Astrakan Project * music from beyond our world

(just click to give a listen while you read!)


Astrakan Project’s music is born somewhere between Brittany (West of France) and Istanbul. From their Celtic homeland, Yann Gourvil (strings, programming and loops) and Simone Alves (vocals) bring in ancient songs and legends, that they then blend with Turkish instruments (‘ud, blaglama) they discovered while living in Turkey.

Since its debut in 2011, the duet has been performing around Europe and beyond, including many tours in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and major festivals like FMM (Sines, Portugal), Makrocosm (Athens, Greece), Folk East (UK), Fling (UK) as well as tours in Kiev-Ukraine in June 2015 & August 2016.

Both their albums and their performances across Europe (UK, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Greece, France…) and beyond (Turkey, Ukraine, Lebanon) are expressions of their unique way to use tradition as a gate towards inner worlds, in which souls from many cultures can find their ways.

Love might be stronger than death. But so can revenge. Or forgiveness.

2016 05 fROOTS cover
fRoots cover june 2016


Main apperances

  • 4 april 2017, Walthers Musikcafé, Skanderborg, Danmark
  • 11 march 2017, Breite63, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • 9 march 2017, Sargfabrik, Vienna, Austria
  • 10 novembre 2016, Festival Yaouank, Rennes, France
  • 20 novembre 2016, Mission Bretonne, Paris, France
  • 23 august 2015, Folk East festival, Little Glenham, Suffolk, UK
  • 11-12 july 2015, Folk on the Lawn festival , Tinters, Wales, UK
  • 19 jun 2015, Vallée de Joux, Switzerland
  • 11-12-13-14 june 2015, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 29 may 2015, Seyr-î Mesel, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 19 may 2015, To Avgo, Salonique, Greece
  • 21 july 2014, FMM – Festival Mùsicas do Mundo, Sines, Portugal
  • 7 june  2014, ‘t Ey, Belsele, Belgium
  • 2 fébruary 2014, C.C. Renée Magritte, Lessines, Belgium
  • 29 decembre 2012, Macrocosm Music Festival, Eilissos, Athens, Greece
  • 26 april 2012, Sin El Fil, CERMAA, Beyrut, Libanon
  • 22 april 2011 Nublu Jazz Festival, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey

And over 120 concerts in 15 countries, and live shows for TV (France 3 Bretagne, Brezhoweb) and radio.




Livre & album studio. Sept.2018 – fRoots playlist oct. 2018, fRoots compilation winter 2018

B, album studio. Oct. 2014 – Album Choice fRoots – **** Songlines

Within the Circle, EP studio digital. Nov. 2013

Astrakan Project, album studi. Sept. 2012 – Album Choice fRoots
**** Songlines

Live in Lebanon, EP live digital. May 2012.

Press review samples

Songlines (February 2014 n°106)

“Murky myth and misery becomes surprisingly uplifting.” (**** review)

fRoots (July 2013 n°361)

“Gloriously full-throated, truly inspiring Breton singing and melodies
from Simone Alves […] roaring, intricate, fiery, imaginative
accompaniments” Ian Anderson


Astrakan project repertoire is mostly  traditional music of Brittany, which although being in the far western Europe, has a culture also known for its taste of ‘orientalism’. Both students of the great Breton singer Erik Marchand, Simone Alves and Yann Gourvil were both members of the first Kreiz Breizh Akademi edition in 2004. They’ve at the same time performed across Brittany is fest-noz (Breton ballroom) bands. They also both sing Kan ha diskan (a capella songs for dance generally performed by two singers, the most iconic type of Breton accompaniment for dance).

Simone Alves is also a mixed media artist, she paints and creates animated videos, some of them being used for Astrakan Project booklets, covers and videos. She’s also very interested in story telling and took acting classes for some years, which impacts the very dramatic approach she has on stage.

Yann Gourvil’s first instrument was drums, mostly within the local metal scene, which still impacts the very percussive style he has on string instruments. Fascinated by sounds, specialy 80’s vintage ones, he likes to create textures, layers of sounds, and record complex combinations of samples that he then monitors on stage to match the depth of the songs’ lyrics.

All the songs are in Breton, a Celtic language from the West of France, close to Welsh (and Cornish), which they both speak. They are now part-time settle in Northern Greece (Greek Macedonia) where they nourish their inspiration.

Breton music, Breton songs…

Nowadays, Brittany is quite famous in western for its dances and ballrooms (fest-noz).

However, gwerz are a great source of inspiration for both. Gwerz tells a story which can be epic, historical, or mythological, and usually of a tragic nature. The gwerz is characterised by an often monotonous melody and many couplets, all in the Breton language. Though historically sung unaccompanied, some modern musicians use limited instrumentation with the gwerz.

Love might be stronger than death. But so can revenge. Or forgiveness.


YouTube (over 100 vidéos with lives, vlogs, teasers, interviews, etc…)


Press pictures  (click to enlarge, and right click to save in HR)

Astrakan Project Press PIc Stage 03
(c) Fabrice Grusson
04 Astrakan Press Pic colour vertic HR
(c) Astrakan Project

03 Astrakan Press Pic colour horiz


Simone Alves astrakanproject [ @ ] / +33 6 66 09 39 60



Technical rider: Astrakan Project Technical Rider 2017 (PDF)

Ready to use posters for live

affiche basique

Live Poster Astrakan project concerts