|Kalandra||eikthyrnir||3:07||Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands||2022|
|Pomme||Dans Mes Rêves||3:33||Consolation||2022|
|The Gardening Club||Forever Leaving Home||5:57||Bridge of Spirits||2022|
|Kronos Quartet||Factory Girl||6:45||Folk Songs||2017|
|Obiymy Doschu / Обійми Дощу||ostanya myt (The Last Duty)||8:30||Son (Sleep)||2017|
Calling their music “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe,” Heilung is a truly an outre experience, both visually and sonically. Plenty of invocations and chanting, a spoken word piece and an ancient Mesopotamian song highlight this latest outing, there is a feeling of ritual throughout. Spellbinding.
New territory for me, a video game soundtrack. Kalandra, fittingly, are from Oslo. This is very dreamy music, best enjoyed from start to finish, as many soundtracks are. They employ hurdy-gurdy, nyckelharpa, and moraharpa into the delicate swirl of orchestral wash and ethereal vocals that colour the landscape of this gameworld.
Peter Lawson returns, this time with cohort Wolfgang Osterman. Superb space/psych rock, with Peter’s distinctive, and searing guitar at the fore. Wonderful musicianship shines throughout, as I expected. This outing is primarily an examination of decidedly chaotic modern times, while tossing in some fine phantasmagorical elements
A melding of East and West coast musicians, the primary slants here are orchestral and folk/world/fusion progressive music, superbly played. The fretless, acoustic and electric bass, vocals, and lyrics of Martin Springett tie it all together, along with the distinctive packaging of artwork also supplied by Springett. You’ll find flamenco, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, bassoon, violin and soprano sax herein. A treat for the senses.
Existentialby Quicksilver Night feat Hadi Kiani & Farzad GolpayeganiA single, prog/hard rock collaboration from Quicksilver Night this time. Warren Russell, the principal of all Quicksilver Night offerings, appears on supporting guitars and “everything else, real and virtual,” and teams up with Hadi Kiani on strident vocals and Farzad Golpayegani on searing lead guitars. The lyrics examine our schizophrenic modern era.
Bandcamp offers digital downloads only of this next selection
The Kronos Quartet: “Folk Songs” This is a collaborative effort of 4 guest singers performing traditional folk tunes with the backing of the fabulous Kronos Quartet. The singers are Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens, and Natalie Merchant. Chill-inducing for me to hear these piece presented in this way, with a bit of a contemporary classical twist. Truly, each piece is a favourite of mine. I will, however, choose one to give you an idea of what to expect. Factory Girl, with Rhiannon Giddens on vocals:
“Son” means dream in Ukrainian. This band was brought to my attention by Progrock stationmaster Mark Monforti, and a fine one it is. The band’s name translates to “Rain’s Embrace,” in English, and it is indeed a deluge of incredible musicianship and top-notch vocals. They combine neo-classical, symphonic and progressive, and post-rock with elements of their native folk music in a way that requires no translation.