Reviews

Blog, Musicians' Diary

The fear of disappointing your audience and reviewers + a simple tip to overcome them


As we already mentioned in previous blogs, we are in this awkward time frame. Inês is released, copies have been sent to most of our audience that supported the project along the crowdfund campaign, we’ve done some limited sales on our network, and we’ve sent a couple of copies for review.

They’re a few types of possible reviews. The ones that previously supported our projects, the ones we never sent any material too but are now getting in touch with, and the ones whom we probably won’t bother sending to this time, since we are trying to slash down our promo costs too (we’ll have a Vlog running on the topic pretty soon, hit the subscribe button on our YouTube channel).

Regarding medias that had already trusted, supported and reviewed our project with respect and understanding from the very beginning, we noticed it with B album, we freak out with questions like “will they like it this time?” “does it add anything so that we’ve leveled up from previous recordings?” etc, etc…

One tip we happily use is to  gather all the kind messages and even print them out. The first impressions tend, from our experience, to be the good ones you receive, the enthusiastic ones, the supportive ones. When in doubt, go threw the message and that will make us realise that indeed we truly are supported by lovely and kind people. Do you have any other tip? Share in the comment section please! We’re always up to learning new tricks!

But today we can breathe and celebrate, fRoots that had us reviewed for both our albums and also made us the great honor of featuring us on their cover, has included the last song from the album on its autumn playlist here:

Click on the pic or here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/froots/episodes/2018-10-07T12_00_00-07_00

Astrakan Project got one song featured on fRoots Radio podcast n°194 - dark folk medieval
Astrakan Project got one song featured on fRoots Radio podcast n°194

 

You’re still on time to grab your copy, and remember we are still in Greece, and postage will save you some good euros/pounds/dollars…

Have a lovely day, stay true to yourself and your dreams 🙂

~ Simone.

The way to the post office. Make your dreams come true and become a successful musician, and find others streams of income.
The way to the post office, in Nea Peramos, Greece. Doesn’t it look like paradise?
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Blog, Musicians' Diary

List of Breton music essentials you’ve been waiting for!


Have you ever dream of a list of Breton music to listen to? Essentials that you could be introduced to ? Fascinated by breton fest-noz music and not knowing where to start from?

We’ve had the request quite often, and since we’re catching-up on all we postponed during Inês album recording and release, here it is: a WIP list of breton music that we like and that has influenced us. You can find the list on this section of tour web-site that we plan on up-dating regularly, as well as books recommended for artists, online ressources and links to the gear we use for music and video. But, without further due, let’s get in to the world of fest-noz and breton music: 

Fest-noz & modern breton music

From late XXc – 80’s and 90’s power!

From 00’s on

  • Karma – fest-noz, fest-noz by the Diwan generation.
  • Plantec – a band around two brothers, and in the beginning quite influenced by Ar Re Yaouank, then experimented also with some live electro.

Experimental, world, cross-over, others

  • Bugel Koar – Ar solier, with the singer Marthe Vassalo. A very interesting project, with a lot of gwerz (breton type of lament) from Trégor (and we love gwerz from Trégor!). N’ebaon the second album by the duet is also really good. (and more likely to be available)
  • Any album by/with Erik Marchand worth it! His collaboration with the french oud player Thierry Titi Robin in the 80’s: chants du centre Bretagne and An Tri Breur deeply and profoundly inspired and nourished our musical experiences. He’s also famous for his fusion world music with musicians from the Balkans. Our favorite ever is Pruna (although Unu, daou, tri easily available or Dor are totally worth it). Another favorite of ours is his collab with the french indie musician Rodolphe Burger which resulted in the unexpected album Before Bach.
  • Norkst and Kreiz Breizh Akademi. It sounds weird to add an album in which we personally performed, but when it was released in 2005, it was quite a unique project, both artistic and pedagogic, upon an idea from Erik Marchand. The project still goes on with several albums released by different KBA bands, but Norkst being the very first one, it certainly would be the one to listen to as it opened the road to all the later ones. (let us know if you’d like us to elaborate on the project!)
  • Au Café Breton by Rolland Becker and Regis Huiban. A project around breton music as played in the 20’s 30’s and influenced by Parisian accordion musette style (it has influenced a few fest-noz bands like Le Bour / Bodros )
  • Jacques Pellen – Celtic Procession. A project that started in the 90’s, with loads of versions, guests, etc, but generally with a jazz flavour.

Gwerz, kan ha diskan and a-capella albums

  • Tradition Chantée En Bretagne – Les Sources Du Barzaz Breiz Aujourd’Hui . More specialised, this is a collection of gatherings from the XXth century from songs that were previously to be found on the XIXc book “Barzaz Breizh”. Raw a-capella singing, but a treasure if you fancy authentic traditional style. The booklet is quite thick and very useful and contains all the lyrics with french translations.
  • Kan ha Diskan by Loeiz Roparz. A collection of kan ha diskan with several singers and Loeiz Roparz, known to be the “inventor” of fest-noz in its actual form.
  • Kan ha Diskan – Yann-Fañch Kemener. Kan ha diskan from Yann-Fañch Kemener with most of big names from the breton kan ha diskan scene, both old and new scene: Erik Marchand, Annie Ebrel, Patrick Marie, Valentine Colleter, Claudine Flohic, Marcel Guilloux, Ifig Troadeg. A must have!
  • Fest-Noz en Poher. Not very often available, but pay close attention to the name and picture, so far there isn’t any re-edit, but if it at some point would show up on the second hand market, be quick! Simone has practically learned all the basics from Kan ha Diskan with this excellent very traditional album. Features gavotte from Annie Ebrel with Noluen Le Buhez (excellent and brilliant energy!), from Fustec/Le Corre and Les Frères Dilasser – both huge favorites and role models for kan ha diskan when Yann was a child (and also probably the only recording available from the Dilasser Brothers).

Enjoy, and let us know in the comment section if you have any request or suggestion!

Links are amazon affiliated, if you decide to buy any of these based on our recommendations, please, do use our links, you will pay the exact same price, but we’ll receive a little percentage that can help us producing more music and share more useful links.

Also, this list is based on our personal musical journey, on what made a difference to us, and also on our personal tastes! This ain’t meant to be a chart, or any “ultimate” listing! Get inspired, enjoy our story sharing, but create your own story and connection with breton music.

DIY Album, Musicians' Diary

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!!! 😀 But we have the intuition that a slightly bigger audience would inspire us quite a few new cool projects!

So… we’re waiting…

§ Simone

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