Stories With and Without Language: The Musical Adventures of Iva Bittová

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Vocalist/violinist Iva Bittová is internationally known for her unique music which draws on influences from her native Moravia and her lineage in the rich traditions of Slovakia and the Roma people. Her ability to bring those influences together with such modern inspirations as Meredith Monk's wordless vocal pieces, and free improvisation, creates music that feels ancient and new, surprising and familiar at the same time.

Iva is a storyteller who rarely uses actual language to convey the emotions of her stories. Singing wordlessly, or using an implied language of her own, she creates intimate, engrossing narratives. Sometimes she does this performing with large orchestras or small ensembles, and sometimes--as in this case--she performs alone, exposing her artistry in all its subtlety.

David Garland welcomes Iva Bittová to the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about her music. She sings and plays violin simultaneously, sings some songs for voice alone, and with kalimba, drawing chiefly from material on her new ECM album, Iva Bittová. Plus she tells of living in rural upstate New York, and being a film star in the Czech Republic. This show first aired April 7, 2013.

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