September 15, 2013

English folk musician & singer Sharron Kraus states her pastoral music is inspired by the Third Ear Band...

"Sharron Kraus is a singer, musician and songwriter who both defiantly recasts and tenderly cherishes the folk tradition. Her songs tell intricate tales of rootless souls, dark secrets and earthy joys, the lyrics plucked as sonorously as her acoustic guitar. Utilising voice, field recordings and sparse instrumentation, her new project, 'Pilgrim Chants & Pastoral Trails' attempts to evoke the music embodied within the landscapes of Mid Wales. In Sharron's own words: 

"Driving along the Elan Valley from Rhayader to Aberystwyth one sunny day I had the overwhelming sense that there was music contained in the landscape, waiting to be discovered. I decided to move to Mid-Wales, to a quiet place just north of that valley and try to tap into that music and draw it out. Over a period of two years I walked and drove around the area, criss-crossing the landscape, stopping wherever the magic of the place was too strong to ignore. I took a minidisc recorder with me and recorded the birds, streams and waterfalls, the animals, the wind, and the jet planes that sliced through the quiet. I listened and absorbed as much as possible and then went home and recorded. 
"My initial aim was to record a soundtrack for my own experiences, something to listen to as I drove along the winding mountain roads or walked out in the hills at night, but as the project developed and other musicians added to it, the pieces moved out of the realm of the purely personal and became soundscapes that captured something of this place, unlocked an enchanted world. Musical reference points include Eno's ambient works, Richard Skelton's landscape-inspired pieces, Mike Oldfield's 'Hergest Ridge', Popol Vuh's soundtrack to Herzog's 'Nosferatu' and the music of the Third Ear Band, Fursaxa, Plinth, the latter two being people I've collaborated with." (from Second Language Music site at

Listen the full album of this really pastoral music at and, beyond the inspiration admitted, decide by yourself if the references are true.
To myself, this sounds are quite near to the gloomy, sinister, esoteric mood of some TEB music ("Macbeth"?). Really English and organic, pagan and ritual... Alchemical? Ipnotic?... and the very impressive vocal textures (i.e. on "Dark Pool" or "Cadair Idris") remind me that masterpiece titled "Parallelograms" by Linda Perhacs (1970)...
The same Rob Young on his seminal book "Electric Eden" (Faber and Faber, London 2010) quotes Kraus in a group of musician "all sallying into the wildwood with dronal, rustic "Dark Britannia" and viewing the tradition through the retrospective of prims like The Wicker Man" (page 604). 

Realised on August 13th, 2013, the record is played by Sharron Kraus (voice, guitar, dulcimer, organ, recorders, drones, percussion, field recordings), Harriet Earis (harp),
Mark Wilden (drums) and Simon Lewis (Korg MS-20). 

Brave English (new) folk music! 

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

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