Belgian-German-Israeli ensemble Halva investigates the links between traditional klezmer music and the many cultures surrounding the Ashkenazim (the Yiddish-speaking Jews in Eastern-Europe): Greek, Hungarian, Turkish and even Western Classical Music.
The result is music that breathes a deep energy that invites to dance, with a touch of seriousness and moments of spiritual introspection here and there. It is music that speaks to the mind and the heart. It is music that, despite the myriad of influences, is still very clearly klezmer music, and at the same time is exploring the boundaries of the genre, searching for a fusion between Western and modal concepts of consonance and dissonance.
The repertoire consists of original compositions in mostly traditional formats such as kolomeyke, terkish and sher. The bulk of them were written by Nicolaas Cottenie (violin, Belgium): this music is the result of years of research he conducted at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (Belgium) into the historical connection between composition and improvisation, and he studied with some of the great masters of klezmer music.