Ethan Setiawan Brings Multiple Styles To Mandolin-Driven ‘Gambit’

[Cover photo credit to Louise Bichan]

Maine-based mandolinist Ethan Setiawan has announced the March 31st release of his sophomore album Gambit via Adhyâropa Records, and has shared new track Uncrossed that aims to be engaging.

Setiawan explains:

‘Uncrossed’ is my attempt at writing a somewhat friendly fiddle tune. It came out of my experience creating my first record, Flux. It sums up most of what was going on in my head in 2017.

Produced by well-known fiddle player Darol Anger, Gambit features Anger’s chamber music-influenced arrangement styles.  

Setiawan comments on the album:

What I love about the album is that the sum of it is greater than its parts. It starts with an introductory meditation, and it moves through a Swedish tune, a real jammy number, some more jazz, and new age-influenced pieces, as well as the old-time and bluegrass elements.  It’s not one thing, it’s a whole record. 

Gambit was recorded in Maine at the Great Northern Sound Society and features a cast of musicians including Anger (fiddle), Tony Trischka (banjo), Sam Leslie (guitar), Brittany Karlson (bass), Ethan Jodziewicz (bass), Louise Bichan (fiddle), Joe K. Walsh (mandolin), Mike Marshall (mandolin), Neil Pearlman (keys), and Matt Arcara (banjo).

On the album, Setiawan moves between stylistic influences, hearkening back to the experimental string band music pioneered in the early 80s while presenting entirely original compositions. His debut full-length album, Flux was made up of original tunes drawing from multiple genres.  

In addition to his solo projects, Setiawan is a side man and band member and can be seen playing with his band Corner House, Darol Anger, and Tony Trischka among others.  

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