NEA Premieres New Sand Animation & Podcast with Guy Mendilow Ensemble

National Endowment for the Arts Premieres Sand Animation Video by Guy Mendilow Ensemble & Kseniya Simonova
and airs Art Works Podcast with Guy Mendilow

Click to Watch
In 2012, I fell in love with Kseniya Simonova’s sand animations. There was such nuance to her work, such emotional depth. And all through a medium as simple — as elemental — as sand shifting on a light-table. Her work is transporting and elegant.
When the idea of expanding the storytelling in The Forgotten Kingdom to a visual dimension arose, Kseniya was the first artist that came to mind.
I am humbled and proud to have the opportunity to team up with Kseniya Simonova in a collaboration made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Boston Foundation.

Now, the National Endowment for the Arts premieres our first video together from the show. Eventually the entirety of The Forgotten Kingdom will be animated. For now I am excited to share with you this piece.”
— Guy Mendilow

About the video
Una Noche Al Bodre De La Mar (One Night at the Edge of the Sea) is a turning point in The Forgotten Kingdom. Based on the true story of one of my wife’s family members, it tells the tale of a decorated captain from WWI, betrayed by a nation whose turn to fascism threatens all for which he fought and sacrificed.
Click to Watch

  NEA’s Art Works Podcast with Guy Mendilow

Along with the video premiere, I’ll be a guest on the National Endowment for the Arts’ most recent episode of its Art Works podcast. In this episode Josephine Reed and I talk about:
  • the power of storytelling and music to transport us to the long-ago-and-far-away in order to hold a mirror to our own here-and-now
  • the responsibilities and potential pitfalls of working with traditions as old and rich as Sephardic song
  • the music that makes up the show The Forgotten Kingdom.
Art Works includes some truly inspiring artists, from Lin Manuel Miranda and Sebastian Junger to Sonny Rollins and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is a delight and an honour to be in such company.
Listen on iTunes
Listen on NEA Website
About Guy Mendilow Ensemble
"An international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble combines world-class musicianship with cinematic storytelling in shows that “explode with artistry, refinement, and excitement” (Hebrew Union College), conjuring voices lost to war and upheaval, whisking audiences to distant times and picturesque places and stirring highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles and dilemmas.
In 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts selected the Guy Mendilow Ensemble for its Art Works, a grant for the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
About Kseniya Simonova
Winner of Ukraine’s Got Talent along with numerous other awards (most recently the Palm Springs International Festival), Kseniya Simonova is a graduate of the Artistic School of Yevpatoria, the Tavrida National V.I. Vernadsky University and the Ukrainian Academy of Printing. Simonova developed her sand animation technique by sifting volcanic sand through her hands over a light board. During her performances, she creates, obliterates and morphs her images to create a flowing narrative. She lives and works in the Ukraine.
About The Forgotten Kingdom 
performed by Guy Mendilow Ensemble
Embark on a musical trek through a nearly lost world with Guy Mendilow Ensemble’s The Forgotten Kingdom. Journey through former Ottoman lands starting in Sarajevo and winding through Salónica in a narrative-driven performance reimagining the historical record of Sephardic communities of the Balkans and Mediterranean.
In this sweeping adventure brought to life by an "international tour-de-force" (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, music and storytelling conjure an imagi-nation lost to war, recorded in a language that blends archaic Spanish with Turkish and Greek. The bittersweet yearning of fado, the rhythmic and emotional intensity of flamenco combine with cinematic arrangements stirring those familiar with the culture and those new to it.
Rendering stories and songs of an older age with drama, humour and heart, The Forgotten Kingdom finds highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles, debates, and dilemmas. It’s a performance that "explodes with artistry, refinement, and excitement." (Hebrew Union College, OH)
" of hope and affirmation, sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere." —Chicago Tribune
“…operatic in scope, this is one set sure to take you places you've only heard in dreams…this is an armchair traveler's deluxe accommodation. A total delight for the adventurous, adult ears.” — Midwest Record
"...a full sound that would be perfectly suited for a movie soundtrack, both ethereal and solid, ranging from haunting to mournful to jovial...In the beginning of the evening, the audience seemed awestruck at the end of each song, as a tangible silence separated the song’s conclusion and the beginning of applause. By the end of the night, the enthusiastic crowd was clapping before the tune’s last notes had faded." —Sanders County Ledger
Stream the Album
Wishing you and yours a time of peace and wellbeing. The miracle of the holidays is one for us to enact: May we be light in a darkening world. 
Thanks for all your support.
— Guy

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