Fran & Flora Are Reimagining Traditional Yiddish Folk Music, ep. 261

Episode 261
1h 7m | May 16, 2024

Two long-time collaborators, cellist Francesa Ter-Berg and violinist Flora Curazon, Fran & Flora, have bonded over their obsession with ancient music, rooted in Eastern European and Jewish culture, for over a dozen years. Together and separately, the English musicians have been studying with teachers of ethnomusicology in places like Transylvania and Romania. There, they took in the music as well as the cultural influences. That's not to speak of their higher musical education, Francesca holds two masters in music (including ​in ​contemporary ​improvisation ​at ​the ​New ​England ​Conservatory ​of ​Music) while Flora trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London. They break down the benefits of each learning style and how it impacts their creative process. They also get into their love of klezmer music and the importance of portraying cultural heritage while remaining modern.

We also talk about how as female musicians, they are expected to do absolutely everything and excel at it while people still talk about whether or not you smile on stage.
They share “There’s a very deep thing in there that has effected our choices as a band in order to keep it safe and healthy within ourselves.” Their latest album Precious Collection features a couple of original tunes, but it's mostly new and unique arrangements of traditional Klezmer and Yiddish songs. Don't sleep on the smokey translation that Flora shares of the song "Little Bird" and stick around to learn who is the better roommate. All in all, great conversation with wonderful people who create bonkers music that's rich in tradition and layers. 

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