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Gerdan’s instruments are vibrant with tonal colors that sound the substance of imaginative musical description. World flutes are primarily the creation and expression of shepherds whose capacity to evoke the imagination seems limitless. The large Slovak flute called Fujara presents intimate pastoral meditations accompanied by the Tronka, a cow bell. The low mid range pitch of the Caval from Bukovina and Romania stirs dancers to the circle. The clarity of the chromatic, even tempered Ukrainian Sopilka is bright in the energy of unforgettable melodies. The single octave range of the clay Ocarina has a friendly rounded tone that accommodates lyrical passages as well as the free flowing cascade of bright and quick melodies. The contrasting moods of the breathy Middle Eastern Turkish Ney, give new emotional colors to the historic Roxolana epic story. A mere piece of hollow cane or reed can stir the emotion, especially when it bends the melody in the subtle use of quarter tones. Exotic drums of different sizes and tambre - the Doumbak, Tabla, Rig, and Frame Drum bring the dramatic force of the rhythms of conflict. The Carpathian Buben, a two headed drum with a cymbal on top, is the driving rhythmic accompaniment for numerous tracks on the album. The resonant violin strings lead with melodic certainty, but also take on the role of a creative counterpoint. The accordion presence is contrasted with crisp and legato passages fully articulated. Its playful rhythmic cords and delightful tonal clusters give a lively syncopated texture with nicely spaced sonic inversions. The surprise appearance of the piano adds the jazzy passion of dance hall glamour.


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