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Stories through music

Guy Mendilow Ensemble to perform

RONAN — The Guy Mendilow Ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Ronan Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15 at the door. The Ensemble’s recent album “Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom” dives into Ladino tradition, from songs and stories carried by Sephardic Jews as they moved from Spain and settled along the Mediterranean’s northern coast to Greece and Turkey — a culture that was almost lost during World War II. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and skilled arranger Guy Mendilow and his four musical collaborators leap into this world, the intertwining music and storytelling conjure an imagination lost to war and upheaval, recorded in a language that blends archaic Spanish with Arabic, Hebrew and Greek.

“If you like Game of Thrones, these stories are for you,” Mendilow said. “The tales are amazing. The melodies twist and turn, like the culture of adaptation Sephardic musicians embraced. Much of it is modal music, with elements that run from epic tunes to early 20th-century foxtrots and tangos, and all of it is mesmerizing, in its beauty and intensity.” By digging deep into Sephardic scholarship and revitalizing the sound recorded on gritty field recordings, Mendilow and company bring tales to life, intertwining voices, percussion, and soulful playing to render these songs in all their color, drama, and heart.

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