Hala Strana is the name of a recording project of American musician Steven R. Smith.
Smith began recording under this name in 2002 as an outlet which allowed him to explore the traditional music of Eastern Europe more fully than possible with his solo work. Smith recently release some other music under Ulaan Khol name (I and II on Soft Abuse label)
Although numerous musicians have contributed to the project, including his friends and members of founded members of the Jewelled Antler Collective Glenn Donaldson (The Skygreen Leopards, The Ivytree, Birdtree, Teenage Panzerkorps, Flying Canyon…) and Loren Chasse (Of, OV, The Franciscan Hobbies, The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers…) but most Hala Strana recordings are solo productions.
Donaldson, Chasse and Smith play together in Thuja.
His recordings have included such diverse instruments as hurdy gurdy, bouzouki, harmonium, spike fiddles, bul bul tarang, the optigan keyboard, xaphoon, and field recordings. Hala Strana’s releases have featured arrangements of traditional music from Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Albania, Ukraine and Bulgaria as well as original music influenced by the music of these areas.
Hala Strana has recorded for a number of independent labels such as Soft Abuse, Last Visible Dog, Jewelled Antler, Important Records and Emperor Jones.
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