Music CV & Biography

Overview of Music Work

A 16 minute read


(Written for the Maurice El Medioni book)

Composer, performer, writer, researcher and translator who has worked extensively on the stage, in the studio and in print. His research interests include critical technology, folklore and ritual culture, radical education, language acquisition, singing and vocal techniques, acoustics and sound, absurdist literature, computational linguistics, storytelling and children’s culture, censorship, Russia and the former Soviet Union, Indian, Roma and Jewish culture, sacred music and art as activism.

He’s a BA/MA (Oxon) in Russian and French; studied Ethnomusicology with Hungarian at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies(SOAS); studied Hebrew and Arabic in Jerusalem for 2 years. His writing work includes: major report for Freemuse/UNESCO on music censorship in Belarus; numerous articles on music and arts for Songlines, fRoots and the Jewish Chronicle of which he was acting Arts Editor; conference coordinator and essayist for WOMEX, the annual World Music Industry Expo.

Musician/producer under the artist name Lemez Lovas: with artists/producers including KT Tunstall, Mike Spencer, Paul Epworth and Maurice el Medioni; leader, arranger/composer for Oi Va Voi (Labels: Outcaste/EMI/V2) award winning future klezmer band (Dutch Edison International Album of the Year, BBC World Music Awards nominations, New York Times Critics’ Top Ten Albums of the Year 2003)

Founder member of Shtetl Superstars and Yiddish Twist Orchestra; co-founder Lemez & Fridel, central London recording and production studio, writing original music and lyrics for companies including game developers Smule and Ubisoft and children’s theatre companies Tall Stories and Peut-Etre; composed and performed original score for silent film East and West (dir. Ivan Abramson, Sidney M. Goldin starring Molly Picon 1923) in London, Paris and Jerusalem.

Media work: producing and presenting for BBC World Service, BBC Russian Service, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, CBC Canada, Resonance FM, STV; set up OpenAir Radio at SOAS; co-founded award winning independent TV production company, Jerusalem based Digress Media.

Most recently, he set up and ran Tonguesten, an education technology startup turning music videos into games for literacy and language learning.

He divides his time between London and Pondicherry, India.

Music Biography

For a list of lectures/broadcasting/music publications, please see here.


Kharkov Klezmer Band, Ticking Again, Music & Words, NL | production
Hunting of the Snark, dir. Dylan Ritson, Crazy Horse Theatre Co., The Museum Of, London (with Oi Va Voi) | theatre


200+ live concerts around UK, Europe, USA | performance


Oi Va Voi, Digital Folklore, self-release, UK | production | songwriting | arrangement
Sitting Ducks, dir. Gerry Fox, UK (with Oi Va Voi) | soundtrack
Talking Tacheles, prod. Andy Cohen, A C Films, UK (with Oi Va Voi) | soundtrack
God of Vengeance, dir. Liselle Terret, Camden People’s Theatre, London, May 2002 (with Paul Epworth) | theatre


Oi Va Voi, Laughter Through Tears, EMI/Outcaste, UK | songwriting | arrangement
X-Bloc Reunion, Barbican Centre, London (with Yad Arts) | curation
Movement of the People/Roots to Reconciliation, monthly, Cargo, London (with The Shrine & Yad Arts) | DJ | curation
Sanhedrin (short), dir. Simon Brasse, UK (with Oi Va Voi) | soundtrack


Regular DJ-ing across London (Cargo, Notting Hill Arts Club, Madame Jojos) and in Europe | DJ
Watch, dir. Leah Thorne, plus adaptation for BBC Radio 4 (with Moshikop) | theatre


Radio Gagarin - Experiments in Sunday Socialism, Notting Hill Arts Club, London 2005-09 (with Friends of Gagarin, DJ Max Reinhardt, Yad Arts) | DJ | curation
Election Song Contest - Grand Finale, Darbukka, London | curation | DJ
Hoop Lane, dir. Mark Rosenblatt, writer Patrick Marber, ICA, London | theatre | performance
Surviving The Terror, dir. Jutta Feit, ZDF, Germany (with Nik Ammar) | soundtrack
What We Did To Weinstein, dir. Tim Supple, prod. Josephine Burton for Dash Arts, Menier Chocolate Factory, London (with Yaniv Fridel) | theatre


Shtetl Superstars compilation, Trikont Records, Germany (with Yuriy Gurzhy) | curation


Oi Va Voi, Oi Va Voi, V2, UK | songwriting | arrangement
Romantik, dir. Sinan Cetin, Turkey (trumpet) | soundtrack


SCORE - East and West, dir. Sidney M. Goldin and Ivan Abramson (1923), silent film soundtrack at Barbican Centre / Purcell Room, London and internationally | soundtrack | performance
Little Miss Roma, dir. Vesna Cudic, Croatia | soundtrack
Ruth, dir. Keren Abitan, Israel (with Yaniv Fridel) | soundtrack


Shahnameh, dir. Tim Supple, Royal National Theatre Studios, London, 2009-10 | theatre


Lyrical Alliance - Arab Hip-hop Summit, prod. Josephine Burton for Dash Arts, Roundhouse London, UK | curation
The Table, dir. Mark Down, Blind Summit, prod. Josephine Burton for Yad Arts, Soho Theatre, London and international (with Yaniv Fridel) | theatre
Louis Theroux - The Ultra Zionists, dir. Andy Wells, BBC Films, UK | soundtrack
The Island - Al Jones, Echoes From The Mountain, Rif Mountain Records, UK (with Yaniv Fridel & Ben Mandelson) | production | arrangement | performance


Lazlo (Kistehen / Little Cow), Venus EP, self-release, UK | mixing | songwriting
The Wild Ones, dir. Lucy Kaye, UK (with Yaniv Fridel) | soundtrack
Sevara Nazarkhan, English Songs LP, Uzbekistan (with Sevara Nazarkhan) | songwriting
Songify, app for IOS/Android, Khush/Smule (with Yaniv Fridel) | composition
Esephus Schmephesus, dir. Mark Rosenblatt for Sixty-Six Books, Bush Theatre, London | theatre
The Other Seder - String Trio & Percussion, dir. Mark Rosenblatt, prod. Josephine Burton for Dash Arts, Tricycle Theatre, London | theatre


Singing Santa, app for IOS/Android, Khush/Smule (with Yaniv Fridel) | composition
We Are Muay Thai, International Federation of MuayThai, Uzbekistan (with Sevara Nazarkhan) | songwriting
Shtetl Superstars, A Day In The Life, Skycap, DE | production | mix | songwriting | arrangement
The Tin Soldier, dir. Daphna Attias, Peut-Etre, Roundhouse, London and nationwide (with Yaniv Fridel) | theatre
The Latke Who Wouldn’t Stop Screaming, dir. Olivia Jacobs, Tall Stories, prod. Josephine Burton for Yad Arts, Roundhouse London and nationwide, 2012-4 (with Yaniv Fridel) | theatre
Under.Me, International Underwear Collection, 2012 (with Yaniv Fridel) | commercial


Alec Kopyt, Raw EP, UK (with Yaniv Fridel) | production | mix | arrangement
Album 61, dir. Halil Efrat, Israel, 2012 (with Yaniv Fridel) | soundtrack
Draw Me A Bird, dir. Daphna Attias, Peut-Etre, UK nationwide, 2013 (with Yaniv Fridel) | theatre
The Other Seder - Bulgarian Vocal Trio, prod. Josephine Burton for Dash Arts, Jackson’s Lane, London | theatre
Autorap, app for IOS/Android, Khush/Smule (with Yaniv Fridel) | composition


Yiddish Twist Orchestra, Let’s, Bergmanton, UK | production | mix | arrangement
Watch, dir. Ewan Golder / Leah Thorne, UK (with Moshikop) | soundtrack


Adishakti Ensemble, Pondicherry Heritage Festival, India | arrangement | performance
Carnatic Vocal Training, Pondicherry, India, 2015-ongoing | study

Selected Humblebrags

| songwriting | arrangement

‘Memorable and melodic songwriting skills’ Evening Standard
‘Mesmerising, innovative music with substance.’ New York Times
‘Beautifully crafted and richly textured’ The Sun
‘[Music of] uncommon grace, diversity and beauty’ BBCi
‘Great tunes… a classic to rank alongside Everything But The Girl “Walking Wounded”’ Sunday Telegraph
‘The deluge of ideas leaves you breathless with wonder’ Independent
‘[Lemez Lovas is ]an impressive songwriter of growing stature’ HMV Magazine

Top Ten Album of the Year, New York Times, 2003
Boundary Crossing Award shortlist, BBC Radio 3 Awards, 2003
Listeners Award shortlist, BBC Radio 3 Awards, 2003
No.1 World Music Album (European Broadcasting Union), Sept-Nov 2003
Critics Album of the Year shortlist, BBC Radio 3 Awards 2004
World Album Of The Year, Dutch National “Edison” Awards 2004

| theatre

‘Lemez Lovas and Yaniv Fridel’s low-level soundscapes are excellently disquieting’ Financial Times
‘Haunting soundscapes… played with aplomb’ Time Out
Best New Work nomination for What We Did To Weinstein, 51st London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

| soundtrack

Best Director, Documentary: Halil Efrat for Album 61, Jerusalem International FF, 2013
Audience Prize, In the Shadow of King David, Nimes Archaeology Film Festival 2009
Best Soundtrack nomination, Ruth, Filmmaker Film Festival 2009
Best Film under 65 Mins, Ruth, Swansea Bay International Film Festival 2009

| curation

‘A far-reaching, revitalising, boundary-pushing compilation’ Songlines
‘The most purely entertaining CD I’ve heard in a long time’ fRoots
‘One of the albums of the year,’ 20 Cent Magazine, Germany

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