Music

Music, Musicians' Diary, Pics on Tour, Sound & Video

Recording/mixing another (irish folk) band ?


A few weeks ago, time had come for us to go to the east of France and get our prize from the Jotinette contest, which actually was a perfect excuse for us to go and meet musicians from this area ! Not only we met them and had great time there, we even recorded a demo for one of their bands called Hop Corner. They play traditionnal Irish folk music.

I thought it could be quite a challenge as well as a valuable experience to record and mix a band in an extremely acoustic setup (fiddle, irish flute, bouzouki/guitar), which is somehow far opposite from what I am used to do with Astrakan Project…

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The recording studio, actually a nice room dedicated to music ! Look at this gorgeous wooden floor.

The recording was made “live”, with stage microphones, actually what was available in the house !

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Sam & Zsófi, actually the landlords of this amazing house !
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Julien & Sam.

It was actually a nice and extremely friendly recording session, followed by a couple of days mixing / mastering…

And this is what it sounds like, we hope you will like it as much as we do !

You can hear their full 5-track demo from their website, and it really worth it : http://hopcorner.fr/

…and follow/like them on Facebook ! 😉

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Music

The right gavotte tempo !


Today, as I was working on a “gavotte” tune, that I hadn’t listened to for ages, I grabbed my fiddle and quickly recorded a couple of rounds of the tune. Then, I found an original recording in my database…

…and pasted it in my DAW in order to check if my tempo was right… And this is what I get !

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The upper track is my fiddle recording, the lower one the original singer recording. Can you see how my tempo is exactly the same ??? Unfortunately, you won’t get a chance to hear my recording right now…but at least, you can see the tempo is right !! 😉

§Yann

Music, Musicians' Diary

Breton music workshop


We had a nice session with La Contrebande, a nice folk band from the east of France. As they would like to add breton dances to their repertoire, we had a nice workshop about those deep rooted breton dances called “gavotte” and “plinn”…

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There were actually many fiddlers there…

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Simone and I are looking forward to hear the breton sets they will shorlty set up !

You can listen to their band there :

And here is their Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/lacontrebande.bal

§Yann

Music

{very} Special Bundles for Album B Release


For the release of our album B, we have created some cool bundles…

Special bundle for album release with bonus fest-noz vintage recording

They are 9 of these bundles specially made for Art and Astrakan lovers, each with a little original artwork created for the album booklet, which means, each of them is unique, and it’s of course a super limited edition that will each include:

  • The album of course!
  • A link to download the full album
  • One of the last copies available of or EP Torkad – Kofrig ar Sorserez… released in 2005! 100% acoustic, and it includes the very first version of “Sell ouzh ar Stered” (with different lyrics Adam hag Eva)
  • An original piece of artwork used to create the album booklet. Sizes differ a bit (and price also because it depends on the postage costs). They are all on very good quality watercolour paper and include various styles of mixed-media depending on each piece. (pleased note that it isn’t framed to keep the cost of postage reasonable)
  • Some personal notes regarding the song linked with the art-work and hand-written lyrics
  • A post-card with some of Simone’s Artwork print
  • Shipping anywhere in the world + nice and safe packaging

Here they are…

1 – Sell ouzh ar Stered (Look at the Stars)

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW01 Sell ouzh ar Stered
Sell ouzh ar Stered (Look at The Stars) Approx size 15.5*15.3 cm (6.10*6 in) 

Sorry… already sold !

 


2 – En Anv Doue ma Mamm

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW02 En Anv Doue ma Mamm
En Anv Doue ma Mamm – approx size 15*16.5 cm (5.90*6.5 in)

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton


3 – Gwerz Inês

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW03 Gwerz Inês
Gwerz Inês – approx size 21.5*21 cm (8.46*8.25 in)

Bundle price : 55€

Paypal Bouton


4 – Sekrejoù ar C’Hloareg

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW04 sekrejou ar chloareg
Sekrejoù ar c’hloareg – approx size 15*15.5 cm ( 5.90*6.10 in)

Sorry… already sold !


5 – Gwerz an Yougoslavi

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW05 Gwerz an Yougoslavi
Gwerz an Yougoslavi Approx size 14.5*15 cm ( 5.7*5.9 in ) 

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton


6 – Seizh Bloaz

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW06 Seizh Bloaz
Seizh Bloaz – approx size 15*15.2 cm (5.90*6 in)

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton


7- My beloved has died

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW07 My beloved has died
My beloved has died – approx size 15*15.2 cm (5.90*6 in)

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton


 8 – Ar c’hased Arc’hant

Astrakan Project B album - special bundle for release - AW08 ar c'hased arc'hant
Ar c’hased arc’hant – approx size 15*15.2 cm (5.90*6 in)

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton


9 – Ar Plac’h Yaouank ag an Oriant

- special bundle for release - AW09 ar plac'h yaouank ag an oriant
Ar plac’h yaouank ag an Oriant – approx size 15.5*14.8 cm ( 6.10*5.8 in)

Bundle price : 45€

Paypal Bouton

Music, Sound & Video

The forbidden 3rd


Most breton tunes cannot be played on a piano. Why ? Because they have “commas” (as it is often the case in oriental musiv for example). See the fret setup of a guitar below :

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Fret spacing is regular, whereas if you take a look at a turkish saz :

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Fret spacing is not regular, which enables to play notes with the so-called “commas”, and that cannot be played on a piano for instance (see this older issue for further details : Bağlama’s pitch). In other words, a third can be slightly higher than the minor, but much lower than the major, which means its pitch is somewhere inbetween…

Ok, now what happens if you play a tune on the turkish saz with a high third degree as we commonly have in breton music, together with a guitar ?? If you play a grid with a usual minor third, it may sound like this :

Well, I think it sounds a little bit weird, or even out of tune since a third with two different pitches gets played simultaneously… And especially, Simone doesn’t like to sing when I play this kind of chords !

So, I made a grid, trying to find “3rdless” chords, in order to avoid this “forbidden third”, this is what it sounds like :

I do think it sounds better, but you may find it’s even worse than in the first attempt ! If so, please let me know ! :))

§Yann

Music

What the hell is the time signature ?


We have already been talking about rhythm, here for example. Let’s go further with rhythm with this song sample that Simone quickly recorded a couple of days ago :

According to me, most parts time signature is 5/8. But what about the middle part ? Any suggestion would be warmly welcome ! You can also here Simone clapping her hands, this might be the right clue to find the answer !

§Yann

Music, Musicians' Diary, Sound & Video

Same tune before / after


When arranging a traditional tune, the result can have extremely different flavours depending on :

– Your mood when you were composing…
– The instruments you chose to play the tune…
– Where you are, what your environment is…

Here is an example of a traditional breton tune arranged in two different manners. I made the first sample about two weeks ago before we moved out of Istanbul.

You can mostly hear guitar and turkish saz “Bağlama”. I made the second sample this week, two days after we had settled in Northern Greece…

I used ‘ud and derbuka. I really like the second one !! 🙂

Music, Musicians' Diary

Do you want our android app? Astrakan Project android app!!!


Doesn’t it absolutely look really cool?

Astrakan Project App
Astrakan Project App !

You can download it for free using this link:

http://www.reverbnation.com/astrakanproject/android

With android app you’ll have:

  • Music of course: our new EP on streaming + Live in Lebanon on streaming + 3 Martelod from our album + more to come (of course more to come, Yann is already working on our next EP!)
  • Songs lyrics
  • Easy links to our videos, blogs, social networks that you can share around, to buy, to send us feedback…
  • A cool feature to submit your own pictures! We will most definitely use it soon to create a new video.

We got it tested on a couple of devices, it works fairly well, although we are still fixing little bugs. As it is a free app that will download from a direct link and not from Google Play, a message will display asking you if you trust the source – yes, you can trust the source, it’s an app from Reverbnation, a huge social network for musicians… and anyway, if you’re an Astrakan Project fan that kind of tells you love to take risks!

Let us know… are you using it? Do you like it? Please share it around, it might just be a cool way to get your friends to find out about our music (+ you’ll look cool too, because that band they have no idea about has its own app!)

Music, Sound & Video

Within the Circle – our new EP is out !


Here are 4 new studio tracks you may download for free! (but you can donate bellow 🙂  

Just one click on the cover… 

within the circle astrakan project world music celtic EP cover artwork

>Within the Circle – Astrakan Project<

If you want other formats than mp3, FLAC , ALAC & so, you can go to our >Bandcamp page< and download it from there.

What are those new songs about? Hear them first, tell us what they inspire you, in the meantime we’ll make a small video with a lot of insights about this new recording.

And, once you’ve enjoyed them, shared them, heard them many times, you may support us in many ways…

  • Send us love messages >here<
  • Sign in to our newsletter (generally we send … maybe 6 to 7 a year?) >mailing-list<
  • Become fan on >facebook< 
  • And if you really think our music deserves it, make a little donation using PayPal.
    • How much ? Any little amount will help.
    • What will we use it for ? Pay for our music & video equipments and software, for Internet hosting fees, put money asside to release our next album…
    • How with Paypal? Just one click on the button and you enter the amount you wish…

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