Greetings from England !

So, we’ve arrived in England last Friday, and we had an “acoustic rehearsal” in Hadleigh (Suffolk), and, well, it still sounds good! (this video has been posted on Facebook, but you still can access it)

Astrakan Project acoustic 1932 in Hadleigh Folk Club

… and in London, we performed with other bands from Brittany. We’ll soon have some pictures and even some video, and it was nice to see again Urban Kelt lovely team.

Simone Alves & Urban Kelt Bunney

Happy to see Bunney from Urban Kelt again!

We also had the great pleasure to be at BBC Cambridge for a lovely interview with Sue Marchant, you can stream it here until the 11/10/2014 (we appear around 10 minutes at the beginning!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0273vst

Astrakan Project BBC Cambridge Sue Marchant

Simone & lovely Sue Marchant – you can’t say they don’t seem to have fun!

BBC Cambridge Sue Marchant

Yann & Simone by Sue Marchant

What’s up for today? Yann is practising Irish tunes on this rainy day (well, yes, it’s raining!)

Last but not least… we have our albums. Well, not all of them, the promotional edition only, so we can keep on getting ready for the release…[drum rolls!] … October the 23rd for New Moon! We are very happy with the way the artwork artwork came through the manufacturing process, the quality is really lovely, we definitely made the right factory choice + they are super nice and supportive with us!

Thank you all for your lovely support !

§ Simone

Making new from old AKA dare to sacrifice

Our album is right now being manufactured, it’s a big achievement already! We still have a lot to do, but we can be more relax since the first big deadline is over (and we made it! :) ) And since we were so busy last week, here’s a sneak-pick on how we created the album cover.

Our music too is pretty much also about “sacrificing” ancient (and beautiful) a-capela songs to turn them into new pieces. Sometimes we barely dare to. For some tunes, including some on next album, we waited for years before we dared to. Not by fear really. But because it’s sometimes hard to transform a song into a new tune that will at least compete with the original version.

§ Simone

Our music through the eyes of an Angel

What we love about our musician’s life is the amazing people we get to meet. Last July in Portugal we met a very sweet photographer, a lovely person, the kind of person anyone loves at first sight. Only when we came back we realised she was also such a talented photographer…

 

It was breathtaking to discover her amazing work. We had never imagine someone would so powerfully translate our rough music threw pictures. It almost felt like someone had captured our souls and spirit and put it into a picture everyone could see.

Like the idea we have from our music, it’s not sweet or pleasant in the way you would expect it. We’re blessed we can use Maria João Arcanjo’s amazing pictures on next album cover! We can’t wait to see it!

Like her page and find out about her amazing work here: http://www.facebook.com/MariaJoaoArcanjoPhotography (and you may share from there)

PS: copyright Maria João Arcanjo – all rights reserved: None of my images should be reproduced or used,electronically or printed, in its all or partially, without my written consent. NO DOWNLOADS. But you can SHARE them within facebook.

 

 

 

Good signs!

Yesterday at sunset time we drove over the hills to find a quite place for a full listening of next album.view over nea peramos - astrakan project album final mixing

Not only were we blessed by the wonderful sunset light when we got there, but also we saw the biggest Eagle we’ve ever seen! It spanned its huge open wings above the rock we had parked next too for a long moment. A majestic moment that we only can interpret as a good sign! Don’t search for the eagle on the pictures, we just enjoyed the moment!

view over nea peramos - astrakan project album final mixing

view over nea peramos - astrakan project album final mixing good signs

And the music? Well, still some sound fine tuning and a bit of work too in reorganising instruments on one particular track – but we feel we’re on the right direction. 

view over nea peramos - astrakan project album final mixing

view over nea peramos - astrakan project album final mixing

 

§ Simone

What else do you need to release your next album?

… You need Gesso!!! Or at least, I need gesso!

What? Gesso is a primer used to coat canvasses or paper before painting, especially loved and treasured by artists that love multiple layers and materials as well as heavy textures. Well… like me! I love gesso. And I still don’t know how I run out of my precious primer, (well, no, not completely, I still have some black gesso ;) ) , and not only I run out of gesso, but also I haven’t found so far any art-shop in my area in Greece (around Kavala, if you happened to be reading and know one, please! Don’t let me down, leave me a comment!).

Not only did I run out of gesso, but I’m painting for next album cover (ho, here comes the album!), so, what can I do?
DIY homemade gesso primer

So what else than go back to the old Do It Yourself method. Yes. Again. I found an easy recipe here. Basically baby powder+white glue+water. I chose to add some very white paint. I’ll wait until tomorrow to allow it to settle.

I sometimes wonder if I haven’t been cursed for really needing again and again to find last minutes creative solutions. Do I really wish things would be different? Noooooo ! ;)

§ Simone

Buy Astrakan Project debut album

 

How to chose the right track order for your album?

Although we could have been tempted by this method :

… we went back to the one we used for our first album instead !

The way we organised tracks is something we pay a lot of attention to, we discuss it, we write it down, imagine it… And so far we are happy with what we came up with.

I‘m not pretending there was no other possibility, but in our minds, it all comes down to perception. A song will be heard and felt in a different way if it comes as the opening of the album, or after another track, and it also depends on which track.

We like to think about an album as a travel to our world. In the opening, what we want to do is to welcome the listener, almost take him by the hand. Then the journey can begin! We like to imagine and believe that an album can also be heard as a whole piece, not only track by track, but that when you listen to it, the story you hear is different.

You may now be wondering, how will next travel be? Maybe darker than the first one, maybe more powerful, but still as joyful as we are!

§ Simone