Portland based composer and guitarist Ryan Francesconi became obsessed with Balkan folk music via dissecting Bela Bartok scores in college. While own music has been colored by unusual rhythms and harmonies since he was a teenager, his work with his bands The Toids and Trio Mopmu brought his somewhat skewed perspective to the attention of the Balkan community. Often referred to as a multi-instrumentalist, he is a specialist on the Bulgarian Tambura as well various other stringed things. Over the years touring with Joanna Newsom, he's brought a bit more attention to the tambura and kaval, perhaps being one of the few people to play them at Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Red Rocks, Austin City Limits, among other fancy places. He has studied formally and informally, obtaining a MFA in composition from California Institute of the Arts and an ass kicking in Tambura studies from Lyubo Vladimirov in Sofia.
In his recent compositions, he has focused primarily on fingerstyle acoustic guitar, touring internationally both solo and with violinist Mirabai Peart. They recently released an album of duets on Bella Union entitled "Road To Palios". Recent other records include "Songs From The Cedar House", an album of oud and tambura duets with Kane Mathis, a jazz release "Mercury Falls", Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me", and his solo guitar record "Parables".
Currently Ryan is working on a new record with this band, an album of songs called "Cold Moon" with Alela Diane, and is on tour with Joanna Newsom.