Passing along our Music passion to next generation!

While reviewing some pictures we have on our hard-drive to see if we could use some of them for next album booklet (What? There will be a booklet? Hum…. ), I just got a hand back on a couple of pictures taken last month in Portugal, during a little “atelier” we had been invited to lead for young children.

Those experiences are always very rewarding, children generally don’t have expectations other than having fun. But when it comes to traditional music, it has a very special taste. Traditional musics are people’s music, often unwritten, sometimes with little access to main media such as tv or national radios, they only exist because they are passed along from generation to generation.

In Brittany, children will generally participate to fest-noz (breton ballroom), try to dance, maybe stay for a while at the front row with their little elbows against the stage… although in most of cases just run around and have fun. One thing is for sure, the music they will have heard for years will be their music, it will resonate as being part of who they are forever. Not because it’s a fashion or because it supposed to be “good” music. No. Just because it’s what they have experienced.

§ Simone

PS : if you watch carefully the pictures, you might even guess which one is our little son!

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Some work in progress art work for next album

Last Astrakan Project album (2012) was the first album ever I used my art work for. With the exception of Yann’s portrait, I did not specifically create the paintings for the album, but once they were finished (they were created between March and June 2012 whilst the album was to be released in September), there was absolutely no doubt in our minds they belonged to the album.

For our upcoming album, I had no idea so far. Absolutely zero! I even hadn’t been drawing much lately because I kind of wanted to get first an idea of what to paint… for the album!

Ha ha ha! Inspiration just doesn’t seem to work for me that way! Last week-end I started to doodle inspired by Shamanistic Sami drums from northern Scandinavia, like this one:

sami shaman drum blue

Prob. 17-18th C. Norwegian Sami People Drum. During rituals a ring was moved around on the drum membrane. Predictions and conclusions were made based on rune itself and the path that the ring took in selecting it.

I loved the very stylish way animals and people get depicted, but above all the way they depict a world, they tell a story that you can follow. And I kind of got inspired… So inspired that

While composing music we often get into the same inspiration process, if we try to pull it too hard, nothing really happens, when we let go off the pressure about “this needs to be done”, then only ideas start to flow.

Truth is, most brilliant ideas aren’t really ours…

…best ideas come to us – if we allow them to.

Back to painting!

§ Simone

Why recording musicians need healthy food!

End of August is approaching, and so is our deadline! In a couple of weeks now, the master of our album will be on its way to the factory, and by then, we still have some work to do. Every recording we make tends to rise up our level of expectations, which tends also to take… more time!

So while spending a lot of time in the darkness of the studio, sited in front of the computer, trying out new sound combinations or just creating the artwork, we also try to find a balance, to keep everyday life joyful. Part of that are lunch breaks. Yes. Just simple lunch breaks.

healthy food in the music studio diy musician

 

While it is tempting to drop down lunch breaks under the belief that “any minute counts” and has to be used… well… in the studio, being productive, that is, only dedicated to music, and become a “cold-slice-of-pizza-in-front-of-the-computer” aficionado, we really feel this can be energy draining. Even depressing!

Not only do our body and brains need simple and healthy refreshing stuff to recover from all their creative activity, it is also nice to get back to “normal life”, to disconnect from the studio and come back later with fresher ears and minds… well just a break!

Recording in Greece definitely makes it easy for us, far beyond all our expectation, a simple Greek salad is cheap, refreshing, no cooking (=time saving), not too much dish-washing involved… THE perfect ideal meal so far while recording! healthy food in the music studio2 diy musician

 

Enjoy your day, have a break!

§ Simone

Interview (yes in Portuguese) in Portugal

Yes, it’s in Portuguese… What do I say? That basically I’m always happy to sing in Portugal, my family’s country, and that it makes it very special! But Yann said the best part, when he explains why he plays Turkish instruments… “because they are really attractive”! Really great and so true!

Enjoy this moment with us,

§ Simone

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Back from the Road to Albion Tour #1

6 days in the UK and 4 gigs, a great time for us! We played in East Anglia (Colchester, Norwich and Ipswich) and then in London, and above all we discovered other ways of touring and organising as a band. In France, we like things to be really organised, planned ahead, whereas in the UK, at least when it comes to organise concerts, people are so much more relaxed! We have to confess… it really fest good! It really felt good to be taken seriously as self-produced band, it really felt good to be able to organise things with short notice, it really felt good to be welcomed and supported by lovely people (including the members of the lovely band Kiss The Mistress).

It was all good!

For the first time…

  • We “rented” a hall in which we organised our own concert (Norwich)
  • We played 3 gigs in a row with the same band as support act (yes!)
  • We took the ferry to play on the same evening (Colchester)
  • We performed with an amazing beautiful bellydancer, Helen! Oh yes…

And if you want even more of this ambiance, our friend Ginette did this short video {enjoy!}

Meeting and performing with Helen was a very powerful experience, a treasure that we’ll keep among our nicest memories.

Did you guess what I’m already busy with? Of course, putting together another UK tour! (and dear reader, if you have any suggestion, a place you know, a venue, a festival, please, let us know, after all we are making it happen together, right?)

§ Simone

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The Road to Albion, episode 4 & a tribute to Oasis

It’s no secret that we both love British Pop! Wonderwall from Oasis is among this sound we love.

We’ve finished packing, we’re leaving Greece today, to get to Belgium on Friday right on time for our concert on Saturday night, and then head to Dunkerque and board to UK.

If you want to stay tuned, check out http://facebook.com/astrakanproject which is the easiest place for us to share while on the road – and yes, of course, be prepared for loads of road-trip videos & pictures!

§ Simone