Dante Ascaino: classical, 12 string and electric guitar Eugenia Menta: violoncello The term 'Lila' is a Hindu word, which translates literally as 'Play'. It explains the creation of the Universe as a 'joyful game'... played not by gods at work, but rather by lighthearted forces which do so spontaneously. This spirit of 'creating', understood as a blissful game, is certainly the guiding concept which underlies the duo's first CD release. 'Our project definitely started out as a game... It's very first challenge (and reward!) was to find our own, unique sound using this quite unusual instrumental combination. We had no intention other than to have fun and eventually feel moved by playing together the music that we love', Dante explains, while Eugenia adds: 'This is what people perceive right from the start during our shows or listening to this record... That for us, the act of playing is always a loving collaboration'. And indeed, the duo's music is a playful combination of many contrasting elements and styles: The driving force and power of Argentinean rhythms like the 'Chacarera' (used primarily in Dante's original compositions), the sensuality and deepness of Tango music written by Astor Piazzolla, and the freedom and improvisation of Jazz coloring almost every arrangement, but explicitly featured in the duo's unique versions of Steve Swallow's 'Falling Grace' and Lennon & McCartney's 'Norwegian Wood'. The gleaming acoustic sound of the guitar and violoncello duo is complemented in some of the arrangements by occasional guests, including Argentinean-born (and Boston-based) bassist Fernando Huergo; bandoneonist Damián Torres and the Numen String Quartet playing a soulful 'aire de zamba' written by Dante called 'Pañuelos como Alas'. As a bonus, 'Lila' includes an interactive segment -which runs automatically on any PC (Enhanced-CD)- with graphics, photos, additional technical info, comments on each tune, and more ... (an English version of this segment will be available on the duo's Web site). While the first reviews are very encouraging, Dante sums it up this way: 'It is great to know that critics are saying very positive things about this record. But what we're really thrilled about is that people from all over the world, who don't know us at all, are writing and even calling us, saying things like 'Hey, I bought your record 10 days ago and I just can't take it off my CD player!'. This feedback not only makes us feel very proud, but also somehow proves to us that whoever is willing to give this music a chance will end up loving it as much as we do'
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