Archive | October, 2010

Playwright profiles: Eyad Houssami

19 Oct

BTSblog presents you the playwrights of the first Between the Seas staged readings event.

Eyad Houssami grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and pursued his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at Yale University, where he directed seven full scale productions. He has also performed in the dead Byzantine cities in Syria, a beach party twenty minutes north of the Lebanon-Israel border, and a 13th century mansion in Damascus. As a writer, he has contributed to peer-reviewed academic journals, international magazines, and regional dailies. A recipient of Rotary and Fulbright research grants, he earns a living as an editor in Beirut, Lebanon.

What inspired the writing of Mama Butterfly?

During the summer 2006 war in Lebanon, I was evacuated from Beirut by American marines on a ship flanked by Navy warships. Around 1,200 civilian deaths were reported in Lebanon; 44 civilian deaths were reported in Israel. My great-aunt, a widow, chose to stay in Beirut despite having the means to evacuate unlike most. Her decision, my privileged evacuation, and the devastation of war prompted me to write Mama Butterfly, my first play. It is based on a series of interviews conducted in 2007.

How did you get into playwriting and what is the type of theater you are interested in?

I first began writing for the stage while studying performance with Deb Margolin at Yale. I am interested in stories and dreams that unfold in the theatre, the place where, despite a future of screens and speeds so great, we will continue to remember, experience, and preserve our humanity.

What does the Mediterranean mean to you?

Millennia of trade, migration, and empire.

Eyad’s play MAMA BUTTERFLY will be featured in the Between the Seas staged readings, on Tuesday October 19th, 7-8 pm at Solas Bar [232 East 9th str.]


Playwright profiles: Anthoula Katsimatides

19 Oct

BTSblog presents you the playwrights of the first Between the Seas staged readings event.

Writing ‘Ham-n-Eggs & Purple Golashes’ (HEPG)

I am a Greek-American, born and raised in the ghetto of Astoria, Queens in NY. I mean no disrespect when I say ghetto. Astoria was a ghetto when I was growing up because my family lived among and
socialized with Greek people. My parents were immigrants who struggled their whole lives to raise their children in a foreign country while maintaining their ethnicity, culture and religion. They succeeded but unfortunately it did result in a bit of an identity crisis for me, their only daughter of four children. My piece was born out of this inner conflict between my Mediterranean and NY identities when I hit my thirties. I felt and continue to feel as though I spread the vibrancy of the Mediterranean culture by just being me. It can be liberating to embody this special, gorgeous “Greekness” but sometimes it is the very thing that I rail against because I feel like it has kept me captive instead.
Growing up sheltered in Astoria by the Greek mantra “what will people say” truly imprisoned me in one world…in one self….and I did not know it on the surface but deep down I kept trying to escape….trying to find myself and only when I was confronted with two personal tragedies did I start to really open up and broaden my horizons and widen my world….and get stronger….and more independent. Although the conflict still looms within.

How did you get into playwriting and what is the type of theater you are interested in?

It was quite liberating when I finally decided to become an actor three years ago at 35 years old after following a pattern of what I “should” be vs pursuing my passion. I found myself sharing my story with others and thought to create a solo performance piece that talked about growing up imprisoned in my culture and not even knowing it. At the same time, I wanted to talk about how grateful I am for that upbringing. HEPG is a wonderful compilation of short stories weaved together with love, humor, conflict, tragedy and brutal honesty. Technically, I don’t think of myself as a playwright (although perhaps now I am). I feel more like a storyteller. This is the first time I have written anything down and I am thrilled to be sharing my work for the first time in the “Between The Seas” festival.

I love theatre that is humble and relatable to the masses. This is what I hope to emulate.
The general messages of my piece that I want to communicate are that of conflict, hope, living freely and the importance of laughing out loud. I want to share my life with the audience and take them on my journey (my journey to Ithaca) which is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge, but also full of heartache….in the hopes of having even one person in the audience relate and walk away not feeling alone in the world.

What does the Mediterranean mean to you?

The Mediterranean to me is all about one island in Greece called Nisyros. The very small, simple, charming place of my parents’ birth. Currently still untainted by strong tourism, Nisyros is a volcanic island with a special heartbeat of its own. Each time I visit, and as soon as I catch my first glimpse of the island from the boat I am traveling on, I can feel my heart begin to synchronize with the pulse of the sea and ultimately with the island itself. Its a magical place.

Anthoula’s play HAM-N-EGGS AND PURPLE GOLASHES will be featured in the Between the Seas staged readings, on TUESDAY October 19th, 6-7 pm at Solas Bar [232 East 9th str.]

Playwright profiles: Damon Chua

16 Oct

BTSblog presents you the playwrights of the first Between the Seas staged readings event.

Damon received an Ovation Award (Best World Premiere Play) for his full-length work FILM CHINOIS, a noir mystery set in 1947 China. This play is published by Samuel French. His short play STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES was picked as one of the Best 10-Minute Plays of 2009 and published by Smith & Kraus. His other plays include A BOOK BY ITS COVER; DARK SIDES OF THE MOON; THE GHOST BUILDING; and 10-minute plays A BOY, A GIRL AND A PUPPET WITH A COWBOY HAT; DOGS ARE EVIL; and EATING FRENCH. A Durfee Foundation grant recipient, Damon has been invited to many theatre conferences including the Last Frontier Theatre Conference and the Cultural Conversations Theatre Festival. His pieces have been presented in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Alaska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, London and Singapore.

About writing AZIZA:
The current struggle between Islam and Christianity is nothing new. For a long time, Spain was ruled by the Islamic Moors, from the late 8th Century to the eve of Columbus setting sail for the New World, a period longer than 1492 to present day. While Islamic Spain was known for its religious tolerance, all good things come to an end, and so they did, resulting in the bloody expulsion of the Moors from Spain in the late 15th Century. Now, as Islam re-exerts its strength in many parts of the world, conflicts are again sharpened.

My interest as a playwright is to uncover universal themes and issues through a juxtaposition of the past and present, in a non-naturalistic way, with a majority of the acting roles written for people of color. I created AZIZA not just as a character piece, but also as a vehicle to further the current “clash of civilization” discussion, spotlighting the tragic consequences of repressive thinking that still exists in many parts of the world today.

The play’s production history:
Feb 2008 – Workshop production at Cultural Conversations Theatre Festival at Penn State University
April 2008 – Finalist, Long Beach Playhouse’s New Works Festival
May 2008 – Reading at Long Beach Playhouse
May 2008 – Semi-Finalist, Reverie Productions’ Next Generation Playwriting Contest
Jun 2008 – Staged reading at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Alaska
Feb 2009 – Invited to the Staging the Middle East Conference, University of California, Riverside

What are your links to the Mediterranean?

Despite looking 100% Asian, some Spanish blood courses through my body.

Damon’s play AZIZA will be featured in the Between the Seas staged readings, on Monday October 18th, 6-8 pm at Solas Bar [232 East 9th str.]

Playwright profiles: Noelle Ghoussaini

14 Oct

BTSblog presents you the playwrights of the first Between the Seas staged readings event.

Noelle Ghoussaini is an American-Lebanese playwright, director and arts educator. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Performance Studies and French and her MA in Arts Politics from NYU. Over the past few years, she has worked for numerous non-profit arts organizations in Chicago and New York City, teaching theatre, dance, photography and playwriting. After completing her Masters in May, she traveled to Palestine where she taught dance at the Freedom Theatre in the
Jenin Refugee Camp. She is currently working as an assistant director for Brave New World Theatre Company and Culture Project. She is also directing Marjuan Canady’s one woman show, Girls? Girls! Girls, which opens at the United Solo Festival in November of this year. She is thrilled to have her third original play, Ruth and the Great Gust of Wind, included in the Between the Seas festival.

Writing Ruth and the Great Gust of Wind
After graduating from college, about 3 years ago, I knew I wanted to write a historical narrative. I began searching for ideas, themes, historical figures that inspired me. I was struck, therefore, when my sister-in-law’s father told me about his aunt, Ruth Reynolds, who was born and raised in South Dakota, but dedicated the majority of her life to the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico. I quickly learned that there was a large archival section of the Centro de Estudios Puertoriquenos at Hunter College dedicated to her story, with over 40 boxes of first hand documents and over a hundred hour long interviews with Ruth transcribed, detailing her involvement in the Puerto Rican independence movement. I began the research process immediately. Not only did I use the information gathered at the library, but I took two trips to Puerto Rico to attend meetings, interview former Nationalists, historians and friends of Ruth. None of this research, however, could have been done without Blanca Vazquez, a professor at Hunter College and the woman who interviewed Ruth in the 1980s for the Centro’s Oral History project. She knew Ruth well and has supported this project with incredible dedication since its inception. I have since spent the past year and a half writing the script, which has gone through many incarnations. I organized readings and directed scenes from the play at NYU, but Between the Seas Festival is the first time an audience will hear the play in its entirety. The play is deeply rooted in historical truths, and although I have taken certain liberties in developing the drama of the story, the characters, events and facts represented in the play are closely unified with the information I gathered from my research.

How did you get into playwriting and what is the type of theater you are interested in?

Although I did not officially begin my work as a playwright until college, I think storytelling has always been in my blood. Since a very young age, I have always loved being part of the process of telling stories through performance. I started off as an actor at age 5, then director at age 16 and eventually moved into the territory of playwriting. I believed and continue to believe in the power of stories to open new spaces in people’s imagination and to question traditional representations of history and identity. I am particularly interested in theatre’s potential to examine and re-imagine cross-cultural dialogue within a political, social and economic context. Theatre that pushes the boundaries and defies conventions.

What does the Mediterranean mean to you?

The Mediterranean sparks ephemeral thoughts and images of my childhood. It means visiting family in Lebanon and long days near the water. It links me to my ancestors, the Phoenicians, who sailed its seas, thousands of years ago. And it ties me to the Middle Eastern nations that reside along its waters, and Arab peoples that have suffered deeply due political instability, oppression, apartheid and colonialism.

Noelle’s play RUTH AND THE GREAT GUST OF WIND will be featured in the Between the Seas staged readings, on Tuesday October 19th, 8-10 pm at Solas Bar [232 East 9th str.]

Playwright profiles: Kato McNickle

13 Oct

BTSblog presents you the playwrights of the first Between the Seas staged readings event.

Kato McNickle is a Connecticut-based playwright, director, and artist. ARIADNE ON THE ISLAND is 2010 Clauder Award recipient and 2008 O’Neill National Theater Conference finalist. Other recent playwriting awards include: a 2008 Heideman Award finalist with Actors Theatre of Louisville for ABOUT A HUNDRED PANCAKES; Theatre for Youth National Playwriting Award 2010 for CHANCE OF RAIN: A NOAH RIFF; a 2007 O’Neill National Theater Conference finalist for MINOTAURS. TOREROS; and an Ensemble Studio Theatre New Voices Fellow for FENCERS. Has studied playwriting with Paula Vogel, Bonie Metzgar, and Donna DiNovelli. Is Vice-President of the Mystic Paper Beasts, a Connecticut-based puppetry troupe and partner of The Dragon’s Egg Performance Space. Holds a BA from Brown University in Ancient Studies. Member of the Dramatist Guild and the Star Wars Fan Club.

How ARIADNE ON THE ISLAND was created:
Ariadne on the Island is an expansion on a moment from an earlier play called Minotaurs. Toreros. While workshopping Minotaurs there was a beat that the two actresses played during the second evening’s performance, a moment of a deep truth being spoken that was refused by the hero. “Ahh,” I thought, “that moment could be a whole play.” A whole play that drives toward a deep truth that, once spoken, acts as a wedge that splits the couple. I began work on this play idea as part of a class I was taking at Brown University with Bonnie Metzgar. She is an amazing dramaturg, with an uncanny ability to ask the right question at the right moment. She did that with this play, asking a question that exploded my understanding of the play-world, resulting in deeper character structures than I had originally imagined. I love moments like that, where creative explosions happen, happening because of the collaborative process of theater. So Ariadne and Minotaurs are sister plays, the same story told in different forms.

How did you get into playwriting and what is the type of theater you are interested in?

Playwriting is a natural expansion on my work as a theater director, designer, and actor. It came about as a necessity when I worked for a touring comedy troupe as a theatrical and technical director for which we all had to write. In my local community I produced an annual new play festival, through which I met many playwrights, actors, other directors, and became well-versed in producing and directing new plays. I decided to make my leap from sketch comedy to full-plays by enrolling in a class offered by the O’Neill National Theater Institute taught by Donna Dinovelli. I then spent that entire summer observing the National Playwrights Conference under Lloyd Richards, and read every book on playwriting that I could find.

My Theater Manifesto: Theater is a generous act. We go to the theater to fall in love. We fall in love with the play, fall in love with the work, fall in love with the company. It is important to respect commitment over talent. I can work with commitment. Talent without commitment quickly becomes destructive and a drain on the ensemble. Plays are not perfect entities, they are flawed, the actors are flawed, the audience is flawed, or late, or coughing, or who knows what. And still, we make theater. The progeny of American Realism is film, not theater. Current dramaturgy owes more to the American Musical Form than from the American Realists. Theater is a house of magnificence and eloquence and joyful giving.

What does the Mediterranean mean to you?

The story goes that my grandmother was born during the voyage to America, and so became the first US citizen in the family. The Mediterranean therefore carries with it strong associations of origin and blood-ties. Above her dining table my grandmother displayed a plate depicting Oedipus answering the Sphinx. That image – a reproduction of 5th century Athenian pottery art – has stayed with me from childhood until now. It has inspired a lifelong inquiry into ancient thought, philosophy, arts, religion, and points of Western culture inspired by and borrowed from a common Greco-Roman heritage.

Kato’s play ARIADNE ON THE ISLAND will be featured in the Between the Seas staged readings, on Monday October 18th, 8-1O pm at Solas Bar [232 East 9th str.]

“songs and dances for life non-stop”

1 Oct

An interview with Greg Squared of Ansambl Mastika. By Aktina

I first came across Ansambl Mastika sometime last winter in Barbès– one of my favourite venues for live music in the city where the group plays regularly original Eastern European music with influences ranging from the Balkans, to Turkey and the Middle East. So when the whole idea of a Mediterranean performing arts festival took shape, Ansambl Mastika was one of the very first groups of artists that I wanted to engage. I contacted the band’s leader Greg Squared (aka Greg Schneiderman) and we arranged to meet in Juliette in Brooklyn for an interview. After the initial introductions, we engaged in a rich and thought provoking discussion that often veered away from music into issues of politics and cultural identities in the Balkans- an area that Greg is very familiar with.

Me: Greg, after you graduated from UCSD you took a trip to Spain and that was your first encounter with Mediterranean, and later Balkan, musical traditions. Tell me a bit more about this encounter, what do you think drew you to the music, the culture, the people?

Greg: My trip to Spain was very eye-opening. In America we have a very limited view of what the world is . When I was in UCSD I was studying jazz and jazz improvisation. In jazz there is a strong tradition of being very dedicated to the music and I didn’t feel it was my music to be dedicated to. When I went to Spain I found out about all these other kinds of music, I found out about flamenco, which originally was the music of the Spanish gypsies but now it is Spain’s national music in the same way that jazz is our national music. It was very interesting to make that connection as I was traveling- that flamenco could only happen in Spain much like jazz could only happen in America. And seeing the people that make this music there are a lot of parallels, with regards to the social status of the Roma in Europe which is actually worse than the social status of African Americans in America, it is far worse.

While in Spain I also became interested in Sephardic music where you see a lot of influences from flamenco, from North African music and a lot of Turkish influences as well. And one day while in Spain, a friend of mine played the soundtrack of Kusturica’s Underground and it blew me away! Around that time I traveled to Southern France for a music festival and heard Romanian gypsy music and it also blew me away- I said, I have to play this music! So after 8 months in Spain I returned to NYC and I found about Balkan Camp. I started to explore the Balkan music because that was the place where a saw a strong tradition of woodwind playing as opposed to say Spanish music tradition. I had been digging into Klezmer, Middle Eastern music trying to find out about out them and so I said ok this is where I need to focus. After Balkan Camp I started playing the clarinet and then I visited the Balkans- Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece (He asks me if I consider Greece as part of the Balkans cause he’s been impressed by how many different interpretations of the “Balkans” he’s encountered based on who he talks to. I nod yes, very much so!)

Me: So what attracted you so strongly to that music?

Greg: In the beginning there was a certain degree of exoticism, it was very different than anything I’d known so I was really drawn into that. Musically speaking it sounds different, it is a challenge to play. I’ve been doing it for nine-ten years now and it is still a challenge to play. You always learn. In some ways it also felt like a more comfortable framework to work with. I am the kind of person that needs to have a framework. I studied free improvisation and what free improv does is it tries to brake down all frameworks, focus on what happens in the moment, pushing you to be free of style. I think however that most human beings crave some kind of a framework, a bit of structure in their lives. Not too much maybe, but some kind of foundation. So I was looking for a framework and Balkan music fit the bill, it was intriguing, it resonated with my own ethnic history because I am of eastern European descent. And it gave me a structure that was every bit if interesting as the structure that I’d find in jazz but somewhat more mine, something I could stake a claim in.
Part of it is also that there’s not a lot of people in this country that are doing it. And I am looking for those opportunities where I can stand out from the musicians and there are not so many saxophone and clarinetists that play Balkan music. There’s some that do it and do it better than I do but that’s fine, I can learn from them and I can still stand out and make my own expression and be myself. Also, I am not a person who likes to do something half-half. I think it would be doing the music a disservice if I didn’t go there and meet the culture and find out what the music is all about and where it comes from. And I think I do that now, I know it and I’ve internalized it to a large degree.

Me: You said that before that trip to Spain you did not know much about the culture of the region. So I wonder if you went there with any preconceptions, ideas about the place and if these were changed along the way.

Greg: I first visited the Balkans in 2003 and I think my travel in Spain had prepared me for this- especially because I had lived in Andalucia and village life was very similar –although the economy in Spain was much better than say in Albania and Romania. When I went the economy there had just collapsed and aside from Morocco these are the poorest places I’ve ever been to. Preconceived ideas…I thought it would be that really polarized society, I thought I would see many differences between Serbs and Croats or Bosnians or Albanians but in fact I was struck how close and similar all the people there were. And at the same time I was mystified by all the conflict there was between the populations.

Me: So do you want to tell me how Ansambl Mastika was formed? Do you play original compositions or arrangements of traditional music?

Greg: First I started working with Balkan music in the Zagnut Cirkus Orkestar. There is where I started seriously playing Balkan music. We would take arrangements from existing tunes or traditional tunes arranged by artists and we would play those arrangements. As part of my learning process I started writing music- I was exploring during my practice routine with my instrument, I would come up with an idea and write it down. But I didn’t think that the Zagnut Cirkus was a good forum for my writing because it wasn’t my group and I had a lot more material that I wanted to explore and I wanted more support. In 2005 I had about an album’s worth of material so I asked some of the musicians from the band if they wanted to rehearse these songs and then record them- it was all orginal songs. And they were like yeah lets do it! and that’s how Ansambl Mastika was created. I picked up that name when I was in Macedonia. I was sitting in a bar one night with this guy and we were drinking mastika. I have that little notebook where I write things down and I wrote Ansambl Mastika in Macedonian- not only in Macedonian but in Cyrillic. It was the first sentence I ever made in that language so I said when I go back to America I will have a group that will be called Ansambl Mastika.

So that’s how Ansambl Mastika was formed, as a vehicle for my original tunes. Then a bit later, around 2008-9 I began branching out into original arrangements of traditional tunes. I also started being more interested in traditional songs to engage audiences a bit more (Greg has learned some Macedonian and he wants to also learn Turkish in order to be able to understand more of the songs he works from). So that’s when it all started coming together, we do more or less original arrangements and I try to put a stamp on anything.

Me: And you have a CD out and another one coming up…

Greg: Yes, our first CD is Gde Si Bre?. It is a Serbian expression, it means hey you were are you, you hear it everywhere in the streets, it’s like hey dude whats up (I teach him the Greek equivalent “Pou’sai re?”) . I felt that the name gave kind of… (Greg hesitates a bit, wants to use the right words struggling with the notion of “authenticity”)… an authentic touch, linked the album more solidly to the culture. I thought I wanted to anchor it, conceptually. The music is a mishmash of different things, from things I was practicing and ideas I had as I was working- I would think to myself while practicing, oh this sounds like a gypsy song or this sounds more like an ipirotiko song. There’s 12 songs and they are from all over- Turkish influences, Greek influences. Same with the new album. I want to name it in Macedonian but I think it will be tough to understand- I wanna name it (he says the title first in Macedonian) “songs and dances for life non stop”. Because at this point I feel that my personality comes through more in the music especially because I am also singing some of the tracks. So again it will be a mishmash of Greek, Albanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Turkish. I hope to have it ready in October and have a CD release party in December.

Me: How is the NYC scene for Balkan music? Do you find the NYC scene for your style of music? Do you find there are enough opportunities and venues to support your kind of music? Is it easy to attract new audiences?

Greg: The scene in NY that I am most familiar with is the Balkan folk dance scene which grew out of the 60s and 70s. There’s a lot of older people in the scene, and Zlatne Uste, who founded Golden Festival are the nucleus of that scene, they are very much an institution. They play mostly Serbian and Macedonian music and they reach out to the immigrant communities. They’ve also worked in creating Balkan Café in the Hungarian house with performances by many musicians from all parts of the Balkans. The economics though were always difficult and as rent went higher it became really hard for them to keep on doing it. They are cultural ambassadors for this music, the way they work is they will visit the Balkans and work for several months and work with local musicians and learn from them their arrangements of traditional songs which they will then bring here.

Me: This sort of leads me to my next question: what is the approach of musicians from the Balkans to this music in comparison with musicians here? Have you seen a lot of experimentation with tradition?

Greg: Here I have found it always difficult to access musicians from that part of the world. I think maybe because so many of them are traditional musicians and maybe they don’t have that kind of drive to make original music or original arrangements. Of course it has to do with my own conditions, which have become pretty much set, I do not have a lot of time to search for new collaborations although there are many musicians I’d like to play with. And also, especially for young players born here, for them its their parents’ music, they don’t want to deal with it, they want to play rock, funk, jazz. In the Balkans it is different, they’re coming at it from the other side, this is their tradition so they’re asking what can we do with this, what can we do to it to make it new, fresh? There are musicians over there of course, especially in Macedonia that I am more familiar with, that are more attached to the folk music. Maybe they bring their something new to it but they stick to it. And of course there is some crossover between the two. So I guess it’ s the same with every culture, there’s a push and pull between a traditional attitude and a more artistic attitude of how can I make my mark on it.

Me: In your music you do play with tradition, fusing it with other instruments or sounds, but I would say that you stay pretty close to the traditional feel and sound. Can you speak a bit about this process of reworking or reinventing a tradition? And maybe speak to this in the context of the more widespread trend of ethnic music or world music- how do you see that whole movement?

Greg: Ok let’s talk about world music first. I think it’s a good think as a trend. Because it shows the world that there is more than western music. It is a pretty broad category it can include many things. And I think there is a lot of world music that can be very watered down and I feel that’s very much a popularization process- there’s the same with jazz too. That too is a very big umbrella, it depends on who you’re talking to but in my view it is a very big umbrella. So with world music too, it depends on what you do with it. My music, it has to fit under this umbrella cause it doesn’t fit under any other umbrella, so for lack of a better term it is world music. Is my music folk music? I don’t know…. (he struggles with his own thoughts about world and folk music so I offer to help with my perspective as audience:)

Me: I am not sure if I would say your music is folk music, I find it to be (I struggle too….) more sophisticated maybe…

Greg: Hmmm… that’s interesting… Cause I don’t think any of the compositional ideas you will find in our music are things that people in that part of the world aren’t doing…. For example, musicians there who do new arrangements on traditional songs, is this folk? Or is it new music? It’s a fine line…
As far as the music that I write, I don’t see it as folk music although I would be very flattered if it became a part of the folk canon- although I don’t think that’d ever happen. I am kind of writing music as if creating a new folk canon, or the folk canon of this place with these musicians. And I like it when people like it, and I like it when people want to play that music.

Me (still struggling with all the ideas about world and folk music): I guess maybe that’s what it’s all about, a tune that you play in a Macedonian wedding, then you play it in Barbès and it becomes something else, something new.

Greg: Yeah this is the framework that I choose to work from, this is what I do. I’ve wanted to do music since I was 5, maybe even before that but I didn’t know it. But I chose to work in a different framework than most musicians do. But this is what I do.

Listen to Selcukdan Roman Havasi by Ansambl Mastika

For more music by Ansambl Mastika visit the group’s myspace page