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no cover
CD $13.75

07/22/2008 781484035923 

DC 359 CD 


NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! HELENA ESPVALL and MASAKI BATHO first met at a festival in the United States in 2006. Batoh presented Helena with a handmade bamboo instrument; short on spare celli, she gave him a copy of her solo CD. Afterwards, they stayed in touch. At some point Helena suggested an improvised musical collaboration. Batoh said that he felt they should record not improvisations only, but songs as well. Helena made a demo of some Scandinavian folk songs that she remembered in her spirit from growing up in Northern Sweden, thinking that maybe they’d record one. The recording session was held in Tokyo over four days in December 2007. For instruments fans, this session might be a treasure. So many strings were used: 6- and 12-string guitar, banjo, cello, hurdy-gurdy, harp, contra bass, chappa Tibetan bells, Kin (Buddist metallic bowl), timpani, bass marimba, vibraphone, thunder sheet and on and on. Six of the Swedish traditional tunes were reconstructed, along with Batoh’s arrangement of “Death Letter,” a classic Son House delta blues song. Additionally, a European medieval tune was addressed in its own arrangement and expression. “Zeranium,” a dreamy folk tune that Batoh wrote for Damon & Naomi (they didn’t use it), was re-arranged for this session as well. The improvisations were done on the last recording day, with no overdubs. For one of them, they were joined by Batoh’s fellow GHOST members TAKUYUKI MORIYA, KAZUO OGINO, and the santur player MAYUMI NAGAYOSHI. The same morning Helena had received notice that her grandmother suddenly had died, and that a dear friend had chosen to end his life. Two death letters in one day…there is great emotion reflected in the improvisations. And great depth and beauty throughout the whole album.

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