Musicians’ Diary


Our thoughts, our creative steps, our everyday questioning about being musicians, emerging ideas & projects… and basically anything we want to share !

Musicians' Diary

On the road is where we fell happy!


Happy, alive and inspired.

Yann’s passport arrived yesterday, we are already somewhere in Normandy, for a very long trip…

We hope to cross the polar circle in Sweden very soon, and record next albums (yes, it’s da plural!) from there. Polar days will unfortunately already be over (when sun doesn’t set at all) but days will still be quite long. We’re madly excited about this adventure, we’ll discover the Sami territory across Sweden, Norway and Finland. Their shamanic drums and painted stones have been a fascinating source of inspiration for Simone’s paintings and drawings used for B album.

More to come for sure!

Musicians' Diary

Road-trip diary 2


Last thing we need to depart will be in our hands within hours: Yann’s brand new passport! We have all the rest and the mysterious destination will soon be revealed, though this video might give you a clue ?

Musicians' Diary, Sound & Video

Soon on the road again!


It’s been months since we’ve been thinking about what our next big road-trip could be, and it took a lot of energy to make sure we could make it happen, but we’re almost there, last passport should be there on Wednesday, and we’ll be ready to go. Where? To a mysterious magical destination from which we’ll work on plenty of new sounds and songs!

We’ve been quite a lot in Brittany over the last past months, and we really need a change and a boost of fresh air to get back on track and record. This time we aren’t going to have any gig on the way (though, we’re always ready for what shows up!), little health issues over the past year haven’t helped us to organise sustainable tours during the summer. So we thought we would dedicate that time to make some real progress on all what we’ve had on hold since we left Greece by the end of 2015. And it’s gonna be an adventure we’re thrilled to share with you!

Complete guided tour of our new studio on wheels coming soon too!

If you’re on facebook, it might be where we share our daily progress: http://facebook.com/astrakanproject)

Musicians' Diary, Sound & Video

6 years of work in Progress…


In 2010, while staying in the Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria, we recorded the first bits of this song that then appeared on our 2012 studio album:

We’ve since then tried to adapt it on stage, and 6 years later, we’re still not completely there but closer. The feeling we want to bring in while performing it live and we loved in the studio version isn’t there yet. It’s been some 6 years of thinking, attempts, trials on that particular song, and we’re not giving up!

Translation & facts on this previous post.

DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

Using our PA speakers as monitors on stage.


Some venues may have big PA’s, but in most cases… no monitors. Well, we always have our own PA at the back of our car while touring, so why wouldn’t we use it as an onstage monitoring system ?

Here is a loudspeaker, actually a sat from the LD System.

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A way to use sats as monitors could be that one :

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Ok, let’s try to figure out how to improve that without having to bring a whole case of books onstage !

A few leftover pieces of wood and screws, a couple of hours of calculations to design the right shape…

unpainted

Black painting should make it more nice-looking onstage :

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And the final result :

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Various tilts make it even easier to fit to various stage sizes :

angles

§ Yann

 

 

DIY hardware, Musicians' Diary

The new DIY laptop stand


The following can be seen as the continuation of a previous topic entitled “The DIY table“. After lots of touring across Europe, we realised we needed something more compact to put all my electronic stuff on stage, with some specific requirements such as :

  • It as to be able to contain all my electronic stuff (Laptop, soundcard, cables, 5 power supplies (laptop, soundcard, effect processor, volume pedal, footswitch lightings), 1 5-socket powerstrip).
  • It has to be compact and strong enough to be carried and quickly moved at the last minute to the stage, with no cables hanging around. This can be extremely useful when you have 10 minutes maximum to switch bands, as it may often be the case in british festivals for instance !
DSC_0267
My old system, see all these cables hanging around !
  • It has to be removable, and quickly buildable, and fit in a case with all the other hardware.
  • It must be nice looking and hide all the cables that usually hang around.
  • It must enable the audience to see my nice beautiful handmade enlightened footswitch !!
behind the table
Can you see the footswitch ?

After some research from the web, I found these ones :

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But I didn’t want to feel like working in an office when performing on stage, and I didn’t want the audience to feel like they’re watching someone working in an office !

Moreover, it doesn’t really solve the problem of cables and power supplies hanging around…

This one appeared to be very attractive :

LS21D-DJ-Laptop-Stand

But heavy (9 pounds !), and not that stable on an uneven ground, like those you can find in very old venues. Moreover, the hanging cables problem still remains…

The only remaining solution was to build my own (as usual !!) laptop stand, which I did…

plans
First steps of the designing process…

And the final result :

DSC_1179
My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

I need no more than 20 sec to assemble the parts !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

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My old system, see all these cables hanging around !

And the overview :

DSC_1187

DSC_1190

§ Yann

Musicians' Diary

We feel like Stars!


Not only do we look at the Stars, but today we almost feel like Stars!  During our last UK tour we had the pleasure to meet the lovely fROOTS magazine team for an interview that will be featured on their June’s edition. And yes, it is our first cover ever 🙂 And, oh yes, we feel super proud too!

fROOTS cover Astrakan Project

Musicians' Diary

Around Europe next fall


Preparing a tour is like dreaming of the new places we’ll see, the wonderful people we’ll meet… and we are so pleased our Fall tour we’ll lead us to Luxemburg, Germany again, from West to East, UK and for the very first time to Czech Republic, in the beautiful city of Prague. (all tour dates are here)

What a great chance for a nice poster 😉 (yep! we totally love Photoshop!)

Astrakan Project  Prague world music

Musicians' Diary

The Final countdown!


Hello,

It’s been a long time since we haven’t blogged. Not that we didn’t have anything to tell about. We may even have had so much to tell about that it could somehow have been overwhelming… Lot’s of uncertainties, of projects, ideas, dreams that had been on hold for months  and that we weren’t sure we could bring to fruition.

Since we returned last month from our last UK tour, we’be been super active in many direction, and we finally can announce it…. next video will be released for Beltane (the night of the 1st of May).

fleurs de lotus video

We’re in the very final stage of editing the video. It’s the first time we get to work with a video director (except for live videos, but it’s quite different), and we are very lucky to be working with a very talented person, that not only was able to direct the performance shooting, but also is animating some of my drawings. And it’s incredible to see them coming to life!

Tour-wise, we’ve been booking for Germany, Luxembourg and Austria for next winter and fall (keep an eye at this section), not much towards the UK, but this should be done shortly too.

All for now!

§ Simone

 

Musicians' Diary

What we’ve been up to… ?


We moved back to Brittany, basically we’ll be away from Middle-east/East of Europe for some very long months, we don’t know when we can have a base there again, and after 7 years travelling back and forward, it feels weird, really!

But fall has been blessing us with a wonderful and warm sun and light… and we’re enjoying it before next tour (yep, we’re going to the UK again soon!)