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9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)

9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)

Welsh Flag. 9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)       9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)   9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)♠  Album inspirováno novelou “One Moonlit Night” od Caradog Pricharda (3. listopad 1904 – 25. únor 1980). 9Bach si udělali jméno tím, že tradiční velšské lidové písně přepracovali do vícespektrálního a chytlavého zvukového plátna. Jejich album “Tincian” (2014) získalo zasloužené vítězství v prestižní BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 a bylo chváleno prestižními magazíny Mojo, Clash a Q Magazine. Zatímco na předešlém albu byl patrný podpis zjizvené minulosti hornaté důlní krajiny údolí Ogwen v Severním Walesu, nové album Anián, zcela překvapivě, je také ovlivněno velšskou tradicí; původní impuls však pochází z mnohem více anarchického bodu — volá po změně, volá po jiném uspořádání světa a role, kterou by měl hrát, po ukončení našeho způsobu chování ke zvířatům a tomu, že zcela ignorujeme přírodu. Zpěvačka Lisa Jên soustřeďuje pozornost do bodu, kde je teď:  ať už v mládí, nebo v roli matky, či jednoduše v situaci, kdy jsme mnohem více vystaveni sociálním médiím, kde se potýkáme s obrázky a videi, slovy, se kterými se jen obtížně vyrovnáváváme. Album je tmavší v tématech, ale ne bez pocitu naděje. Éterická, ženská velština ve zpěvu se třpytí po boku harfy, kytary, dub–beatů a zemité rytmické sekce. Balíček double CD obsahuje doprovodné CD “In dy Lais”/ “In your voice”. Spisovatelé, herci, básníci a zpěváci poskytli své vlastní interpretace písním jako způsobu, jak zprostředkovat význam nevelšsky mluvícím národům. Zahrnuje příspěvky od Petera Gabriela, Maxine Peake, Rhys Ifans a dalších. Projekt je inovativní a kreativně velmi úspěšný a pokud se zabýváte hudbou více, je to dobrý společník, kterého definitivně musíte slyšet. Předposlední “Ambell Hiraeth” (Stesk po domově) je kombinací tří welšských tradičních lidových melodií, tkaných pečlivě dohromady v mollové tónině klavíru, nad nimiž se vznáší jemný zpěv, zblízka šeptá do ucha, jako když zvuky vln slyšíte z mušle. To je opravdu fascinující představení, až do té míry, že během prvního poslechu, až teprve když to skončilo, jsem si uvědomil, že zadržuji dech ... Album uzavírá jiným přehodnocením tradiční písně, “Breuddwd Y Bardd” (Poetův sen); ostře křehké, éterické vokály v kontrapunktu zemité, svalově–elektrické basy poskytuje impresionistický závěr. “Snílek sní sny svého srdce”, opravdu! Je to znamení vyspělosti kapely 9Bach jako lidí i jako muzikantů, že jsou schopni vyvážit několik docela temných lyrických témat a problémů se svěžími a atmosférickými aranžmá a současně zůstávají věrni svým tvůrčím vizím. Album je současně reflexní i přístupné, zamyšlené, přesto oduševnělé. Anián je naprosto ohromující a strhující album hloubky a rozmanitosti, která komplexně promluví do mysli, srdce a ducha. Nezapomíná na své kořeny, přesto je zakotvené v současné době. Podle všeho má ambice stát se nezbytnou součástí soundtracku mnoha lidí k lepší budoucnosti, zcela zaslouženě. Superorientační bod pro tuto oblast i jazykovou podobu.
♠  Inspired by the novel One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard (3 November 1904 – 25 February 1980). Includes contributions from Peter Gabriel, Maxine Peake and Rhys Ifans.                                                    © Photography Dewi Glyn Jones.
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Album release: 29 April 2016
Record Label: Real World Records
Duration:     50:28 + CD 2
Tracks:
CD 1:
01 Llyn Du     3:47
02 Anian     4:19
03 Yr Olaf     4:29
04 Ifan     4:53
05 Si Hwi Hwi     7:04
06 Brain     5:31
07 Cyfaddefa     4:27
08 Heno     3:52
09 Deryn     5:10
10 Ambell Hiraeth     3:23
11 Breuddwyd Y Bardd     3:33
CD 2:
01 Llyn Du: Written by Chloe Moss, voiced by Maxine Peake 
02 Anian: Written and voiced by Rhys Ifans  
03 Yr Olaf: Written by Matthew Glyn Jones, voiced by Siwan Morris 
04 Ifan: Written by Lucy Kirkwood, voiced by Remy Beasley  
05 Si Hwi Hwi: Written and voiced by Lou Bennett 
06 Brain: Written by Manon Steffan Ros, voiced by Bonnie Dobson  
07 Cyfaddefa: Written by Meltem Arikan, voiced by Pinar Ögün  
08 Heno: ‘Tonight’ written and voiced by Aneirin Karadog  
09 Deryn: ‘It’s Me’ written by Tim Price, voiced by Peter Gabriel  
10 Ambell Hiraeth: ‘Just As’ written by Karen Owen, voiced by Iarla Ó Lionáird  
11 Breuddwyd Y Bardd: Written and voiced by Martin Daws 
℗ 2016 Real World Productions Ltd                              © Photography York Tillyer
Personnel:
♠  Lisa Jên (vocals, piano),
♠  Martin Hoyland (guitars, hammer dulcimer),
♠  Ali Byworth (drums & percussion),
♠  Dan Swain (electric bass guitar & double bass),
♠  Esyllt Glyn Jones (harp, vocals), and
♠  Mirain Roberts (piano, vocals, hammer dulcimer).Lyrics:
Llyn Du:
“I am the queen of the black lake, take me, lead me.
I am eternally impregnated and rejected, by the Beautiful one.
The wind embrace my thighs and the mist caress my breasts
My mind… my mind is… distorted… I am trapped… you trapped me
here… is this The Voice? Yes this is the voice… I hear you…
I embed my ‘hiraeth’ in your neck… you… you who left me here… “
Reviews
♠  ...the defining feature of Anian is its artful beauty. The yin is the gossamer–layered harmony vocals of Lisa Jên, Mirain and Esyllt; the cas–cading other–worldly, kora–like harp; the 9Bachian piano motifs (check out the 9Bach archetype in the apocalyptic apology, Deryn); the beguiling and lucid melodic lines. The yang is Martin's trademark dirty guitar riffs and effects; Dan’s pulsing dub bass lines and Ali’s intuitive drumming. — fRoots (UK)
♠  Dreamy Welsh folksters’ third album. Lisa Jen is still singing in Welsh but, like Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares before them, 9Bach weave their tales so delicately that telling them in a minority language need not be their commercial death knell. Jen’s vocals are beguiling, but behind her lies all sorts of wonder: Cyfaddefa’s Eastern–influenced spartan percussion; Heno’s almost Enya–like wall of vocals; Llyn Du’s cascading choruses. — Q Magazine (UK)Review
written by Helen Gregory, 12 April, 2016
♠  Anian is the third album by 9Bach and builds on the foundations laid down by 2014’s Tincian to expand the band’s exploration of Welsh folk traditions and contemporary music to include influences from elsewhere around the world, always looking outside as much as in. Recorded live at Real World Studios, with the lightest touch when it came to overdubs, it covers a range of sometimes challenging subjects in a way which makes each of its eleven songs an engaging listen, always accessible even as they push the boundaries of their craft as musicians, singers and writers.
♠  Inspired by the novel One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard, the brooding ‘Llyn Du’ (‘Black Lake’) begins with slow electric piano chords over which Lisa Jên’s otherworldly, wordless vocals swoop and dive, before breaking loose into an irresistible rolling rhythm driven by Ali Byworth’s kicking percussion and Dan Swain’s fast, rumbling bass.
♠   ‘Anian’ builds on the sense of anticipation, of something about to happen; its mood matching Lisa Jên’s comment that connections can only be made when we start paying attention to the world around us. Martin Hoyland’s wah–wah guitar and distorted licks add funk to the groove, again powered by the tight but spacious rhythm section — but it’s the combination of Esyllt Glyn Jones’ rippling harp and the deft interplay between the voices that tie it all together; the billowing echo which wreathes the vocals towards the end is especially effective. ♠  http://www.folkradio.co.uk/Notes On The Songs by Lisa Jên:
01 Llyn Du (Black Lake):
♠  Imagine Cwm Idwal lake, or Ogwen lake on a moonlit night. You might come across this deranged and damaged queen under the black shimmering ice cold water. Based on the book ‘One Moonlit Night’ by Caradog Prichard, a novel that had a great affect on me when I was young and still remains my favourite ever Welsh novel.
02 Anian (Spirit/ Genius/ Anima):
♠  A song about a connection to a place. A connection to someone. A laughter or a quality and characteristic that strikes you and leaves you breathless. We need to start looking, start feeling things. Feel it in your belly, feel it in your genitals... just feel!
03 Yr Olaf:
♠  A song inspired by a photo of Sudan — the last male white rhino — written from the perspective of a poacher. I’m questioning what kind of person wants to destroy such an amazing thing, has pleasure in planting their dagger in leathery skin and enjoys the last glimmer in their eye. I love singing this song, it makes me angry!04 Ifan:
♠  This is a true story about Ivan Mishukov, a little boy who left his unhappy home and was adopted by a pack of wild dogs in Moscow. He was finally captured by the authorities, and this song is about the poignant moment when the boy and the dog are separated, never to see each other again. He is the saddest he has ever been, he didn’t want rescuing. Inspired by a play by Hattie Naylor, ‘Ivan and the Dogs’.
05 Si Hwi Hwi:
♠  This is an old Welsh folk song. A man from Blaenau Ffestiniog emigrated to America in the 1850s and as a response to the injustices of the slave trade, he wrote this poem. It’s an amazing anti–slavery song, from the perspective of a black woman, who is singing to her child on their last night together before the baby will be killed and she will be bound in chains.06 Cyfaddefa (An Admission):
♠  This is influenced by Greek Rembetika songs from the Greek Underworld. The opium–smoking dark, underground, dirty, dangerous bars where the musicians would sing songs about poverty, love, social injustice, the fights of the labouring class and the freedom of Greeks from fascists of all kinds. In the song I imagine I’m imprisoned. I’m pleading for help before realising bitterly, as everyone ignores me, that we are all guilty.
07 Brain:
♠  Written from a perspective of a crow, not that you know it even if you can speak Welsh. It’s cryptic and not one mention of black feathers and mean eyes! The crow is pleading for the child to accept the gifts he brings. He’s excited as he’s learnt her body language and patterns. He lives for her happiness. This is a positive song, celebrating a partnership and relationship and love that is shared.
08 Heno (Tonight):
♠  Heno is a lament for the dying of the Welsh nation, with words by Gerallt Lloyd Owen — my favourite poet who died recently. We have deconstructed Cerdd Dant — a unique Welsh tradition of singing lyrics over a harp accompaniment. Our take on it was to actually sing the harp part, and harmonize the melody so that it has soul — I hope. I am proud of what Mirain and I have done with this: we’ve messed up the rules!
09 Deryn (The Bird):
♠  The dying human is left in an apocalyptic world. She asks an imaginary bird to go to the world and say sorry.
10 Ambell Hiraeth (Homesickness):
♠  A combination of three Welsh folk songs that I’ve mashed into one. It’s melancholic and talks about being ready for the grave. There is hiraeth for a person and hiraeth for a place. There is appreciation for music and song that is a balm to the soul, a little hope. Then there is heartache and a gesture of ‘please save me, my heart will break... I can’t live...’
11 Breuddwd Y Bardd (The Poet’s Dream):
♠  A poet’s dream, his eyes are slowly closing, and as he sighs and dreams he sees himself as something he never was. In his dreams he hopes. He visualises life as a beautiful and joyful. It is all a fantasy, like life, how real is all of this? The dreamer dreams the dreams of his heart.12 Yn Dy Lais: In Your Voice:
♠  As a Welsh language band we’ve always tried to be inclusive of a non–Welsh speaking audience. We don’t see that language in music should be a barrier at all, but it helps if you can have a picture in your mind whilst listening. We came up with this idea to tell the story without giving a literal translation of the song, which would be challenging as many Welsh words don’t naturally translate. That is the beauty of language.
♠  This project joins writers, actors, poets and musicians, who were invited to express their own interpretation of a song. We explained what each song was about and the writers were asked to retell the story using the emotion, sentiment, themes, and, sometimes, parts of the original story.
♠  We like the idea of mouth to mouth, so to speak, passing on of a story. The pieces came through various media, from spoken word and monologue to poem and trail of thought. Yn dy lais / In your voice has become a piece of art in itself, bringing the words off the page and into your thoughts. For anyone who can’t understand the Welsh language, these interpretations will paint a picture of the songs from which they are inspired. For Welsh speakers they will, hopefully, add an extra dimension.ABOUT:
♠  9Bach’s new album is called Anian. A soulful, brooding record whose songs take a critical look at the world in which we live.
♠  Anian is a Welsh word meaning nature, the natural order, natural morality, the natural world, creation. What you are made of, your soul and bones, and how you connect with other people.
♠  The double CD package includes companion piece Yn dy lais / In your voice, where writers, actors, poets and singers — Peter Gabriel, Maxine Peake and Rhys Ifans among them — give their own interpretations of the songs as a way to convey the meaning to a non–Welsh speaking audience.
♠  Anian is 9Bach’s third album. Like 2014’s Tincian — it begins in North Wales but broadens out through Greek and Near Eastern influences into an emotional tour de force. Angry, sad, but most of all passionate at the state of the world, Anian taps into a universal language.
♠  While Tincian was very much rooted in hiraeth, the scarred past of the mountainous mining landscape of the Ogwen Valley, North Wales, Anian looks outwards into the present. As singer, composer and pianist Lisa Jên explains, it comes from a desperate, anarchic place. “It marks where I’m at, whether it’s my age, being a mother, or simply being much more exposed to social media where I’m faced with pictures and videos, images and words which I find difficult to cope with right now.”
♠  The eleven songs move from the rolling rhythms of Llyn Du to the piano settings of Ifan and Deryn, the layered voices of Brain and Si Hwi Hwi to the full band Near Eastern climax of Cyfaddefa. At the centre is always Lisa Jên’s voice, and the instinctive way in which 9Bach work together. “The songs always start with the vocal melody,” says Martin Hoyland. “Then it’s my job to build the instrumentation and arrangements around that, and to compliment it as much as possible.”
♠  Appearances are deceptive. Beneath the crystalline surface of Anian lie raging emotions. “I can’t write a song about nothing,” stresses Lisa. “It has to have a heartbeat. I am trying to challenge the listener, whether it’s making them feel left out because they don’t have a crow that brings them gifts, or scowling at them for killing the last living white rhino.”
♠  There is a dystopian feel to this album, its underlying themes are dark and heavy, prompting the question: who am I and what am I doing to help anyone? But there is also hope in the songs, a celebration of relationships and acts of kindness that bring happiness. “There is a seed in my belly, it feels revolutionary, it feels like there is a movement where our generation just might be waking up from a very long deep sleep,” explains Lisa. “Something has to change though, right?”
♠  Anian was recorded in Real World Studios by Lisa Jên (vocals, piano), Martin Hoyland (guitars, hammer dulcimer), Ali Byworth (drums & percussion), Dan Swain (electric bass guitar & double bass), Esyllt Glyn Jones (harp, vocals), and Mirain Roberts (piano, vocals, hammer dulcimer). This is the same line–up as recorded Tincian, but, as Martin explains, it was a very different experience: “We did have a general plan of what we wanted beforehand, but the way we work means it doesn’t always work out like that.” The loose blueprint was to develop those stunning three part harmonies, and then to introduce instruments they hadn’t used before, like hammer dulcimer and double bass. Perhaps surprisingly, Martin reveals they had intended to make a more upbeat album, but soon realised this wasn’t going to work: “There was just no way we were going to make upbeat versions of ‘Deryn’, ‘Ifan’, or ‘Ambell Hiraeth’. The subject matter is far too brooding.”
Label: https://realworldrecords.com/
Website: http://www.9bach.com/
Blog: http://blog.bowers-wilkins.com/music/production-notes-from-9bach-martin-hoyland/
_____________________________________________________________

9Bach — Anián  (29 April 2016)

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