Magical Musical Puppetry : Grego and Mazja


Happy Thanksgiving! Your weekly listen for 11/30/14 is Grego of with his beautiful creation, “Mazja the Dreambird”.

Originally from the United States, Grego has built several musical puppets and has performed at festivals all over the world. He has also been featured on television in Japan, where he lives with his wife and baby. He is shown here performing outdoors at the Oregon Country Fair in Eugene, Oregon.

Mazja the Dreambird is both a puppet and a bowed psaltery, which is a harplike instrument. She herself holds a harp, a pan flute, a violin and a set of cymbals. Notice how her arm is attached to Grego’s arm so that she bows in concert with him. In this performance she is shown playing the cymbals and the violin.

I have had the pleasure of seeing Grego perform live with Mazja on two occasions, and this video, as lovely as it is, doesn’t do justice to the magic of their performance, which truly seems to cast a spell over the audience. Unfortunately Grego doesn’t perform in the United States often but I’ll try to keep my eye out for any upcoming peformances in our area!

The bowed psaltery is a descendent of the Greek psalterion and the European medieval plucked zither psaltery, both of which closely resemble a harp.

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