We have a brand new Sorting Hat (bought after a slightly hottish
where I burned my head 😛 ) which gave up the names of two lucky winners!
Congratulations Fleur Krop and Brandon Michael Jones!
Please send us your address via PM and we will send you your very own copies of
‘s ‘Untold Tails’ and
‘s ‘Untold Stories’ as soon as possible!
We are quite certain you will enjoy them as much as we do!
And for those that didn’t win, please stay tuned! It’s festival season, and that means that there will be many more give aways in the near future!
CeltCast’s ONE YEAR anniversary!
Did you miss the special anniversary show yesterday? Don’t worry! We’ve published the texts right here. Enjoy! 🙂
That’s how -ONE YEAR AGO- CeltCast commenced broadcasting.
After many -MANY- hours of collecting, filtering, transferring and planning music, we finally pressed play.
Were you there? Did you listen in to hear those first tracks? We really had no clue how many of you would turn up, or rather tune in to listen to our selection. Of course, we had had great help from friends who helped inform the social network, or as we like to say, the community. We told people, who told people, who… well, you get the picture. 🙂
And then there was OMNIA. They helped out with our first competition (or give-away) and thereby fuelled the flames.
So, there we were: full speed ahead! Those first moments of actually being live, “in the air”, gave such a rush! Such a feeling of accomplishment, until…
It turned out, that so many of you had tuned in, that you all just crashed the server! 😀
Wow! Who would have thought!? A weird mixture of panic and euphoria held sway in my head. Luckily we managed to get CeltCast back up online in a matter of minutes. What a way to start the adventure!
And thus the party started! Our stream became robust and steady, the Facebook followers gathered, we found more outlets for the stream, like smartphone apps, and the website showed it’s first real content. Now, we had all sorts of ideas to put on there, but what-do-you-know? Our friends from Bastaard turned the game around and interviewed us before we could even do our very first report!
Then an old friend from across that big pond (namely Miles) sent us a wonderful report on FaerieCon East and pretty soon after, a continentally renowned photographer, called Kees Stravers, started sending in reports.
Kees turned out to have a facination with a very special and talented duo: Jyoti Verhoeff and Maya Fridman
Though not quite Folk, Celtic or Viking music, these ladies managed to establish a stronghold in a corner of CeltCast’s musical spectrum… Their captivating music and mesmerizing chants drew us in like hungry sailors to determined sirens.
A similarly moving musical experience followed soon after, when Arjan and I visited the Mid-Winter Fair in Archeon, a historically themed open air museum. Standing amidst a large gathering of wondering souls, who sat on the floor, Einar, known for his work at Wardruna, but these days also for his contributions to the hit-series “Vikings”, bridged the gap of centuries and took us way back in time, Using only a single instrument per song.
Travelling even further North, Kati Ran had collected new material for the then-upcoming new album of L.E.A.F. Her work made such an impression that we decided to create an extra internal platform which would enable us to focus even more on certain tracks. Hence, our “Monthly Marker” was born and the first ever was “Terveh” by L.E.A.F. Our current MM is of the now released very-same album.
Playing at L.E.A.F. that time was Philip Xander, who wanted to contribute to CeltCast by sharing his musical review of 2014. Feeling the need to share more on the developments of new albums, events and festivals, we created CC Chronicle, a feed for all relevant news.
We were expanding.
Through these couple of months, we had once again collected new music and were adding it to the stream. Thanks to Frauke, we could even expand our horizon way deep into Russia, where Random Reel invited her to celebrate their third anniversary.
Bands were also “discovering” US and started sending in their music, like Greenrose Fair from Finland and Cara from Germany did!
At CeltCast we absolutely love helping young bands spread their music across the globe, especially when they show such promise as Pyrolysis did, when they crashed Keltfest, by simply not needing a stage, but playing out on the field! We were proud to attend the release of their début album and delighted to see them play at Castlefest!
Meanwhile our team grew with Kees formally announcing his position, Lena joining in from Germany, and Iris supporting bands as our very own merch-babe. We were now at full strength, which was good timing, because the festival season had begun!
At Keltfest, we interviewed Pyrolysis and Mark van der Stelt, the man behind many festivals, including Castlefest, where this year, we were helping out our friends from Bastaard with their video-registration work. It was great fun and probably the most technologically advanced part of our work so far…
In musical terms, the most technologically advanced tracks we play are from Denmark. Like Jyoti and Maya, Euzen have conquered their own sweet spot in CeltCast’s spectrum. We simply can’t resist playing their work…
Castlefest feels like ‘home’ us. It gives us a chance to meet up with people we wouldn’t normally meet, like Kalin from Irfan, who came over, all the way from Bulgaria! We had a wonderful chat and were sò happy get our copy of their latest album “The Eternal Return”!
Castlefest is also a hotspot for long-awaited album releases. And so it was too for our friends of SeeD! We had a great competition leading up to the festival. We managed to round up all the crazy pagan band members and do the draw right there on the festival terrain! It was great fun and what was even funnier, was that the lucky winner, Mrs. Bea Versluis, was walking not too far from where her name was drawn! It was the fastest prize-delivery ever!
SeeD went on to give an amazing performance for a huge crowd. Way more people than the stage was intended for, but hey… have a listen…
Did you know that it was Robin Dekker of SeeD who actually designed our logo? We are so very grateful for his contribution!
Oh, and did you also know, that the lady he was handfasted to at Castlefest, Tjarda, is working hard on her musical carreer?
Now, releases parties are great, but with Elvya… we actually got involved when her work was still in progress. We we got the visit the awesome Orchus studio, run by Fieke van der Hurk, where so many albums we play have been recorded… and we even gave our two cents worth, commenting on the art-work Liesbeth was creating for her BIG project. What a ride, to be part, however small, of the creative process!
And it doesn’t stop there… If anything, we learned that our view of the world of Celtic, Folk and Viking music expands further with every new band we discover, every border we cross… Like you heard Mark van der Stelt first announce through CeltCast, that he thought the time had come to cross our Southern border, we too ventured into Belgium and went to Celtic Night Geluwe.
We finally got to meet with the lovely people of EMIAN (long overdue hugs!) and it soon became clear that this scene really has no borders, no boundaries…
Now… I could go on and on, like I hope CeltCast will… but we are already way past the one hour we planned. 🙂
So time to wrap it up!
Well, this special, that is… because we truly hope that this past year was only the first of many, many others to come!
We would like to thank ALL of you, bands, artists, listeners and volunteers, that helped made this dream come true. Together, as a community, we have proven that it can be done: a radio station with “our” music, without advertisement, sharing music that deserves to be heard across the globe!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
But now, as Arjan stated one year ago… enough with the talking. Time to get to what the station is all about: the music!
Elvya’s Give Away!!
Did you all read the
we wrote of
amazing album ‘Untold Stories’? Did you all get excited about Liesbeth’s work?? Well, how would you like to win a digital copy for you AND a friend?
Wednesday the 2nd of September will see the release of the digital download of the album, but during this whole week you can win not one but TWO copies! One for you and one for a friend, whom you would like to share this musical experience with.
Step one: Tag the friend you want to share this with in the comments below the post.
Step two: Share the post, set it to “public”, on your own time-line.
The competition will close next Sunday, the 6th of September, at 12:00 CET, after which we will draw and announce the lucky winner and friend!
Good luck everyone, and enjoy the album!
If you haven’t read the review yet you can find it
Review of ‘Elvya – Untold Stories’
We’ve been seeing lots of posts the past few months about
upcoming album, and now, shortly before the album release, we were able to do a
on one of 2015’s most amazing albums, mainly recorded and mixed at Orchus Studio, all by the talented Fieke van den Hurk.
Elvya – Untold Stories (2015)
For months, if not longer, we have been teased with posts on Facebook by
showing progress on her first album. Guest musician after guest musician, all entering the well known
of Fieke van den Hurk, or the
in Hilversum, made us very curious as to what this album would turn out to be like.
And now, shortly before the actual release of the album, we had the opportunity to review it. And what an opportunity it was!
But before I go rambling on, and give away everything I want to say about this album in the intro of the review, let’s just start with the track by track review you’ve grown accustomed to by now.
Elvya – Untold Stories (2015)
Track 1, Intro, sets a mystical atmosphere, and the listener gets invited into a new world by Arjen Lucassen, with a beautiful accent I might add. It opens up the mind of the listener to receive the Untold Stories.
The intro seamlessly moves into Nature. A very mysterious sound, opening up into an epic tribute to Mother Nature. In Dutch we have a word “filmisch” which doesn’t translate very well into English but it does definitely apply to this track. It would be a very fitting soundtrack to some grand images in a movie, birds eye views of wide open plains, massive herds of wild animals roaming free. If this is a hint of what is to come on this album I’d better make myself comfortable or else I will be blown away!
Lavor Mi Gente starts of with a very warm feeling. It is a very emotional track where elements of love resonate through the song, leading towards “love lost” at the end. Key words would be powerful, moving, touching.
Next up is Gover Si Vena. With the addition of more electronic elements and the harmonies throughout this track it not only reminds me of Era, it actually gives me the same feeling. The grandeur in the music, the power, the energy. Checking the lyrics, the translated version, gave me a very mixed feeling, but in a good way. “Mothers are grieving, Praying to the heavens, Reunited in love, One last time.” So much beauty and pain combined in one track, it’s simply amazing. This is art!
The fifth track is called Socopelli. It is a track that has been rightly placed on the album to give the listener a moment to come down from all this emotion and grandeur. A beautiful song, easy to listen to, and to contemplate the Stories that have been told so far.
The next song, Remember, is a fairytale in its own right. So much is told in this story, yet so much is still left Untold, left open to the interpretation of the listener. I think that this story can, and most likely will, be different for everyone listening to it, as we will all impose our own past and imagination on it. The melodies in this song, I freely admit, gave me goosebumps the first time I listened to it, and even after hearing it several times the song actually brought me to tears!
I don’t really know how to describe the music and vocals in Try to Listen other than as “full of self control”. It is as if the music really wants to break free, but it is held back to a perfect level, because it gives the whole song a bigger impact. The depth and the layers in this song are amazing!
Track 8, Kardizam, is another instrumental track, serving as a great interlude. Almost as if this marks the beginning of a new chapter.
Leave Me starts with some good old 12″ hiss, which will always have a special place in my heart. The song itself is like “mystery meets Euzen”, with almost spooky sounds combined with somewhat of a Drum ‘n Bass type beat. Something completely different, but in a strange way still very fitting to the album. This is definitely later-on-the-main-stage-at-a-festival, danceable material!
Daddy is an emotional plead to a father, giving some information in the lyrics, but still, as with Remember, it leaves a lot to be filled in by the listener. As for the overall feel of the song, I would say it reminds me somewhat of the beautiful ballads by some of the greatest symphonic metal bands of the past few years, without actually sounding like metal very much. There is strength in symphony.
I absolutely love the hammered dulcimer, and Spring Dance shows why. It is one of very few instruments that I feel actually tells a story all by itself, with nothing more than sounds. Not a word is sung in this song, but the listener can clearly follow a storyline from beginning to end.
Ann’Vatu, in the language of Elvya, means “Celebrate”, and indeed this song is a celebration of nature, of everything around us that makes our world beautiful. Almost meditative, the lyrics are like a mantra, capturing the deep appreciation of nature. I am very certain I will be listening to this track a lot!
And then we come to the end of this album, unfortunately. The Outro has a clear warning by Arjen Lucassen that the listener has a choice to make. Head back to your own world, or stay in this world of Untold Stories forever. It’s a hard choice to make, but fortunately I still have the album, so I can always return to this enchanted land.
One of the things I usually do in a review is choose one favourite track. This way the reader can use that as a reference as to how I listened to the album and artists are often interested in it as well. Liesbeth (Elvya) actually asked me about my favourite track. But you know what? I really don’t know this time. I just can’t choose. Both Remember and Try to Listen have literally moved me to tears, and Ann’Vatu might just be a new mantra for me to repeat when I am out in nature. Those would then most likely be my top 3 tracks of the album, let’s keep it at that.
The artwork of the album, the cover and the CD, give a feel of a fairytale book, the old ones that my parents used to get from the library. The booklet is filled with pictures of beauty and mystery, and overall it all combines perfectly with the music. All lyrics are provided, and in the case of the songs that are sung in Elvyan there are also translations that read just as beautiful as the songs sound! The entire album is a complete package, from start to finish.
Owning and operating a radio-station in the Folk scene means that I get to hear some amazing music, I get to receive some amazing albums. In our scene the focus is on beauty and feeling in the music, not on making as much albums or selling as much music as possible, and that translates into the overall quality within the entire world of folk. There just aren’t many “bad” albums being released. That being said, sometimes we find a diamond in a field of pearls, and I would say that we found one today. Is it due to the musical mind of Elvya? Is it thanks to the engineering and production genius of Fieke? Could it be the star filled line-up of guest musicians that helped create this album? I don’t know, I think it’s most likely a combination of all of the above. But I do know that without Elvya this album would not exist and I am very thankful that it does! I’ve had a conversation with someone once who pointed out that being honest with reviews also meant pointing out flaws, and he was right. But tell me Mr. C, what do I do when I can’t find any? The only downside is that some of the tracks aren’t very suited to be played on CeltCast, as they don’t have the same Folk-feel as most of our music does. This is however because, in my opinion, these songs transcend the boundaries of folk, and I think that for instance fans of Era and Enya will also love this album. All I can say is: Everybody, go and buy this album as soon as it is released, and emerge yourself in these Untold Stories as I have. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
The music on this album was not only played by Elvya, but also by many guest musicians. Which musicians you may ask? Well, check out this awesome list:
Arjen Lucassen: narrator
Ward De Coninck: throat singing, backing vocals, percussion
Ben Auwerx: backing vocals
Ivar de Graaf: drums, acoustic guitar
Dominique Bentvelsen: double bass
Douwe de Wilde: bass guitar
Emilien Delcour: acoustic guitar
Baz Laarakkers: acoustic guitar
Sjoerd van Ravenzwaaij: tin whistle
Coca Román van Dongen: celtic harp
Fieke van den Hurk: hurdy gurdy, accordion, piano
Jan De Weer: recorder
Sophie Zaaijer: violin, viola, cello