We can’t tell enough how bad both of us have slept recently! It always gets back to the same: since we are (unfortunately!) not touring this month, we started to work on a couple of side projects. We generally can’t stay long without trying out new things, but also we can’t just go from all the huge amount of work we did to release the album to just “being relaxing” – we need some kind of a transition.
But as it always happens, the more we work, the more we get inspired, and the more ideas we get… until they start hunting us in the night.
It requires a bit of organisation here: always have a notepad by your bed-side! Side trouble is: the day after we’re tired of sleep deprivation, and don’t really get much done…
One part of the cure will probably be next gigs we’ll have in a month in France and UK! Finally some action!
Last Sunday, we had the honour to be the guest of the Breton TV show Bali Breizh, on France 3 channel. The team was incredibly nice ans fun, it was really a delight to spend that moment with them…
And we also played two songs from last album – and really, on a TV stage, all looks awesome: fancy lightings, many cameras… we love the result! Don’t you feel like sharing it around?
If you have some reasonable French knowledge, you might be able to follow the show with it’s French subtitles, because it’s… 100% in Breton! Really… this is almost too cool! We want to be on TV everyday!!!
PS… Title of courses refers to… (yes, we really do love 80’s music)
You may remember when I was trying to shortly explain how to make your own “DIY USB footswitch” for the sake of using loops on-stage… Here is the post I wrote a few months ago about this : http://astrakanproject.com/2014/01/22/building-a-usb-footswitch/
A quick reminder !
And this is what il looks like on-stage so far :
On-stage setup !
When we were touring in Portugal last summer, we had the idea of asking to someone working in a mold factory (a speciality from Leiria area in Portugal) to think about a way to build a transparent footswitch, with lights inside !
After some more accurate designing…
Designing the new footswitch using Excel
Designing the new footswitch using Excel
We finally got this ready :
The plexiglas footswitch !
The next step is of course making this fully fonctionnal, by adding all the switches, the cabling and… the colour lights inside !! Can you imagine this shining diamond on-stage ?
By the way, have you seen our new video of a Flemish song ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJF1pP-C6V4
Last June when we played in Belsele at ‘t Ey (Belgium), Dirk from the very nice team hosting us that night played this Flemish song that we then heard for the first time,on the piano… the moment was magical! And we both thought once we’d have some time we would try to work on a version of ours. Moreover the song from Wannes Van de Velde is about Pieter Brughel (the XVI° painter, that painted The Tower of Babel) and his dilemma and understanding of how due to political changes, from Spanish language people in Flanders had switched to French when his own language was Flemish.
This is the original version we worked from – pronunciation is so clear and detached despite of the speed space! It has been a challenging exercise to find the balance between some Flemish-Antwerp sounds and the way I normally would pronounce it in Dutch – that is: with an obvious French flavour!
The Tower of Babel, the famous painting from Pieter Breughel relates to the biblical story about misunderstanding between humans caused by different languages. For us it relates to the awesome richness of humanity, and more than other things reminds us of our stay in South-East of Turkey, in the areas of Mardin and Diyarbakir and to a certain extend in Lebanon. What we most loved was the blurred border between human groups. You can’t easily tell who belongs to which group, based on what? religion? language? accent? race??? Surprisingly and in its own way, Diyarbakir was much more cosmopolitan than Istanbul. Our plan for after the album’s release was actually to go back and cross the border to Northern Iraq, which sadly is at the moment totally impossible. Sadly also we see how this rich mixture of cultures is dying in one of the most important areas for our cultures.
For those who wonder, we both speak some reasonable Dutch since we lived in The Netherlands for a while but…. a loooooong time ago!
We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as La Jotinette! ;)
Last time we were in the UK, we took the chance to record a new version of Barzh an Ifern with Gwendal Moele that we had met there a couple of months ago – and we are delighted with that version that we made available for download here – beware! You should feel like starting dancing! (it’s a download on pay-what-you-want, if you’re broken at the moment, enter “0”!). We can’t say how much we love this version that has this wild ambiance you find in Kan ha Diskan (traditional way of singing for dance in Brittany, with 2 singers, originally a-capela)
In the meantime, Yann also remastered our previous EP Within The Circle (to which we indeed added Barz an Ifern) – if you have bought it already, please, just up-date your version and download it for free – just enter “0” for the amount!
And to remember where it started from, here is the video from our gig together in Ipswich in October
We just came across this video T’Ey team had done and edited recently with rushes from the concert we gave there in June 2014 (in Belsele, Belgium). Just tiny bits… that already feel like ages for us, we’ve changed quite a lot of stuff on stage, sounds, songs also, different loops… It’s always nice to look back and see/hear the evolution!
Normally in Brittany, it is possible, acceptable, usual to wish “happy new year”… until the 31st of January! But since we have many other things – including music and video – to share in the up-coming days, we’ll start with a short message – and a cool new inside!
§ Yann & Simone