This past Saturday, 250 people gathered in New York’s oldest surviving synagogue to experience the intimate musical journey of Mardeleva.

Under Mardeleva's Spell

By Casey Dienel
Mar 25, 2019

   This past Saturday, 250 people gathered in New York’s oldest surviving synagogue to experience the intimate musical journey of Mardeleva. It seems especially fitting that this synagogue, established in 1825 by the Ansche Chesed, or People of Kindness, should house such an evening of warmth and generosity. Each attendee brought with them an energy uniquely beautiful on its own made powerful en masse. Together, we gazed into the eaves, built to mimic the impossibly vast night sky. The rest of lower Manhattan seemed to fade away, along with her car horns and throngs of people in a hurry to get somewhere. For that moment, there was only us.

   Mardeleva is Eduardo Castillo's live project, where he invites musicians to take part in an improvisational experience. Mardeleva began out of a genuine musical bond between Eduardo, Leo Prakash, and Bogdan Djukic. Named after the phenomenon when currents meet at sea, the name was inspired by Eduardo’s childhood in Venezuela. Their work blends the organic with the synthetic, resulting in a body of work that is technologically innovative while deeply human. Cascading vocal harmonies build over deep grooves. At any moment, the pulse of a synth bass pattern might switch imperceptibly, while a violin seems to call out from a distance before coming vividly to the fore. These passionate expressions weave in and out of time, like currents in a river, each piece braiding and unbraiding from each other. Distinct yet cohesive, and spellbinding.

   Their music has come to welcome other voices when the inspiration or synchronicity strikes. This evening, vocalist Matias de Via brought his energy to the proceedings, while just days prior in Tulum, Eduardo encountered Rick Parker at a concert. It seemed only natural to welcome this trombonist’s talents to this experience. As Mardeleva lost themselves within the music, so too did those of us sharing in this experience. In moments where it seemed the performance might be coming to a close, we were left wanting more. In others, with little warning, a surprising melody built to an extended wall of electric energy. Some of us closed our eyes in wonder or danced together, swaying to the rhythm’s momentum, stopping time in its tracks. Music remains a tremendous reminder to hold fast to every moment and imbue them with personal significance.

   Next, Mardeleva travels to Faena Theater in Miami and the Zenyara Villa, just 20 minutes away from Coachella. From a city of neon to a desert oasis, their journey in sound continues to carry us to new heights of awareness.

Upcoming Habitas Concert Series ft. Mardeleva

March 31 | Faena Theater in Miami

April 12 & April 19 | Zenyara Villa in Indio, CA