Maciej Gołębiowski comes from Poland, while Aleksander Szewczenko comes from Russia. Both of them studied music and both moved to Austria 18 years ago. They got to know each other better when they cooperated with the Ensemble Klesmer Wien, the band founded by Leon Pollak which was known for its interpretations of traditional Jewish music. Soon, their fascination with klezmer music resulted in the formation of a duo which operates under a name that is also the band's motto: “Klezmer Reloaded.” They are inspired by various styles, such as jazz, folk, classical music, funk, tango, and oriental music. They found their own, personal approach towards klezmer music. Their interpretations of klezmer are developing through improvisations which are rooted in the folk music from the countries of the musicians' origins.
In 2000, on the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin's birthday, Szewczenko and Gołębiowski surprised the audiences with presenting the composer's music in their own, already recognizable style. In the project titled “MAHLER reloaded – Lieder fahrender Gesellen” they created their own forum for Gustav Mahler's songs; his work and its musical context became grounds for new references and improvisations.
In all of their new interpretations, which also include works by Richard Wagner, one can recognize melodies which are both classical and klezmer, and together create a feeling of “trans-musicality”. Different forms of expression come together and create something new. In this sense, the Klezmer Reloaded duo are “contemporary” klezmer musicians, performing a role similar to that of the original klezmorim who accompanied life in Eastern European shtetls from the cradle, through bar mitzvah, to death. The klezmer musicians travelled, always adding new pieces to their repertoire. This was music was constantly transformed, but also kept its basic fundaments. This, we will also find in Klezmer Reloaded.
Maciej Gołębiowski – clarinets
Aleksander Szewczenko – bayan (Russian chromatic button accordion)
Partner: Austrian Cultural Forum