The artistic and biographical backgrounds of Mikhail Popov and Arkadiy Gips have a great deal in common. Both embarked upon their musical careers as children, attended the best music schools in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated to the United States in the early 1990s. Most importanly, they share a deep love of Jewish music. "Mikhail and Arkadiy are klezmorim in the truest sense of the word," noted cantor Jack Chomsky of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, OH. "The word klezmer is really two words: Klei zemer- vessels of music. The use of this term dates to the Middle ages, referring to itinerant musicians fulfilling the artistic and cultural needs of the Jewish community of Europe. They were noted for their performance of popular music of Jewish and non-Jewish peoples, for their great instrumental skills and for their talents of improvisation."
In their arrangements, Mikhail and Arkadiy chose well-known melodies as a starting point, then subject them to different and sometimes unexpected stylistic transformations. More than the dialogue between the piano and violin, there is a relationship built between the song's origins and a new instrumental interpretation.