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SUGGESTED ALBUMS: ALAN STIVELL’S “1 DOUAR” by Eliseo Mauas Pinto

SUGGESTED ALBUMS: ALAN STIVELL’S “1 DOUAR” by Eliseo Mauas Pinto
First of all I should confess that Stivell’s music had great influence on my decision to carry on the musical path into harpestry. He is one of my acknowledged “spiritual masters” along with Robin Williamson . Alan "Stivell" Cochevelou has always been a step forward on developing new musical based on a multi-instrumentation. Thanks to a development of his father who designed a so called Breton Harp in the mid-'30 and completed in April'53, Alan began to incorporate the Celtic harp in the Breton music with original arrangements and spread both the tradition of his people as that of other Celtic nations with the support of some record companies of the time, his example led to the formation of anthological bands as Malicorne, Gwendal, Try Yann, Lyonesse, among others. It should be noted that Alan Stivell was the first to experiment with harp contact microphones for early'70. Already in the'73 incorporates for the first time a Scottish Bagpipe to rock based band with bass, drums and guitar with the theme 'Ian Morrison's Reel' from the historical album "Chemins deTerre / Roads of the Earth" album of the Year as the famous mag 'Melody Maker', opening to a broad audience and fans of bands such as Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, with a refined folk-rock sound. Let us remember his debut in'71 with the EP "Pop-plinn", the first composition Breton rock fusion on a pattern of traditional dance. Following in the footsteps of his father has designed an original electroacoustic harp with bronze strings built under his supervision by Michele Sangineto in Milan (in November'84) and electronic innovations by Lionel Gwirineg. As if this was not enough, also designed the first electric harp in transparent acrylic and Gothic design with pick-ups and magnetic crystals, finished by Tantra on September 84. Devotee of the technological developments he began to employ each one of them, synthesizers ,drum kits, sequencers, samplers, midi systems, and also has laid hands to new music trends, which have helped him in his long list of musical experiments as the 'Groove' (album "The Mist of Avalon" and "Brian Boru") and even the 'DJ Scratch' (album "Back to Breizh") With "1 DOUAR" / 1 EARTH, " Stivell returns to the concept of the" universal "and the" absolute ", embodied in his extensive album "Tir Na Nog - Celtic Symphony / Tir Na Nog -- Celtic Symphony ". “Of Breton nationality I am a citizen of the world. I try to express a borderless world, a world of exchanges, friction and miscegenation, but no name or unification, on the other hand there can be no question of birth control rather than where the differences persist. Why is the music of the Third Millennium is not one and diverse? I believe that the outcome of the various investigations will present a musical synthesis, a fusion of jazz, the music of Indian and other oriental music, from African music, from classical music and ancient, rock, the so-called contemporary music, of European folk music, and even some types of pop. " Like" Tir Na Nog, "" 1Douar "is divided by three separate issues in this case not by movements, but by a central track" A United Earth, 1 , 2 & 3 "with composer reciprocity in the form of march, waltz and ballad, as well as thematic similarity (if Parts 1 and 2)" The borders are only fossils of the past .... Between the two hells of uniformity and the division lies a trail passable. We're almost in the twenty-first century. One of the big problems is that we all have to live together. Does anybody want a solution consisting in all enclosed ghettos, with weapons in hand, as in the former Yugoslavia? Perhaps the solution can melt completely into a mold by becoming interchangeable and individuals numbered? Of course we must compare the different solutions to live between those two hells possible, find a system that does not restrict trade without borders, allowing the continuing various forms of culture and ways of thinking. In my album "1 Douar" I wanted to try this particular issue. The title and evokes a false paradox: the Earth, said Breton. If it is global (I wish the UN would be a real power and government that were not represented in it only states but all peoples of the world) can not elect or remove a language against the other: all belong to a common heritage, although nothing prevented among bilingualism institute a language of communication and the language of culture. I need both the world and Britain, the global and the local. It's what I want to express to continually jump between text Breton and some other language (French, Wolof, Arabic, Irish) The same goes for music, which comes and goes from my Celtic culture to other peoples across the musical genres . From childhood I was struck by the paradox of some similarities as great as the differences. Both the uniformity as the Balkanization of the entire planet would be hell. I see no solution other than the federalist for people to come see the third millennium without too much fear for their children. " In this opportunity Stivell experiments with the music of African and Middle East, no longer counting with 75 musicians as in "Tir Na Nog," but with the exception of figures such as the Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, Jim Kerr (Simple Minds vocalist) Paddy Moloney (piper of The Chieftains), and members of the new Afro Celt Sound System, the Welshman John Cale (Velvet Underground). Stivell does not think that this approach loses its Celtic roots, because "as popular music has always been open to other surrounding assimilating elements of these other events is what enriches and promotes." "1 Douar express my desires, my influences, my encounters with great artists today, an emotion that I hope to share in the play." It is noteworthy item 4 "Ensemble" structured on the "an dro" Breton traditional dance that recalls his earlier "Nine Bretons in Prison"-revamped version on his album "Again" with arabic arrangements for this occasion styled as in the album "No Quarter "From Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (ex-Led Zeppelin). The theme two, "The Report of the Human", includes a loop performed on original recordings of the Sisters Gowadec, singers of traditional folklore and admired by Stivell in his youth. Not being able to dispense with their militancy for a free Britain, celebrates its nationalism in track 7 "The Scots are right" based on the current political Scotsman: "They will show us where to go, and years ago and yesterday as the Celts will be free host wishes of equal freedom for its cousin-brother of Wales ", to feel that power in his next album" Back to Breizh. " This sample also includes field recordings of “ waulking songs” (working songs) in Scotland. Perhaps obeying to my own subjective impression I encounter in most of the remaining tracks a Stivell that employes styles already developed by others, the "Aet-on" style bases with Loreena Mc Kennitt, "Hope" emulating Mike Oldfield in the " Sounds of Distant Earth " with styles that refer to the band Enigma," Ever "with sounds reminiscent of U2 and guitar Frippertronic sounds (resource-developed by Robert Fripp of King Crimson). "One's Love" a solo work of Maire Brennan and bases with midi bagpipes , including the closure of the album takes us back to sounds already recorded in his previous "Harper du Nouvel Age / harps of the New Era" (Indie Award at USA'85 and official successor of the album Rebirth of the Celtic harp of'71 - work that would be instrumental to later Grammy Award) and "The MISTS of Avalon / The Mists of Avalon." In brief, "1 Douar" is a “must” album, but I recommend Celtic fans not to listen to it from a celtic ve (as with albums such as "Voyager" from "Mike Oldfield") but as , "the re-encounter with the tradition and on the contrary, research into new expressive forms." in Stivell's own words.
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