Rooted in the rich traditions of Middle Eastern, European, and American folk music, Nedudim examines a sharing of cultures and a celebration of music that transcends borders. Fifth House Ensemble shares the stage with Mediterranean folk band Baladino to merge ancient and modern instruments and musical traditions, including original compositions and arrangements by 2014 Rome Prize winner and 5HE core ensemble composer, Dan Visconti.


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Cedille Records (2016)

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Nedudim, Hebrew for “wanderings,” is a world-premiere album of eleven new vocal and instrumental works created from a palette of international influences, including accents of Indian raga, plus fresh arrangements of folk melodies from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. The album’s title evokes its geography-hopping global perspective. Modern orchestral instruments meet their exotic Asian and North African counterparts — oud, bansuri, ney, duduk, and ram’s horn — on works ranging from the rollicking opening track Si Veriash a la Rana, the minimalist ostinatos and pop influences of Kenneth Benshoof’s Traveling Music, and meditative drone strings and jazz-flute riffs of Raga Etude to the warm, sultry romantic landscape of Noches Noches and the heart-felt, captivating Ladino folk ballad Tres Ermanikas Eran, featuring Israeli singer Yael Badash.

The album producer is Steve Rodby of Pat Metheny Group fame, whose discography includes thirteen Grammy Awards. Recording engineer is Cedille Records’ own three-time Grammy nominee Bill Maylone. Nedudim is Fifth House Ensemble’s follow-up to Excelsior, its 2014 Cedille Records debut. The San Francisco Chronicle said, “The whole undertaking is marked by spirited music-making of the finest kind.” Classical Modern Music praised Fifth House as “a world-class chamber ensemble dedicated to new music . . . and an exceptional one at that.” Excelsior was featured as an “Album of the Week” on New York’s WQXR/Q2 Music.

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Through engagement with diverse cultural organizations across Chicago representing Israel, Spain, Iran, India, and Germany, and by tapping the shared experience of musical memories, this genre-defying program serves as a catalyst for an exploration of music as an indelible part of cultural identity.


Ben Seni Severim/Noches Noches – Traditional
Black Bend – Dan Visconti
Greek Blues (world premiere) – Baladino/Tomer Moked
Tzur Mishelo – Traditional
La Esclava – Traditional
He’s Gone Away from Mountain Songs – Robert Beaser
Traveling Music No. 4: III – Kenneth Benshoof
Raga Etude (world premiere) – Baladino/Tomer Moked
Native Tongues (world premiere) – Dan Visconti
Tres Hermenicas – Traditional

Nedudim is supported in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.