Inspiring interpretation of Klezmer tunes colored by the experiences of a lifetime.
Yonatan Miller's Discography with Invincible Music
Yonatan (Jonathan) Miller, born in London, England in 1959, son of a Rabbi, grew up in New York City from age 2 studying classical violin (Blanche Levy, Yuval Waldman, Robert Cannetti, Peter Marsh) for 13 years as well as some recorder lessons earlier on and a few years of clarinet (Jane Hamborsky). All this in addition to the finest educatoin New York public schools had to offer in the '70s and Hebrew and religious school studies.
Here is a bio I use nowadays
You can see many of my Israeli exploits as a TV star and rabble-rouser
The inspiration for this CD came when i bought myself a small 8-track recording device and my wife and kids went to visit her family in Israel in the winter of 2009
These tunes being folk tunes, public domain, i took advantage of the fact that i was living alone in an empty house, temporarily, and by January 2010 I had finished most of the project. I simply went through the list of songs, in no particular order, recorded a line here. Chose a different instrument for this or that one. Found a line I liked and went through the piece adding harmonies. Making a chorus of countless mandolins, a horn section of clarinets. It was a tag team match of the tunes and my memories versus my wits and imagination, I ploughed through the month and a half recording in my garage during every spare waking moment.
Liv Khalsa Singh of Invincible Records, that i had done some work for previously agreed to help me mix the thing so i transferred all the tracks to him and we went to work, taking eventually about six months and about 80+ hours of hard work working on equalizations etc... An accidental installment of new software during the project forced us to change all of the effect presets, but that turned out for the better and Liv's wonderful creative use of his studio and equipment helped me realize a dream and i am forever grateful.
Being able to realize this dream of producing a musical project entirely my own has been a cathartic experience and hopefully only the first step on the way to more
If you hear this music you hear thousands of years of Jewish History but you also hear the history of music and human emotions. No one religion holds the true truth, but only a version of it. Being Jewish has its unique experiences that you share with so many alive and so many that have lived. And it echoes humanity.
While i was recording i came up with the name Klezmo-Cowboy Folk/Jazz to describe this new eclectic style.
Working alone in your garage you can come up with some wonderful subtle touches by multi-tracking re-recording bits and erasing others. I had a lot of fun and I am totally satisfied with the result. It is me. It is a reflection of me and my life and everything that I have done up until now. Who knows what the future has in store?
My inspiration to do this project was also based on my life for two special albums. Chick Corea had a wonderful album (one of my all time favorite albums) My Spanish Heart which showed his own heritage through the music he played. Paul McCartney recorded a wonderful album after he left the beatles recording all the tracks himself. I had always wanted to have my own version of those.
There were some people that i had offered to come over and lay down tracks but in the end
A famous Jewish song says that the main thing in life is not to be afraid
But I say that the main thing is to smile , be happy, make the most out of what you have and go from there...
THE MUSIC ITSELF
the pieces were numbered 1-13 and there were no names for the tunes given
I also i added the bonus track that i had recorded years
So the entire process the numbers were simply 1-13 and then at the very end i decided i didn't like the way they sounded in order so i flipped them from 12 counting down to 1 and then 13 at the end and liked the way they sounded in that order
Just for CD baby since i didn't know the actual names of the tunes i had some fun and made up some cute names
Violin (my violin was made by Israel Schmidt, an Israeli luthier
On the bonus track I am playing another electric violin i had - some cheap japanese thing that looked like a stick with strings on it - but it looked cool and i actually liked that thing - and a lovely hollow body epiphone electric mandolin that i had purchased at Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island NY (and was stolen from the Penny Lane club in Jerusalem during the Sukkot Holiday in 1983 and it still hurts me to think about it), a funky Hagstrom electric guitar and an even funkier hollow body acoustic/electric bass
Please enjoy and please spread the word
I hope to get to work on futher projects in the not too distant future
Thank you for reading and listening
I am dedicating this project io the memory of four great musicians and people that I had the honor to work with.
Erik Eisen was a talented harmonica player that played in our "progressive bluegrass" band Old no. 7 back at SUNY Binghamton in the late 70's (a great time to have been a college student).
March 31, 2011
My friend Rahel interviewed me for this project and to celebrate its release