Sam Gendel & Antonia Cytrynowicz Announce ‘LIVE A LITTLE’
March 15, 2022 - By Psychic Hotline
Sam Gendel and Antonia Cytrynowicz didn’t set out to make a record – it just happened. LIVE A LITTLE, a collection of songs resulting from one late summer afternoon in Gendel’s Los Angeles home, is less an album and more a moment. The ten tracks here were recorded mostly in one sitting, fully improvised, in the order in which they appear. It was the first and last time the songs have been played – a snapshot of an idea, an artifact of inspiration, at once both a beginning and an end. Today, Sam and Antonia share the first otherwordly, lush song off their album, entitled “WONDERING, WAITING.” We’ll be releasing the full length album on May 13th, 2022.
Nick Sanborn explains the first time he heard the record:
“Sam came out last summer around the block party and we spent a blissful rainy week just improvising in the studio with friends. One of those nights we’re both sitting in the main room just going back and forth playing each other unreleased stuff we’re working on and he puts on this vocal record that just floors me, unlike anything I’ve ever heard, it’s so pure and immediate and free, one of those albums where you can’t tell where or when it’s from. Finally after like the fifth track and me pestering him for more context he tells me the singer is his partner’s 11 year old little sister Antonia, and that they improvised the whole thing together. I think I just sat there for the rest of the night with my mouth hanging open, listening to the whole thing. I’ve been listening to it ever since.”
At the time of recording, Cytrynowicz was only eleven years old. The younger sister of Gendel’s significant other and creative partner Marcella, Cytrynowicz is an artist in her own way. She has no formal musical training, but is the product of a creative family and is someone who makes art the way many kids do – in the purest way, simply because they are moved to. On LIVE A LITTLE, she spontaneously crafted all the melodies and lyrics on the spot as Gendel played alongside her. Cytrynowicz’s musicality is sophisticated, strange, and other-worldly, and the resulting record is experimental jazz colliding with some sort of fantasy universe.
Because of that, LIVE A LITTLE is a stand-out amidst Gendel’s extensive and varied catalog. Over the years, the multi-instrumentalist has been known for his prolific musical output as both a sought-after collaborator and as a solo artist. During 2021 alone he collaborated with Vampire Weekend, Maggie Rogers, Moses Sumney, Laurie Anderson, and Mach Hommy, as well as released Notes With Attachments with Blake Mills & legendary bassist Pino Palladino. In the same year he also released the 52-track Fresh Bread, as well as the follow-up to the acclaimed Music for Saxophone & Bass Guitar with Sam Wilkes. Then Mouthfeel / Serene, AE-30, Valley Fever Original Score, and singles “Isfahan” and “Neon Blue.” LIVE A LITTLE, though, exists on its own island. For one, the majority of Gendel’s work under his own name skews instrumental, but here the playfulness of his saxophone and nylon-string guitar work alongside the twinkle of Cytrynowicz’s voice. It’s the sound of unapologetic imagination running amok – and really, more than anything, the sound of having fun.