9 String Theory is not just a catchy name but also a straightforward calculation. It’s a musical duo featuring Angelina Galashenkova on the domra, which has three strings, and John Huston on classical guitar, which has six strings.
The domra is a Russian folk instrument, or as Galashenkova said, “I describe it as the Russian lute, Russian mandolin.”
Classical guitar and domra might be a strange pairing in the United States, but in Russia, it is more common. Usually, the domra takes the melody, while the guitar is on the harmony part.
“The highest open string on the guitar is the lowest note on the domra,” Huston said. “It lends itself as an expanded guitar or the guitar a very deep and harmonized domra.”
Galashenkova and Huston released a self-titled CD, which features tradition Russian folk songs, Manuel de Falla, George Gershwin, Béla Bartók and several pieces by Astor Piazzolla.
“When I listen to Piazzolla music, it’s always a story behind every piece. I can just visualize what is going on,” Galashenkova said. “And I think that’s what’s really drawn us to the type of music. It’s just not just a melody and accompaniment and something fun to listen to, it’s the whole comprehensive story behind it.”
The pair will perform an all-Piazzolla set this Thursday at the Red Light Café at 8 p.m.