Common Ground Concerts Presents
In Association with RiverArts
At South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry
Asaran Earth Trio
So a Croatian, a Brazilian and a Hungarian walk into a bar…A collective of vocalists from different corners of the globe (as well as the set up to a great punchline), Asaran Earth Trio is a group dedicated to singing beautiful music from around the world. With New York City as their figurative ‘bar’, Asaran came together out of the desire to take different traditions in new directions, combining folk elements together with the adventure of group improvisation and each member’s musical ‘history’. Together they sing, clap, play percussion and are known to cause groups of strangers to break out in song, laugh, cry, dance and shake some groovy shakers.
Asaran Earth Trio features Astrid Kuljanic from Croatia, Artemisz Polonyi from Hungary and Anne Boccato from Brazil. They love to share their music and stories all around the Earth – in living rooms, theaters, houses of worship, festivals, on the street — and even in actual bars.
In association with RiverArts, Common Ground is honored to a special celebration of the release the group’s debut record. Some places, in their verdant abundance, in their stark beauty, speak, as if they had a voice and words all their own. They defy language barriers, coalesce into song, and beg the question: Why Should Your Heart Not Dance?
Asaran Earth Trio poses this query to listeners, sharing their own answers and drawing on perfected harmonies, serious grooves, and a spirit that honors the earth and its profusion of voices. The multinational vocalists intermingle beats and melodies, passing along the best of their homelands to each other and to their listeners with an easy grace.
Why Should Your Heart Not Dance (release date: November 3, 2017) leaps between wild improvisation and crafted counterpoint, between salty flirtation and slow laments, between jazz standards and folk pieces. Judiciously experimental, the music aims to draw listeners in, an intention reflected in the group’s concerts, when they pass around handmade instruments crocheted from plastic bags and invite the audience to sing with them.
“My goal in life is to write things that groove, even when those things are very complex. It has to feel good,” laughs Brazilian-born singer and percussionist Boccato. The New York-based group sprang from an idea Boccato had, that she could unite a few women to sing and play the kind of music she loved. Boccato invited two vocalists she knew and respected to give it a whirl, one with an earthy resonant alto and the other with crystal-clear high notes. They came from different parts of the world, from different sides of the scene: Astrid Kuljanic hailed from the western edge of Croatia, the heavily Italian-influenced region of Kvarner, and Artemisz Polonyi came to New York from Budapest, Hungary. Though their roots were farflung, the chemistry was instant.
They didn’t have a name for their group, but they knew they had stumbled on the right sound, a blend of playful percussion and resonant vocal expressions. The melding of their very individual timbres became as seamless as the name they eventually chose, borrowing the first syllable from each singer’s first name to create something new and intriguing. They taught each other what they knew and loved: Boccato brought the groove, Polonyi the devotion to vocal blend, and Kuljanic a passion for folk vocal styles.