“Very, very cool. Phenomenal singing”
Tony Sarabia, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio
Back-beat driven dub bass, pop vocals, atmospheric instruments, sci fi samples, echo-y clarinet leads and funky horn lines blend together when members of party marching band, Mucca Pazza and Balkan belly dance band, Lamajamal, team up for a fun new project, Byzantine Time Machine.
The group formed when two Chicago musicians, George Lawler and Eve Monzingo had a desire to do something different with their music. Can you imagine the sound of a Middle Eastern drum processed digitally through a frequency shifter? How about a Greek dulcimer with oscillating temporal flux? Transform a Turkish clarinet solo via ring-modulation, add to that a resonant synth sub-bass, female vocals, a dub horn section and you have Byzantine Time Machine.
(ALTERNATE BIO BELOW)
Byzantine Time machine combines the latest advancements in audio technology with musical styles and instruments that go back to “Byzantine” times. The ancient and analog part of their sound includes the Sandouri, (Greek Dulcimer), Darbuka, (Goblet drum), Turkish clarinet techniques, Middle Eastern scales of the “Maqam” system, multi-lingual vocals, and horns. These sounds are then processed through a variety of digital effects such as frequency shifters and ring modulators, and layered with arpegiated synthesizers and resonant sine wave bass.
BTM’s musicians have studied and played a wide variety of world music styles, including Greek and Turkish folk music, Klezmer music, North African percussion, Arabic music, Balkan Brass, and West African guitar based music. Their goal is to use this knowledge to create new musical styles by combining these ancient forms with modern electronic music. Drummer George Lawler has been producing electronic music since 1992 when he acquired an 8 bit sampler with 2 megabytes of memory. Thanks to the advances in technology since the 90’s, he is now able to realize his vision of synthesizing the ancient with the modern.