“It’s astonishing music – and the story behind its creation is emblematic of how Old World traditions can be born again, thousands of miles and several generations away from their roots” – Alex Varty, Georgia Straight, 2017
“[Singer Julia Ulehla] careens, sails, and shimmers through the varied interpretations with penetrating strength – her singing is something heavenly and ethereal, sometimes gruff and earthy, as though she were channeling the spirit of a hardscrabble village woman who’s known these songs her whole life.” – Peter Margasak, The Chicago Reader
Vancouver-based group Dálava is an homage to traditional Moravian (Czech) folksong, sourcing melodies rooted in the past and transcribed over 100 years ago by the group’s singer Julia Ulehla’s great-grandfather. The ensemble brilliantly re-animates the songs in an extremely stirring, avant-garde, post-rock musical language. “These are songs to disturb and to lull, of past and family, Mysterious, yes, but also filled with a curious beauty.” – Chris Nickson, fRoots. In Dálava’s hands, tradition fuses with experimentation to create music that appeals to fans of everything from folk to world, avant-garde improv, and jazz.
With a membership comprised of stellar Vancouver musicians, it is no wonder that Dálava’s 2017 release “The Book of Transfigurations” garnered critical acclaim both here and on the international front. “Every now and then an album appears that is so overwhelming and so intense that it is hard to put into any category. Such is the case with The Book of… Saying that TBOT is a masterpiece is not an exaggeration.” – Bas Springer, fRoots
In performance and on recording, the sheer beauty of the songs, the instrumental wizardry of the musicians, and Ulehla’s incandescent vocals combine to delve into deep territory – conjuring ancestors, animating spirits, and crafting musical around gem-like folk melodies.
“I can’t even recall who they were opening for this night because they wiped any memory of the other artist from my brain. Dálava is the in the 10 best delivered concerts in Vancouver in 2017” – Vancouver Sun, Stuart Derdeyn