New album / JUNE 2017

Distribution Coop Breizh

L'album Bardik Springs  est né  de  l'imagination du harpiste auteur-compositeur Andrea Seki,voyageur de la harpe bardique contemporaine. 

C'est au cours  d'un voyage de Bretagne jusqu'aux sources de la culture indo-européenne,du  karnataka jusqu'au  Kashmire qu'a été composée et enregistrée cette "aventure sonore" avec la participation de  Catherine Dreau, "Dream°", artiste du son liquide et fréquenciel (tubalophones, bols taoïstes)
et du flutiste Fabrice de Graef, virtuose du bansuri indien (flûte en bambou).

D'autres musiciens talentueux rencontrés à Gokarna  se sont joints au projet jusqu'aux sources sacrées du "Naranagh" en participant à l'enregistrement de Srinagar dans une "house-boat sur le lac Dal.
 

L'enregistrement est complété en Bretagne dans le Finistère  avec  d'autres collaborateurs du projet comme le percusionniste David Hopkins et le poète surréaliste auteur-performant Bruno Geneste.

Cette production  rencontre l'intérêt du legendaire producteur "pluri grammy awards" britannique Martin "Youth" Glover, renommé pour avoir découvert et produit de fameux  artistes au  niveau mondial et créateur de nouveaux courants sonores dans la "world-ambient-new psychédélic-transe et des oeuvres sonores remarquables telles que: "Endless River", dernier album de la carrière des Pink Floyd !

Youth a donné la possibilité à l'Elfic Circle Project" de réaliser le son "magique" de cette production, mettant en lumière la recherche sonore, les valeurs artistiques, humaines et spirituelles de cet authentique  "voyage bardique".

Considéré par Youth lui-même comme un "master piece"  BardiK Springs a été co-produit, mixé et mastérisé à Londres entre Mai 2015 et Novembre 2016 avec  Andrea , Dream°, et Fabrice....et l'ingénieur du son Michael Rendall

REVIEW - TRUE WATERS - International Times London

A Response to THE ELFIC CIRCLE PROJECT’S  - New Album, BARDIK SPRINGS

What is music for ? One would hope, transportation. The removal from one state of reduced and everyday being into a higher and much sought state of grace. This can be arrived at through trance, or rave driven dance for that matter, through the clash of heads, darkened jazz clubs, the explosions of a teenagers bedroom, or distant retreats in the mountains, pedestalled in all senses above the suffering world’s drowning sound. This new album, from The Elfic Circle Project, effortlessly demonstrates how a directly spiritual music, achieves grace and more than a little air of the sacred, allowing for the discipline of instruction and release. There is an elegance here that re-orders perception, and in that course, proof of committment to a new and lasting journey.

Produced and mixed by Youth and Michael Rendall, and the Elfic Circle Project, whose core comprises of Composer, Electric and Neo-celtic Harpist, Andrea Seki, Catherine Dreau on Tubalaphones and Taoist bol, and Master of the Bansuri flute, Fabrice De Graef. Taking part along the journey are musical acolytes, Daniel Romar on Flutes and Galician bag pipe, David Hopkins on Bodhran Hang, Bendir and percussion, Narayan Cargallo on Classic guitar, Didier Dreo on subtle electric Guitars, Bimall (Vincent Berthou) on Vedic Vocals, Federica Sciamanna on backing and co lead vocals and Farooq Ahmad on Kashmiri Vocals, supplemented by Jamsheed Ahmad on Kashmiri percussion and the wonderfully named Tumak-nare. With tasteful bass from the legendary and eternal Youth, this angelic collective re-colours the everyday air.

Bruno Geneste offers a poetic recital later on in the album, completing an approach that transcends and enhances the norm. Sounds from real locations on the journeys from France to India that inform these compositions, such as those from Karnataka airport, a number of sacred sites and temples, along with sea waves, birds and sounds of the forest and jungle, recorded in Bangalore and Gokarna serve to enliven the mix. While coming from a known world, they lead us towards the unknown one of our own imagining and invocation. The album and philosophy that informed it are designed to unite both quest and traveller, not just as something to do, but rather, as something to be.

What follows is a series of responses to each piece and a glimpse of the worlds they define.

1 VOYAGE TO KARNATAKA

From a distant whirring hum, the gathering dawn is soon summoned. As the sounds coalesce we hear small bird like chiming and the spiritual soar of the flute. Music arrives like an intoxicating spell for the senses, displacing all, rearranging the noises in man, in us all. From 2

the vibraphonics, the flute and Youth’s electric beat, we are driven forwards, moving towards Karnataka, a place for the soul to be healed. The curative feel to the piece, despite talking of place is quite otherworldly, as we are entranced and enriched by the ever present Bardik Spings. An ancient sounding voice now intones as we move through the stages into and after becoming as the album announces its shape. And yet somehow within, we seem to learn from this music, carefully housed, eased, delivered to a place where perhaps other music can’t reach. Wind bears it away, like mist from the mountain, as a landscape sky achieves focus and leads us into :

2 PRELUDE

Seki’s harp, DeGraef’s flute cleanse the air with soul sweetness. As the passages unfold and roll all around us, the voyager attains form. This is a music which makes the listener active. You become as much a part of the music as the players themselves. This short prelude cleanses us, grounding the opening pieces of the album as it combines the searching and journey from Brittany, across Asia into the very heart of the sound.

3 OM BEACH NECTAR

A delicate harp pattern, its intricacy gaining quickly across its forming moments. Bansuri flute weaves around it as the vocals arrive from the sky. There is an audible air in which this music happens, supplied by Youth, who’s innate understanding of music in all of its forms sets the scene. If production is the frame as well as infrequent water or oil to the painting, then the sound-picture is quickly resplendent and representational too, like a spell. Om Beach Nectar talks of essences found and of deep, released echoes. It is the theme that the heart hears as it enters the pure realm of change.

4 BRETON-VEDIC TRANCE

Is a fast moving piece that shows a development of the journey. Just as Karnataka and prelude prepared us, so we are now set on the path. A quest through these sounds necessitates fresh perception. We are in a world in which senses each have their own means of expression, contained in the music and shadowed perhaps by the word. The fusion of french and indian soundings creates a new form of chanson, not so much the torch singing of Piaf, or Trenet, but something transgressive, an illumination near pictured by the breaking light from within.

5 ON THE ROAD TO TATTAPANI

As the path is cleared, so the stream now emerges. A rippling water channelling harp figure and life affirming flute accompaniment allows continuance. There is a sense of joy and on listening, one can feel a kind of freshness tainting the air of the room along with the inferred location of the title. A light acoustic guitar strum precedes a beautifully insistent harp passage 3

that paints the scene and allows that representational spirit to emerge. This is music as place, preceeding transcendance. New agism with a deeper purpose than mere surface prettiness. There is a spirituality to the spacings and emphasis which lift both the heart and the soul as you listen, and yes, as you enter the sound. The vedic vocals intone and move between musical phrases, informing us of a secret within all that is sacred. One is struck by the fluency of the musicians and by the means in which they blend with and support each other, as they dance around tune and idea. If we can’t travel to these locations in actuality, then Seki’s compositions place us close to their essence, brothering our quest into a form of aural solidarity.

6 ROZABALL SECRET

With its suitably gathering harp figure conjuring the sense of something witheld, yet to be discovered, there is a tentativeness to the melody as it forms and is commented on, by the other instruments in the arrangement. A voice forms above anything sung and connects to us in a subliminal way, evoking language in its most meaningful form as direct communication, from the musicians heart to the listener’s. Perhaps the secret is the existance of an unknown bridge of understanding that very few of us take. Anyone’s favourite music accomplishes this of course, but there is something in these compositions that achieves it in a general sense. Informed by traditional sources from the bardic tradition, these new achingly beautiful explorations allows for a teaching and template for unification beyound style, genre or personal preference. It is music as resource. A lasting geography of sound as it fuses with soul.

7 BARDIK VOYAGE

Yearning informs this composition, as if it were another instrument in the arrangement. DeGraef’s flute carries its inherent story as Seki’s harp dances ahead like the one who is wanted or desired, just as Dreau’s tasteful percussion comments and amplifies. There is in the exquisite twists and folds of melody, entire ruminations on the connection between beauty and that which is yet to be discovered, along with that which can never be found. The poet’s journey, the artist or the singer’s, the musician’s voyage is never over and there are reflections and shimmers of wisdom held in this passage of strings. Youth and Rendall’s mix clarifies the nature and resonance of each instrument while at the same time allowing for their mutual sympathy to emerge. The sound-weave attains the quality of fabric to soothe and endure, offering a tutor like protection, while at the same time, opening a realm of possibility. We align with and become the bards and inheritors of this ancient lineage, only if we appreciate the nature of the journey undertaken. The music carries a changing environment, promising us all lasting health.

8 THESE DAYS IN SRINAGAR 4

There is a busyness here as the somewhat crowded Srinagar asserts itself as the place where, as heard in Seki’s vocals, he remembers loving ‘the girl with the smile in her eyes..’ The location is one crowded not with people, but rather with memory and sensation and the dignity of the love and emotion felt is there in the bubbling and incandescent harp, soulful flute and gently hushed singing. Climate passes through a song of this sort and in speaking of love and its various levels of effect we are reminded that love is its own weather and that the days in, through and beyond it are able to repaint themselves on opposing experiences that alter our own internal harmonics. Love is the music composed within us when it takes us over. The heart is magiced into reaction and conjured and compelled by the grace of these musical tears.

9 BARDIK SPRINGS (English version)

The rippling stream returns as the musical phrases establish themselves on the imagined, changing canvas. A poetic recital fuses with the composition, so that one is not the backdrop of the other, but where each are integral, siblings in affect and intent. The Bardik Springs epitomised by this music, contain a Lourdes of Dead Sea like quality. If and as we pay attention, they come close to an almost visible manifestation. It is tempting to see music like this as beautiful background only, before one remembers that backgrounds are only viewed that way dependent on where you are standing. Where and how we view things is the source of the material world’s limitations. The immaterial one is the place where everything holds the promise and potential for beauty and where the perspective is ever changing. Therefore, it is this key piece, in an album of unlocking chambers and viewpoints, that emphasises with the skill, dexterity and sensitivity of these expert and sacred musicians that a new world of faith can be formed. You hear it in every phrase played and in each turn of the fader. And what’s more, you can see it as it passes across every string, key or hole that is touched. A watering cascade of notes allows for continued renewal, as we all become part of the stream.

10 RETURN TO DANA'S OCEAN

A moaning muezzin like drone floods the senses as this piece announces itself. The sonorous tones are a revelation as the ocean is evoked in terms of its power and sheer majesty. Capturing the soul of something is not as common as we might like to think or expect ; the bland-slamming interchangability of most Hollywood soundtracks demonstrates that point alone, but thankfully the reverse effect is the province, almost solely, of these wonderfully chosen instruments and resonances. Deep bass drones on the harp, combine with production ambience to summon and surround, as a private voice calls from within a different darkness, wrenching us down through the waters of a vanishing world. The notes are few but give rise to harmonies and bone stroking emulations as we seem to swim through the sea that sisters the climate of sound.

11 BARDIK SPRINGS ( French Version / Bruno Geneste poetry) 5

An intricate weaving pattern floods in as Bruno Geneste joins his poetic offerings to the source and affect of that composed and controlled atmosphere. While remaining within one beautifully rendered style, this album allows us to see the compositions within it, as communication and conversation with what we can come to regard as divine. It is of itself entirely, but at the same time, opens the door for our admittance, designed perhaps to make us as its receivers, as much a part of it as we would want or could ever wish to be. Geneste’s voice becomes our voice. His french poetry representing that of any language. Words are open to everybody but the reason, feeling and need beneath them are only there for those who know where to look. The sublime aural world of these compositions allows for a visual stream, flowing from one person’s emotion and spirituality into another. What is it about beauty that affects us ? What we lack of it in ourselves and where we must go and what we must do in order to reclaim it.

As Ernest Hemingway once wrote : ‘He went to the river. The river was there.’

Go down to the spring which, if you only knew, now awaits you. In its true, tasteful waters you will taste the reflection of dreams.

These pieces of sublime composition and performance by Andrea Seki, Catherine Dreau and Fabrice DeGraef, as handled by Youth and Michael Rendall are presented and managed by the mercurial R. Rovers who has devoted his passion and energies into making sure that you too can bathe in these inspiring rivers. I invite you all to the cleansing ritual, vital to all transformation. The next door is open and now the key turns within you. Align. Begin swimming. This music will guide you from the springs of renewal into life’s sounding sea.

David Erdos 27th February 2017