calarts: eric, harris, travis, & quentin

Here are some more tracks Harris sent me last year.

I am not sure of the actual date(s) of the recordings. I think he sent them to me last October but they were recorded in 2006? I believe the performers are Eric Malcolm Clark, Travis Just, and Quentin Tolimieri. I don’t know who is playing what. Also I am hoping maybe Eric or Michael can tell me a little about the sessions.

Session5-Improv1 9:15
Session5-Improv2 7:45
Session5-Improv3 7:02
Session6-Improv1 7:28
Session6-Improv2 16:16
Session6-Improv3 9:31
Session6-Improv4 15:44

sweet jeebus, january 31st, 2004

Harris sent me these tracks a couple years ago. Lauren found an email that I think might go with them:

…and something completely different: my final gig this past saturday
as the drummer in Sweet Jeebus. I’m playing drums on 1-6 and mandolin
(not so well, alas) on 7-12. And I sing on 9.

Who played in this group? I think it was Matt Donahue, Juliana Trivers, Ryan Dorin, and Ben Herzog

01 Wish I Was In Prison 3:29
02 Bound To Win 3:34
03 The Whisky Is Gone 4:28
04 Love Mountain 3:22
05 The Fancy Life 4:02
06 Three Nights Experience 2:32
07 Everybody Lies A Little 3:06
08 You're Still On My Mind 4:04
09 Vincent 1952 5:52
10 Chitlin' Cooking Time 7:00
11 Baby Steps 6:18
12 Low Down Dog 4:44

metropolitan klezmer

metropolitan klezmerMetropolitan Klezmer between sets at Tonic, early 1999: Debby Karpel, Ismail Butera, Michael Hess, Steve Elson, Pam Fleming, Eve Sicular, Dave Hofstra and Harris Wulfson in the wine cellar on the Lower East Side. photo by Dennis Kleiman

Metropolitan Klezmer’s Eve Sicular has kindly allowed me to share some music tracks from two CDs on which Harris played:

Yiddish For Travelers, 1997
Harris performs as guest violinist on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12, and 13 (5 & 6 below)


Mosaic Persuasion, 2000
Harris performs as guest violinist on tracks 9 and 15

05 Der Feter Max's Bulgar 2:17
06 Libes Shmertsn 3:22
09 East(ern) Village Hanuka 1:31
15 Szol a Kakas Mar [The Rooster Crows] 4:15

Remembering Harris 7.31.08
Our dear musician comrade and friend, Harris Wulfson, died suddenly last week.We remember him fondly, for his sweetness with the violin and all else. His intellect and humor were tremendous yet unassuming. He had a great smile, endless enthusiasm, and an easy sense of irony. And he just loved music.

Harris had a deep devotion to Yidishkayt, and also applied his talents to his many other interests, such as bluegrass, funk, rap, new and electronic music of types I am at a loss to describe. He could play le jazz hot as well as Irish tunes, Yiddish swing or Bulgarian 11/4, and imbue it all with gorgeous, fun spirit. His gifts could also be heard through mandolin, accordion, guitar, and however else he expressed his natural musicality.

Many of our New York-area fans may remember Harris as our genial guest artist and outstanding soloist on Metropolitan Klezmer shows at Tonic, Makor, Fez, Cornelia Street Cafe, and others; he also appeared as a guest Klezbian on occasion (I will soon post pictures just found again from Harris on an outdoor Isle of Klezbos show in front of St Mark’s Church in 1999). We even created a New Year’s Eve klezmer band once at Caravan of Dreams. His most recent public performance with us was at Nuyorican Poets Cafe last year, a special Isle of Klezbos show; we also enjoyed performing together for recent weddings in Manhattan and verdant settings upstate. If memory serves, he also performed in our accordionist Ismail Butera’s project Sharqija, playing Music of the Silk Road.

Harris had a special ear for music of Eastern Europe, and called certain parts of that region the Klez Belt (as one of his friends posted this week). Anyone who has listened to our first two CDs Yiddish For Travelers and Mosaic Persuasion has heard Harris’ violin stylings on several tracks where he was a featured guest. It was a joy to mix studio sessions he had recorded, every take was a fresh delight. In the MP cover art, he is the soulful young fiddler in the red shirt all the way to the right side of the Metropolitan Klezmer band photo. This 1999 picture, by Dennis Kleiman, can also be seen on MK’s Gallery page, lower left:

Harris was also the person who first set us up with a website, which he could casually encode in a few minutes during early dot com days. His own creative adventures took him in so many directions, he leaves remarkable memories for us all. He was also a deeply principled, dapper, occasionally yet adorably spacey mentsh who was constantly open to learning.

To learn more about Harris, and hear his very moving and innovative original compositions, here is his own website. (He attended graduate studies at Cal Arts as well as CUNY; one email to me included a p.s. reading: “Dr. Harris eventually.”)

He has left us much too soon, but we are grateful for having known him. It is still very hard to believe he will not be here to play with us next time. We miss him deeply and send his family wishes for strength and peace. May his memory continue for a blessing.

All best,
~Eve for Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos

a concert of music by harris wulfson ’96

invitation If you click on the invitation to the left, you will link to the full program. As you can see, I am missing a recording of Canon and A Little Chamber Music. I DO, however, have sheet music and/or notations for everything listed as Harris published his undergraduate thesis.

Since the performance also involved real time delay loops, video and some improvisation, I am hoping someone has a videotape recording of it.

Some notes from Harris on the following recordings:

String Quartet (1996)
The first movement of this quartet is based on the Bulgarian Kopanitsa dance (with its 11/16 meter). The third movement takes Moravian song as source material. The piece is structured on the micro and macro level around the wedge shape formed by the ascending B, C#, D, D# and descending B, Bb, A, Ab.

Love Songs for Viola and Electric Bass
Digital delay with endless feedback and spoken parts.

What is a Work? Quartet for Clarinet and Bassoon
This “Quartet” makes use of a long (two minute) tape delay. The passage recited from Foucault (ostensibly introductory) gets played back over the music, which is twelve-tone.

10 measures for Electronic Conductor/Prelude
The nonsensical (Cagian?) act of conducting in silence to the audience is later revealed to have a purpose. [my note on this: this piece involved video rewinds and playback]

01 String Quartet Vivace Alla Kopansita 3:47
02 String Quartet Agadio 2:57
03 String Quartet Allegro 3:57
04 Love Songs for Electric Bass and Viola 11:22
05 What is a Work Quartet for Clarinet and Bassoon 5:36
06 10 Measures for Electronic Conductor Prelude 4:01

bowl, cat, and broomstick and dracula

First Published on August 26, 2008:


The first track below was composed for Wallace Stevens’ Bowl, Cat, and Broomstick. I found Harris’ note stating “This piece is comprised of three looped layers of music, which were mixed in and out live during the performance. This recording progresses through just layer 1, then 1 + 2, then 1 + 2 + 3 followed by just 3.

The next series of tracks were composed as the incidental music for Mac Wellman’s Dracula which was directed by David Levine and presented by the Mark Theatre Company at the Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster St., NY (11/14 – 11/29, 1997)

Other recent notes from Dave Levine: Track 1 is actually: Transylvania [reprise]–I think we might have used it at intermission. Track 7 is Curtain [Transylvania #3]

01 Music for Wallace Stevens' Bowl, Cat, and Broomstick 1:59
01 Transylvania 2 1:18
02 Vampyrettes 0:30
03 Transylvania 2:19
04 Mina and Lucy 2:27
05 Lucy's Seduction 1:29
06 Transfusion 1:09
07 Transylvania 3 1:04

Updated August 3, 2009:
I found and converted Harris’ DAT recordings of Dracula and also found some sheet music sketches. Conveniently, Harris left a track list that seems to align with the sheet music. Harris names are slightly different from the ones David provided above. Curiously, the tracks are listed from 2 to 11, not 1 – 10.

The first 4 tracks below were on one tape and other 10 on another tape. They may actually be duplicates. For sure most of these tracks are duplicates from the ones I posted above with some minor exceptions and the addition of Carfax.

01 Sketch Mina 1 2:26
02 Sketch Mina 2 2:31
03 Sketch Lucy 1:25
04 Sketch Trans II 1:16
05 TransII 1:15
06 TransII Alt Mix 1:14
07 Mina 2:26
08 Lucy 1:29
09 Transylvania 2:17
10 Vampire 0:31
11 From the Gutter 1:09
12 Gutternoise 1:07
13 Carfax 2:07
14 Transylvania Better Mix 2:16

I’ve scanned and posted the sheet music notes that I found in the order I found them in. They’re still a bit of a puzzle.

three rap collaborations

During the later part of the Harris n’ Dave era, the guys got interested in funk, rap and mixing. This is probably about the time when Harris started formulating ideas for his future band creation, H-Bomb.

Dave will hopefully fill me in since I know I’m leaving a lot out here but I believe the following pieces were influenced by Parliament and The Beastie Boys, with samples from Paul Simon, Tom Lehrer, Benny Goodman and the Soundtrack from The Taking of Pelham 123.

I apologize that track 01 cuts off because the tape I had it on ran out. I’m still looking for a more complete version of this recording.

01 In The Pocket 3:25
02 The Herring Song (or The Pelham Jam) 3:36
03 funky kipah 4:59

the berklee bluegrass boys 1990

“Live from the Grand Ole Opry, this is the Berklee Bluegrass Boys…”

  • The Berklee Bluegrass Boys were:
    Harris, fiddle and mandolin
    Dave Sollors, guitar
    Alex Raab, bass
    Porter McClister, banjo

I’ve found two recordings so far. One was a practice tape with songs repeated, and the other (August 9th, 1990) sounds more “finished.” I’m posting both of them here, finished tracks first.

01 Sittin On Top Of The World 2:27
02 New River Train 2:40
03 Using My Bible As a Roadmap 3:42
04 Bonus1 Sittin on Top of the World 2:38
05 Bonus2 Sittin on top of the world 2:26
06 Bonus New River Train 2:41
07 Fox On The Run 3:38
08 Nine Pound Hammer 3:17
09 Im using my bible as a roadmap 3:32
10 Salty Dog Blues 2:20
11 Bonus1 Salty Dog Blues 0:39
12 Bonus2 Salty Dog Blues 0:35

pitfalls: brooklyn bluegrass, january 24, 2001

I found these four recordings last night. Can anyone tell me anything about them? It sounds like a project demo. Is Harris playing all the instrument parts or are there other players? Who is the female singer? Help?

**Edit: Thank you, Freyja! I’m reposting your comment from below up here:

freyja balmer gallagher
August 29, 2008

Hey Mishka — this is a Pitfalls demo. I’m singing with Harris and playing bass, Juliana and Harris playing fiddle (Harris traded off fiddle and mandolin, Matt on Drums and Brad Shanks on guitar. It was recorded in my basement at 347 Grand St. in Brooklyn by Rob Viola.

01 Banks of the Ohio 4:09
02 Footprints in the Snow 2:31
03 House of Gold 3:07
04 Rose of Old Kentucky 2:39

harris wulfson’s all star klezmers december 3rd 1994

The recordings below are from This Was Chanukah Live December 3rd 1994. I’ll need some help identifying the tunes on some of the tracks and confirming the players because as you can see, the poster I have is from a different year.

I BELIEVE it is Barak Tulin singing.

Track 03 is a klezmer version of Tom Waites’ Rain Dogs

01 romania 4:41
02 hava nagilah hora 9:20
03 rain dogs 5:29
04 svivon sov sov sov 6:31
05 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon 5:28
06 tzena tzena tzena Bashanah Bashanah Haba'ah 8:11
07 partial 1:40
08 unknown 4:50
09 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon 6:10
10 svivon sov sov sov o ti vay 10:43
11 welcome 0:14
12 jerusalem of gold 4:58
13 tzena tzena tzena 6:22
14 unknown 5:44

three new acoustic compositions

Harris wrote these three pieces while in high school, probably around 1990 after The Telluride Sessions came out. I recall he titled one piece “Stone’s Flower” because his friend, Annie Stone, had given him a flower in school one day.

He is playing all the parts on these recordings. Yes, that is a tin whistle and harmonica on Coming Home.

01 arizona highway 4:49
02 stones flower 4:20
03 coming home 2:39
[audioalbum title=”Three New Acoustic Compositions” detail=”  Details” date=”1990″] [audiotrack title=”Arizona Highway” mp3=”″] [audiotrack title=”Stone’s Flower” mp3=”″] [audiotrack title=”Coming Home” mp3=”″]