Ten revelations
Evan Ziporyn
Jimmy Page
Robert Plant
John Paul Jones
Chester Burnett
Jimi Hendrix
Dubose Heywood
George and Ira Gershwin
Muddy Waters
Kurt Cobain
Maya Beiser
Catalog Number: 
new classical
new music

Riverdale, NY

Release Date: 
Aug 26, 2014
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
UncoverediTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
1.Black Dog05:02$0.99
2.Moanin' at Midnight03:01$0.99
3.Little Wing03:33$0.99
6.Wish You Were Here06:59$0.99
7.Louisiana Blues02:55$0.99
9.Back in Black04:39$0.99
One Sheet: 

Cellist Maya Beiser’s latest, Uncovered, is an album of classic rock tunes re-imagined and re-contextualized in stunning and multi-layered performances. Consisting almost entirely of Beiser’s multi-tracked cello with drums and bass added by collaborators Glenn Kotche (Wilco) and Jherek Bischoff, these “uncovers” -- in new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn -- breathe new life into works by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters and AC/DC.

“I approach every song like an open canvas,” says Beiser, “constructing each layer of sound, rhythm, harmony, color and melody -- building and experimenting until it feels right.” Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel and surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims and Christians while immersed in the study of classical cello repertoire, Beiser has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the classical arena.

The results of her work on Uncovered are impressionistic, but not gauzy. Her performances here are incendiary, in line with New York magazine’s assessment that “Beiser is not the sort of musician who zigzags around the planet playing catalog music for polite and sleepy audiences. She throws down the gauntlet in every program.” With an arm’s length list of performances from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall to the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan, to the Royal Albert Hall (and the deep discography to go with it, including 2010’s Provenance on innova Recordings), Beiser is not so much ready to take the world by storm as already directing a creative whirlwind of a career in ever-widening circles. Spin her latest and hear for yourself.


“With this electrifying disc, the avant-garde cello virtuoso Maya Beiser transforms herself into something of a rock ’n’ roll diva.” 

“Some of the songs are like tone poems, often bringing genre-defining music into modern global music consciousness, creating startling juxtapositions that meant your ears could not lapse into their comfort zone or go anywhere near memory lane.” 

“Her cello is infused with reverb and distortion until it reaches moody, wailing electric-guitar grandeur, and she cuts a riveting swath through Janis Joplin’s version of Summertime. . .” 

“Uncovered succeeds because of Ms. Beiser’s ability to make well-known material her own ... she doesn't try to mimic Robert Plant’s pungent yowl. Instead, she murmurs the opening lyrics and employs her multitracked cello to play Jimmy Page’s guitar riffs … Howlin’ Wolf’s Moanin’ at Midnight works because the cello covers the range, world weariness and menace of Howlin’ Wolf’s voice as well as his fleet, piercing harmonica licks ... Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here seems made for a stringed-instrument cover, but Ms. Beiser’s gritty intro deepens the sense of loss in the piece and makes it even more elegiac ... In Ms. Beiser’s hands the cello can capture a wide range of voices, and with multitracking it can effect the sound of a power chord. On Uncovered, the cellist plays classic rock with the unbridled passion that she brings to her other repertoire.”

“The raging quality of Kurt Cobain’s vocals in the original is matched here in surprising and ferocious ways by Beiser’s cello, further proving to us laymen that classical music has more than two modes: pretty and eerie.” 

“Beiser’s stunning impressionist reinterpretations bring out new colors, sounds and rhythms from songs we’ve likely all heard hundreds of times. And for the classically minded, Beiser's refreshing sonic approach brings life to establishing rock as part of the canon.”

“She takes on vocal lines that she hopes reflect the nuance of blues singer Howlin' Wolf, the nasal yell of Kurt Cobain. She also works with lead guitar lines, drawing inspiration from solos by Hendrix and Jimmy Page and employing distortion pedals. Then, she fills out the rest of the musical landscape, taking on harmonica, steel guitar and whatever else is necessary, recording and layering tracks to create a song.” 

“Responsible for all the arrangements here, Ziporyn builds layer upon layer of Beiser’s expressive playing and creates new paths for these often well-known melodies . . . Beiser weaves a tapestry of acoustic pizzicato and electric bowed riffs on Howlin’ Wolf’s Moanin’ at Midnight while her finely wrought improvisations on Janis Joplin’s own cover of Summertime recalls Joplin’s own abandoned vocal delivery.” 

“Anyone suspecting Maya Beiser might be slumming in releasing a collection of classic rock covers will most assuredly have that notion dispelled after a single run-through of Uncovered. It quickly becomes apparent that the New York-based cellist brings the same level of conviction to the recording's ten performances as she would to a more conventional piece in the classical repertoire ...” 

“It’s ten tracks of beautifully deconstructed classic rock songs, as spectacular a find for die-hard Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd fans as it is for those who know absolutely nothing about classic rock . . . In short, the cello diva has done it again. Without giving up her own originality, cellist Maya Beiser captures every rasp, every scream, every bit of edginess and ugliness…everything that made these rock songs so legendary. Uncovered is the ultimate homage to the perfect imperfection of rock music.”

“[A]n exceptional mix of elemental energy and tasteful musical originality, with many high points ... Maya Beiser ... is at the peak of an eclectic career in which Uncovered is just one of a string of varied projects ... Beiser is one of those "classical" artists ... who are expanding the audience for classical and other ‘serious’ music by embracing pop culture with eyes and spirit wide open, not looking down on anything or anyone With Uncovered she takes a serious journey into the heart of serious rock, and we're the beneficiaries.”