To fans of the Dirty Projectors, Olga Bell's
name is familiar. People casually whispered amongst themselves at Le Poisson Rouge last week about Bell's past projects, like the great 2011 release Diamonite
. This time around, however, Bell is on New Amsterdam Records and her latest release, Krai
, is an homage to the place she spent the first seven years of her life, Russia. According to Bell, it all started with research on the word itself: "Krai is a very common Russian word with a myriad of evocative meanings from 'edge' to 'wilderness' to something like 'homeland'." I did a quick search for it one day, coming immediately upon a map and realizing in the same moment that I was looking at the bones of my piece." Each krai is exemplified through Bell's distinctive vocals throughout the nine movements of the piece, and as I followed along with the map provided in the program, I felt the shivers of cold Siberia and the community of each small krai.