individual. We all grew up in different houses with different music, different influences, and I think it’s so important in our time to be unique and broaden your horizon.”
Advice to young classical musicians:
“Don’t take it too seriously. You deal with traditional music but try to imagine the people that lived at that time. They enjoyed life. They enjoyed the music, and they didn’t take it too seriously.”