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A musical reawakening

10 Mar 2016

A musical reawakening Image

By Ella Gibson

She calls it her secret double-life.  As well as primarily practicing criminal law, Yuliya Mik is a part of the ensemble Alma Mater, a group bringing together the musical traditions of Portuguese fado and Brazilian modinha.

The group is performing next at the Melbourne Recital Centre in March, after the success of their debut album, Fado ao largo (meaning fado from offshore) to a sold out Melbourne Recital Centre salon in May 2015.

Although Yuliya Mik is not a career musician herself, music is definitely in her blood. Both her parents are classical musicians and, according to her mother, she was singing before she was walking.

“This is what I do to feed the soul,” Ms Mik said.  

“It’s a wonderful channel to have as an escape from the daily grind.”

She fell in love with fado music and decided to start the band Alma Mater as a way of trying the music business out for herself.

Alma Mater reawakens the voices of worlds gone by, bringing to life the traditions of Portuguese fado and Brazilian modinha.     

The name itself is Latin and refers to “where someone grew up, where your roots are and where you became the person you are today”.

“We’ve chosen it because it’s a style of music that has such an enduring connection to its home,” Ms Mik said.

While the words to all the songs are in Portuguese, Ms Mik says that it doesn’t hinder the understanding and appreciation of non-speakers.

“It leaves room for audiences to interpret it in their own way … it really personalises it.”

With its rare combination of instruments, diverse influences and musical cultures, the group creates a fresh yet faithful sound.

“The performance is very emotive and passionate,” Ms Mik said.

“It taps into the emotions that come with day to day life and turn it into something beautiful. You might expect to cry. I’ve had people come up to me crying saying that it really touched something in them.”

The group regularly grace Melbourne’s best musical hideaways, including the Paris Cat Jazz Club, The Butterfly Club, the Wesley Anne and others.

The group has attracted radio features and has played at music festivals around the country including the Cygnet Folk Festival (Tasmania), the Illawarra Folk Festival (NSW), the Melt: Chocolate Festival (Melbourne), a Taste of Portugal Festival (Melbourne) and the Darebin Music Feast (Melbourne).  

Join them in 2016 on March 12 at either 5pm or 7pm.
Salon (one hour no interval)
Tickets $30 ($25 concession)
www.almamaterfado.com
www.facebook.com/almamaterfado

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