Sales VS Creativity

It’s always about the same. We released last album 2 months ago, we’re still in the middle of promoting, and actually we should even be doing more in that direction – by more, I mean do more follow up, check if it has been received, if it will be published/played/reviewed.

I should also put more effort on putting together next gigs & tour. Not that I’m not putting any effort, but basically I should be spending more than half of my days on the phone. But guess what? It’s not my thing. Neither Yann’s.

And things got worst when we get ideas for new songs coming in and chasing us even at night! Not big projects as such, not planned for any album (but who knows?), but mostly side-projects that we’d love to work on, just to see what happens, just to experiment and have fun. And well, since last January 2014 when we started to work on the album, we got a lot of these “let’s take a note and come back to it after the album’s release”.

In other words, I don’t know how that happen, but we already have loads of work in progress!

In the meantime, I pushing myself hard to keep on trying to get new gigs, it’s probably a matter of balance… but I love so much more to bring new ideas to life!

§ Simone


Promo time for album B!

We are really lucky we’ve been hosted by many nice people to promote our new album – it’s always a great chance to get our music out into the world while meeting very nice people at our interviews.

We’ve been to local radio Arvorig FM – a 100% in Breton language radio. (you can stream it online!)

Astrakan Project ba' Arvorig FM radio

@Arvorig FM – a 100% Breton radio with Pauline Daniel

We’ve also been to France Bleu Breizh Izel (local branch of the national radio) where we recorded two shows, one in Breton and one bilingual – they should be on air this week, watch out our facebook page to get notified.

Radio RBI Culture Breizh with Clément Soubigou

Recording Culture Breizh show with Clément Soubigou in Quimper

And also we played already 2 show-cases, one in Brest at the book & music shop l’Oreille KC:

And another in Morlaix today, again at a book & music shop called Dialogues:


So… all is well, and our little album is little by little getting to get heard in many places around Brittany. :) But there is still more to come!

§ Simone

Celebration time! We’re featured in fRoots’s album choices again!

It’s a great honour not only to get a really good review in fRoots current issue (available from today for subscribers, on sale on the 20th), but also we got chose among “album choices of the month playlist

fRoots review on Astrakan Project B


The review for our first album in 2013 came like a surprise, we had never played in the UK, were not distributed, had got actually absolutely no review in France, it felt really like a recognition for us. For our album B, we weren’t sure fRoots would like it, it’s much darker, and rock. Yet they still recognized that it is nothing but 100% traditional Breton music, and this is truly a very nice surprise again!



I’ll be waiting…

Since last album, I had forgotten this odd “in-between” time after the album’s release. The time it takes to go from “the release” to “what’s next”.

Since the album’s release then, a couple of fans bought it straight away,  fans that follow us regularly, that were waiting for it- you’re probably among them: big thank you! :). It’s a big reward when the first orders come in. (and a relieve also, let’s be honest !!! )

songlines 4 stars review

Our first album’s review in Songlines magazine in 2013

In the meantime also, we keep sending albums+press reviews to magazines and radios, although net-works can be powerful, traditional media have their audience for which they will select the music they think they will like. And from previous experiences we know how it brought attention from people that now follow us on a regular basis. Because this is the concrete real outcome of a good review, it isn’t about praising our musicians’ ego with nice and pleasant words. It really can help to spread the word around our project, and make it successful, help to touch more people and also be a plus when it comes to book new gigs and concerts.

Being aware of that brings a tiny bit of pressure.

What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t play it?

And there is also something we all know, nowadays, everything goes pretty fast. In the case of radios, either our music will get played straight away, either it will never be. All of this has a direct crucial impact on the music we might or might not be able to create and play in the up-coming month. Not that we would stop playing music!!! :D But we have the intuition that a slightly bigger audience would inspire us quite a few new cool projects!

So… we’re waiting…

§ Simone

astrakan breton world music on facebook

The DIY table ?

Each gig you may have as a band may always teach you something… Last gig we had was so. This is the table that I use on stage for all my devices (computer, soudcard, desk etc…)


You may have noticed that there are many cables / sockets / power supplies around. This is that can makes life difficult when for some reasons I need to move all the stuff between the soundcheck and the show itself. This is indeed what happened at our last gig in Ipswich Library (UK). Therefore I had to find out a tip to solve this problem, that’s what I did today as soon as we got back from England :)

First, this is to fix the table feet :


in which I cut small holes in order to…


…insert a lower shelf as shown below :



Ok, as you can see, I have used various parts of an old chair and an old cupboard. But this has to fit in a (small) car in which you may still be able to sleep (with two guitars, two uds, a turkish saz, a fiddle, clothing for at least two weeks, a whole PA and a kid !)





Now let us have a look at the table in use, this is before the addition of the lower shelf :


And this is afterwards :


A close look from below should make things clearer :)


Now suppose I have yo move everything to quickly make room available for the band that will perform right before us :


A view without the top shelf :


And it works out !! ;)


§ Yann

One more crazy night in Ipswich

It will probably be an habit for us, but every time we play in Ipswich (Suffolk, East Anglia), it has a special taste. This last gig was in the Library, that was opening that night specially for the event (and serving drinks too!)

We had met last June Gwendal Moel, a “local” breton singer and got the brilliant idea to guest him on some “kan ha diskan” (traditional way of singing, with 2 singers), and it was …. beyond any of our expectations, really wild and crazy, and the audience really responded to the music. Really cool and up-lifting night!

We even took the chance to record the song with him on the day after, so that soon, we’ll release another studio version. I’m personally very blessed to have found Gwendal, you can potentially sing with anyone, but in my perception, it is still something a bit “personal”, it creates a connection. It’s a magical feeling to forget it was the first time we were singing together (on stage, we had a couple of rehearsals).

Enjoy this video if you haven’t yet…

§ Simone

Astrakan Project – B

Astrakan Project:

The first review from our album is out, and we’re pretty sure it will bring us loads success! If you have time to read it carefully, you’ll probably find out a few things about our music – just like we did. Yes! Believe it or not, it feels odd, but it’s as if the reviewer knew more about us than we do… ;)

Originally posted on Santa Sangre:

Not the original cover of the album

Not the original cover of the album

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

Brittany is a region of France which thanks to Astrakan Project, I have now researched in depth. I’ll give you the bare bones description: five regions, two native dialects and more history across it’s territory than my own country could ever hope to attain. Nearly everyone in the ancient world passed through, from the Romans to tribes and clans so obscure that time has erased all traces of them. Almost. For their second album, Simone Alves and Yann Gouvril have tracked down some truly remarkable songs from ages long gone, gilding them with music which only they could make. The level of accomplishment is high, the benchmarks have been exceeded and in their place new ones have been born.

This pair have, since their inception, continually striven to deliver as they say “music from beyond our world” and continue…

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