Yonatan Gat – “Slow American Movement – II. Lento”

Yonatan Gat – “Slow American Movement – II. Lento”

Israeli guitar hero (and former Monotonix havoc-wreaker) Yonatan Gat has announced his new album American Quartet. The album finds Gat reinterpreting Antonin Dvořák’s string quartet of the same name with a psychedelic rock ensemble featuring Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, Mdou Moctar bassist Mikey Coltun, and organist Curt Sydnor. The results are quite different than what you’d get from two violins, a viola, and a cello. Our first preview of the project is the 10-minute sprawl “Slow American Movement – II. Lento,” out today.

A statement from Gat:

Since the first time I heard the American Quartet it sounded like rock’n’roll melodies. So on this record we took a stab at performing the 19th century string quartet live from start to finish on electric guitar, bass, organ and drums; adding some improvisation and vibe, but following the melodies and the harmonies quite truthfully. It might be ambitious but it’s also pretty thrashed out. It was composed by Antonín Dvořák, who listened to spirituals and Native music and wrote this beautiful piece as a person from another country living in New York. Like me. Unlike Dvořák though, I cannot read music and had to learn the melodies from memory. Greg, Mikey and Curt were responding to the sheet music, each adding their unique take to it. We were also responding to each other. My favorite movement is the second, slow movement. It was the last thing we recorded together – late night studio magic. And it all happened around the time my first child was born.

Listen below.

01 “Tremolos – I. Allegro ma non troppo”
02 “Slow American Movement – II. Lento”
03 “Joke – III. Molto vivace”
04 “Rondo – IV. Finale: vivace ma non troppo”

American Quartet is out 11/4 on Stone Tapes/Joyful Noise.

Joren Van Utterbeek

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