Hala Strana (Bulgarian for "salt beach") is the name of a recording project of American musician Steven R. Smith. Smith began recording under the name in 2002 as an outlet which allowed him to explore the traditional music of Eastern Europe more fully than possible with his solo work. Although numerous musicians have contributed to the project, including Glenn Donaldson, Loren Chasse, and Darren Ankenman, most Hala Strana recordings are solo productions. His recordings have included such diverse instruments as hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, harmonium, spike fiddles, bul bul tarang, the optigan keyboard, xaphoon, and field recordings. Hala Strana's releases have featured arrangements of traditional music from Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Albania, Ukraine and Bulgaria as well as original music influenced by the music of these areas. Hala Strana has recorded for a number of independent labels such as Soft Abuse, Last Visible Dog, Jewelled Antler, and Emperor Jones.
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