Kickstarter Campaign: A new album “Magic Mountain” by the Kalmanovitch Maneri Duo

The first recording from the viola duo that cuts to the heart of music: from the blues to Babbit, from Mahler to jazz to microtonality.

Magic Mountain is the first recording from the Kalmanovitch Maneri Duo. We recorded this album at our favorite hall in the United States: New England Conservatory’s landmark Jordan Hall. Now, we’re raising funds to release this album and build a new platform for our music and our message.

About Our Duo

The first time we played together, a decade ago, we knew something special was in the air. Part of it is our ‘string story’. We both play the viola, the unsung hero of the string world, and each of us charted our own path as improvisers at a time when ‘jazz viola’ was still an oxymoron.

But really, it’s because we share the same basic beliefs about music. For each of us, improvisation is not about letting go — it’s about digging in. It’s a discipline; a ritual space that binds us to the moment and trains us to be be present to every possibility. When we play, we listen with more than just our ears: we listen with all the parts of our experience.

We play out of our belief that every one of us has a personal voice—a secret melody—that sings the essential quality of the self. That voice treats tension, uncertainty and difference as literal and figurative counterpoint. It’s empathy made audible. And whenever we play this way, we create a space for others to do the same.

About Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain is a suite of nine pieces. We started with a simple set-up: two violas, two chairs, and a few microphones. And what unfolded from that was everything. We borrowed our album’s name from Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), the 1924 book by Thomas Mann. On the surface, Mann’s story is about a young man whose three-week visit to a Swiss sanitarium mysteriously turns into seven years. Dig deeper, though, and the story is an exploration of the nature of time: its illusions and distortions, and the ambiguous quality of memory…

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