Just recovering from a fantastic week of studio work with Gica and Fin Loening, two thirds of the celebrated Scottish Klezmer ensemble, Celter Schmelter. Over its ten year history, Celter Schmelter has followed the path of the true klezmorim – playing everywhere we’ve been asked! – from high brow concerts, to bar/batmitzvahs and weddings, to community celebrations and protest marches. But having been so busy entertaining the masses, we’ve never had a chance to get into a studio and record our set…so last week we took the leap and spent some intensive days at the Eigg Studio, working on our forthcoming album! It was a joy to be focusing on ‘what we do and why we do it’, particularly talking about the cultural backdrop for the music, the importance of being true to the genre, whilst bringing some new non-traditional approaches in appropriate places (including klezmer-swing and klez-meets-scots-trad). Klezmer is described as ‘laughter through tears’ – you can hear this clearly in the lyrical and heartwrenching ‘Doina’ and ‘Forspiel’ pieces. The history of this music is so poignant; the fact that many of the tunes were lost after the second world war – the musicians simply did not survive – so the music was relearned more recently from old wax cylinder recordings that date back to the early 1900s, one of which will be featured on our album. Gica Loening is a rare example of a klezmer specialist fiddler in the UK, and it’s a treat to accompany her! Album and film to follow in due course. Meanwhile, find us on facebook and come along to our gigs at the end of the month!