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Iva Bittová

About this Album

The Czech violinist and singer Iva Bittová describes her work as, “my own personal folk music.” Her compositions and improvisations are abstract variations on folk-like melodies, shaped by the classical and gypsy music of the tiny Moravian villages where Bittová spent her formative years.

Bittová is an original artist who combines singing, playing and drama simultaneously to create songs that have been described by CMJ as “so intimate and personal you can almost feel her breath on your ears.” Her self-titled US debut culls material from the European releases Ne Nehledej and Iva Bittová. Uninhibited and unaffected, Bittová sings about issues that affect women, in poetry that is sensual, fervent and evocative.

An accomplished performer with a well-established reputation both in Europe and Japan, Bittová most recently completed a five-city solo tour of North America. Sold out shows in Boston, New York, and Berkeley turned many away at the door. The New York Times said, “Ms. Bittová is a true cosmopolitan, but she remains grounded in local expressions, and her own physicality. She takes on the role of the singer as town crier whose voice animates old myths and current news. Ms. Bittová’s town is her self, ruled by the rhythms of sexuality, the flights of her imagination and the realities of modern social life.”

Iva Bittová was born in Bruntál, in northern Moravia. Her father, a classical double bass player, relocated the family often. Bittová attended violin and ballet classes as a child and also appeared in the Silesian Theatre of Zdenek Nejedly. As a teenager she auditioned at a local conservatory and was not accepted, and instead entered an apprenticeship in a toy shop. Bittová was subsequently admitted to the conservatory the following year and studied music and drama. Upon completion of school in Brno, she won a contract at the avant-garde Theatre On A String. She has since appeared in multiple television and film roles, including the documentary film about Fred Frith, “Step Across The Border.”

Reflecting on her life-long work as a performer, Bittová has said, “I have found the way to myself and thus also to others. I understand there are many hearts in the world, and each beats differently.”


Iva Bittová, vocals, violin, viola
Pavel Fajt, drums, percussion

Produced by Iva Bittova and Pavel Fajt

Tracks 1, 2, 5, and 6 recorded Winter 1990 at the Church of sv. Filip and sv. Jakub, Lelekovice
Engineered by Pavel Fajt
Assistant Engineer: Milos Svábek

Track 3 recorded Winter 1990 at the Municipal Music Hall, Hradec Králové
Engineered by Pavel Fajt
Assistant Engineer: Milos Svábek

Track 4, 7, and 8 recorded Autumn 1994 at Studio V,  Zlín
Engineered by Ivo Viktorin

Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

Design by John Tadao
Cover photograph by Sert de Ruyter

Executive Producer: Carol Yaple

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