Taking the role of modern jugglers, the guitarist Daniel Salontay and the bass-guitarist Shina depart their homebase on the hill Longital in Bratislava, SK, to cruise around Europe, spreading the notion of the “heart beat”, a music style they have compiled from their talent, constant drive for searching, and the taste for preserving the traditional forms. The combination of a versatile guitarist who has developed breathtaking bow technique and a female lyrical music poet, who might seem fragile, yet she does manage to steer Slovakia's most valued indie label of SLNKO Records, certainly does bring original fruit. The specific Longital world is a place where the means of classic music styles meet the electronics-assisted search for new ways. This is a world that is able to draw the listeners in with a force that prevents the return into the boring reality. Their music has been triumphant in attracting scores of passionate listeners through the records (see the latest studio album, Gloria) and concerts, which oscillate between zen minimalism on the surface and wild eruptions of accumulated emotions brewing beneath.
Members of the band: Daniel Salontay on guitars, bow and vocals, Shina on bass and vocals, and “irtual”member Xi Di Nim (laptop and touch screen Lemur Jazz Mutant)
The poem of Longital:
He dreamed a lot * She wrote poetry.
He sharpened his imagination and built aeroplanes and ships * She sang and played piano.
He got a guitar and loved jazz * She ran college radio and played folk.
They both loved music and skiing
He graduated in maths * She graduated in engineering.
He taught computer science and played the blues * She did graphic design and photography
He found some wrecked guitars and rescued them * She left some old friends.
They met and became friends
He went to Cleveland to study jazz * She stayed in Bratislava
He missed her * She missed him
They met again in the US
They fell in love
They returned home
He discovered bow * She got bass guitar
He wrote songs * She wrote songs
They moved to a beautiful place on a hill called Dlhe Diely (Long Yards)
They formed the band Dlhe Diely with some friends
They started their record label Slnko records (www.slnkorecords.sk)
They quit their proper jobs
They recorded few albums and lost few drummers
They discovered electronics and started to use ambient sounds and loops
They discovered that the hill Dlhe diely was previously called Longital
They formed the new band Longital
And finally came the dream of White Tiger telling them the SECRET
Short history of Longital:
Daniel Salontay and Shina formed the band in 2001.
Salontay discovered he was a musician at the age of 13 when browsing through the records of his parents and listening to anything from Yma Sumac through the traditional music of Iran, India and beyond to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and early fusion music by Miles Davis, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea. He got his first guitar, had it tuned by his classmate and since that day he never put it out of reach. Totally self-taught, he started to invent his own chords from the first day and went on experimenting and learning by ear from records for another decade. Later he took up lessons with different teachers, but kept an inventive approach to his instrument. Music was outbalancing his academic years at the University, which brought him a degree in Mathematics and Computer science.
Shina took piano and singing lessons in her childhood and started to write her own songs as a self-taught guitarist at the age of 14. During her studies of management in engineering she played in a folk band and ran a college radio.
Salontay and Shina met in the early nineties, a sweet period of the opening to the world after the fall of the iron curtain in Czechoslovakia. They both were part of a small but very sensitive artist community in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, the eastern part of the country which split in a very peaceful divorce. Salontay and Shina were sharing love for folk, jazz and especially world music which was at its best in those years. At that time, Shina was a graphic & layout designer, filling tons of her notebooks with her poetry and moving around the city of Bratislava with her black grand piano, while Salontay was a computer science teacher and at the same time, active musician and renowned jazz-rock and avantgard blues guitarist and bandleader, moving around the city of Bratislava with his green grand piano. It was the formative bohemian period for both of them.
The change came in 1997 when Salontay won instrumentalist award of Slovak Jazz Society and left for scholarship in the Jazz Studies programme at Tri-C College in Cleveland US. Somewhat frustrated by the academic approach to jazz at the school he smelled real music life at blues jams, watched out the late Robert Junior Lockwood and took private lessons with Cleveland’s guitarist and educator Michael Bay. Shina missed her dear friend and went to see him in the US, just at the time when Salontay got homesick. During this visit their Love story begun and they returned to Bratislava as a couple.
One day soon after their return to Slovakia, Salontay realized how important is to build on one’s own cultural roots and how shallow it is to try to play music emerging from different cultures. He left his blues band immediately and started to trace roots of music inside himself, looking for ways of expression. Until that time Shina was just a silent witness and supporter of Salontay’s artistic efforts, while she kept filling her notebooks with potery. One day a foreign student and their friend came to say goodbye before his return to Africa. He left with them his bass guitar, and adviced them to make use of it. That is how Shina came to her instrument. She played the lowest string for one year, developing bass lines and humming her lyrics to them.
Salontay went on with his search for his own sound and started to play with bow, which he later developed to a certain degree of virtuosity that defines his style. He also played with an alternative band Neuropa with Slovakia’s foremost alternative musician Michal Kaščák of the band Bez Ladu a Skladu, blending Central European influences with Balkan and electronics. Shina got a fretless bass and fell in love with the freedom and smooth sound of the instrument.
Salontay and Shina lived together and their personal relationship gradually grew into a musical relationship, working together on songs which would later become the base repertoire for their band. They named the band after the place where they live, the hill Dlhe Diely in Bratislava. This place is on the border of three Central European countries and it has been a natural crossroads of cultures, which influenced the band in their eclectic multi-genre approach.
In early 2001 they decided to make the jump. They left proper jobs and decided to focus on music full-time. In their first year they recorded two albums, and launched their own music label Slnko Records, which had soon gained respect in the music community and business, and grew steadily to became today‘s foremost and probably the largest independent label in Slovakia, a country with half the pouplation of NYC.
Along with the recording and publishing activities came touring. In order to support themselves, Salontay and Shina have focused on the Central European region right from the start. When the band started to perform further in the West, they realized how difficult it was to pronounce and remember the name Dlhe Diely for international and English speaking audience. Therefore in the year 2005, after 5 years of existence and 5 albums, they decided to change the band’s name to Longital, the historical name of the same hill.
The past three years brought the band two critically acclaimed albums: Vyprava/Voyage and Gloria and hundreds of concerts in 12 European countries. Longital has gained a reputation of most travelled and export ready band from Slovakia.
A formative encounter for the band was sharing the stage with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, during very early performances of the duo which would, a few years later receive Oscar for their song Falling Slowly in the movie Once. Hansard’s appreciation for the music of Longital inspired him to invite the Slovak duo to support his band The Frames during their European tour in 2007.
The international success for Longital was accented by the Ableton remix contest in 2006 in which Longital was selected among top ten remixes of COLDCUT‘S “EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL”. Matt Black, Member of Coldcut and founder of the renowned UK label Ninja Tune selected the remix.
Selected appearances at festivals
UK - The Big Chill (2005), Small Nations Festival (2008) / SK - Pohoda (2001-2008) / IE - International Guitar festival Clonakilty (2006) / HU - Mediawave (2005), Regionconference Budapest (2008) / CZ - United Islands of Prague (2004, 2006, 2009), Colours of Ostrava (2004, 2006, 2008) / D – Nacht der Schonheit Berlin (Piranha prod. 2007) / CH – Gena Festival, Geneve (2008) / FR - Les Oreilles en Pointe Unieux (2006), Europavox Vichy (2007), Mimi Marseille (2007), Electro choc Bourgon (2008), Gare aux Oreilles Coustellet (2008), Musiques Innovatrices St.Etienne (2008), Les Nuits Europeennes Strasbourg (2008), Le printemps de Bourges (2009)
Selected club gigs
UK - London (Cargo, Spitz, The Big Chill Bar) / IE - Cork (Cyprus Avenue), Clonakilty (Debarra) / CZ - Prague (Palac Akropolis, Delta, Lucerna music bar) / FIN - Turku (Koulu) / RU - Moscow (OGI), St.Petersburg (Platforma) / HU - Budapest (Trafo, Take5), Gyor (Romer Haz) / PL - Krakow (Lokator, Re, Gwarek), Warszawa (Jazzgot), Poznan (Eskulap,Blue Note), Lodz (Jazga) / AT – Wien (Ost-klub, Wuk), Salzburg (Rockhouse), Graz (Orpheum), Linz (Posthof) / D - Berlin (Kulturforum) / FR – Marseille (Le Balthazar), Grenoble (La Bobine).
Longital shared stage with
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (the Swell Season), Emiliana Torrini, Moloko, The Ruby Suns, Tujiko Noriko, Lali Puna, The Frames, Black, Claire Di Terzi, Aaron, Xploding plastix, Medeski-Martin-Wood, Ralph Myerz, The Levelers, Susanne and the Magic Orchestra and Nina Hynes.
Tours 2002-2009 : UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland, Russia, Finland, Hungary.
Recordings of Longital
Gloria (2008), Vyprava/Voyage (2006), Sveta diely/Continents (2004).
All releases of Longital are available on www.slnkorecords.sk, and also available on iTunes and Cdbaby.com.
Shina and Salontay previously recorded with the band Dlhe diely, albums : Šina In Virgo (2003), Tu (2002), Šinadisk (2001), September (2001).