Track of the Day: 'New Skomorohi'

A pan-Slavic collaboration as danceable as it is devious
The Bulgarian Voices before a performance ( Flickr / il_Longo )

Past Tracks

Feeling a under the weather lately? Some acheyness in the legs, or a clogged-up head?

Perhaps you haven’t gotten enough polyrhythm lately. You can remedy that with this track, the result of an intriguingly cosmopolitan collaboration. From the 1998 album Mountain Tale, New Skomorohi” brings together artists across a vast but connected region: the nearly nordic Moscow Art Trio, the traditional Balkan female choir Bulgarian Voices Angelite, and the Tuvan folk ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu. While other “world” collaborations can lean toward bland melange, Mountain Tale is buttressed by the three groups’ shared proximity to Russia. (“New Skomorohi” takes its name in part from the skomorokha kind of Slavic jester.) And, sonically, too, there’s more affinity here than it might seem: Arkady Shilkloper’s horn seems to play multiple notes at the same time, a kind of overtone performance that Tuvan throat singing is known for. 

A final note: I have no idea where the images come from in this video, and you should totally ignore them. 

new track button.png
Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

Just In