Tag Archives: Omnia

Celtic Night Geluwe in a few weeks!

Celtic Night Geluwe

We are slowly recovering from our post- Castlefest crash, but what really helps is knowing that we will meet so many of our folky friends again in a few weeks time at the Celtic Night Geluwe festival!

With an incredible line up, featuring PerKelt , Cuélebre , The Midnight , Selfish Murphy , IN VINO VERITAS , Emian PaganFolk , Prima Nocta , Acus Vacuum and Omnia , we are very certain that this will be another memorable event! Unfortunately it will have to be, as this will be the last Celtic Night Geluwe. So do yourself a favour and come join us for a dance, a hug and a drink in Belgium! 😀

CeltCast’s ONE YEAR anniversary!

ONE YEAR
Did you miss the special anniversary show yesterday? Don’t worry! We’ve published the texts right here. Enjoy! 🙂





Yup.
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!



– Alex


Review ‘EMIAN – AcquaTerra’ online!

Cover (750p) IT’S THURSDAY!
And that means it is time for another Thursday Theatre, as promised!

This time our light shines on an amazing Italian Paganfolk band that is gaining a lot of momentum throughout Europe. We’re talking of course about EMIAN, the four person band that last weekend even came as far north as Belgium, when they played at the fantastic Celtic Night Geluwe.

We have for you a review of their first album, AcquaTerra, which was released in 2014. Lots of harp, lots of good honest musical excellence, and an obvious Omnia influence, making it especially interesting for fans of that particular Dutch pagan band.

Read the entire review here!


EMIAN – AcquaTerra (2014)

Cover (750p)


This time our light shines on an amazing Italian Paganfolk band that is gaining a lot of momentum throughout Europe. We’re talking of course about EMIAN, the four person band that last weekend even came as far north as Belgium, when they played at the fantastic Celtic Night Geluwe.

We have for you a review of their first album, AcquaTerra, which was released in 2014. Lots of harp, lots of good honest musical excellence, and an obvious Omnia influence, making it especially interesting for fans of that particular Dutch pagan band.

EMIAN is an Italian band, consisting of four people, Aianna Egan, Emain Druma, Rohan and Máirtín Killian, that have lost their hearts to Irish and Celtic music. With their first album “Acquaterra” (2014) they have left their mark on the European folk scene, and their musical prowess is also shown by the many, many concerts they play throughout the year!


Track 1: A Sailor’s Tale

Right off the bat the sounds of the harp take you into a dream-world, and as the song progresses the harp starts to play with the strings and you just know that this will be a “sit back and relax” type of album. The sounds of the sea, the creaking of ships decks, the ships bell keeping time, they all create an atmosphere well befitting the music, and the warm vocals and soft harmonies only add to the feeling. A Sailor’s Tale is a tale of love lost, and how could a sailor’s tale not be? With a harp that is very reminiscent of ‘Grunde Lunden’, at least in the beginning, and vocals that have the same style and feeling as ‘The Bold Fenian Men’, it is immediately clear that EMIAN is at the very least inspired by Omnia, and that they will certainly share a fan-base.


Track 2: The Last King’s March

The song starts off like something you might have heard in an old medieval castle, gentle, with a lot of clarity. But then, after the horn sounds to signal the march, the mood changes and the same melody now becomes part of something much more powerful. Anna certainly knows how to play the harp and in this song she takes the instrument all the way! There are many different levels of intensity, many different layers throughout the song, and they all flow together naturally like a story.




Track 3: Haughs of Cromdale

A pure Irish traditional about the Battle of Cromdale. If it weren’t for the clear Italian accent in the singing one would never know that this song wasn’t recorded by a very experienced Irish band. Very well done, a pleasure to hear!


Track 4: Butterfly

Butterfly is another traditional, but an instrumental one, and with a nice spin to it. Closing my eyes I can imagine children playing in the sun, dancing around to these wonderful tunes. All is good when listening to such a beautiful song!


Track 5: Mother’s Breath

It’s hard to describe how this song starts. Maybe one could say it starts with the sounds of chaos from which everything forms. But when the chaos subsides and the main melody starts we hear some more very clear and obvious Omnia influences! It is amazing to hear how EMIAN has taken this song and made it their own, with lyrics and musical variations. A song fit for Mother Earth!




Track 6: Dúlamán

Dúlamán has been played and recorded by many a band and artist, and everyone always gives it their own spin. EMIAN’s version is a very rhythmic and powerful one, almost making it sound like a war-song instead of a song about gathering seaweed and about love. The power in the percussion does make your heart strong, and when the song is finished it leaves you wanting more.


Track 7: Dance in Circle

The sharp harp sounds that this song starts with quickly snap you out of that dark deep power, and when the melody starts you immediately know why this song is called Dance in Circle. It is a very danceable track and I can certainly see large circle dancing, preferably around a large fire. Again an epic song, telling many tales through music alone, this song needs to be shared with as many friends as possible! Let’s all dance in the circle until the sun rises again!


Track 8: Echu Eo Ar Mare

Echu Eo Ar Mare, a Breton hanter dro, is the last song on this album unfortunately. I would have liked for this album to have continued, but I know there is only so much space on a disc. This song is a perfect ending though, as it is a perfect example of a song that can be enjoyed either just sitting on the sofa listening, dancing through your home, or dancing with a hundred visitors on a festival. It leaves us with great promises for the future!


EMIAN (750p)

A quick look at the album-cover immediately shows what kind of band this is. They are Celtic oriented, and they are Pagan, and they have no intention of hiding it. The stag, the leaves, the triskele and triquetras, they all leave no doubt. The style of the artwork actually reminds a lot of the album cover from Damh the Bard’s ‘Antlered Crown and Standing Stone’. I love it, as it sure shows you what to expect!

Overall the album showed a lot of diversity while still maintaining unity. The traditionals are well played, keeping their character intact while at the same time spinning them in a way that it turns them into real EMIAN songs. ‘The Last King’s March’, their own creation, is en epic in and of itself, and I think I would choose that song as my favourite song of the album. We may have a new Monthly Marker here 😉

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before they start playing all the major festivals in Europe, and before they release another album, because I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of EMIAN yet!

– Arjan


Photo taken by: Claudio Del Piano


Castlefest 2015 – Arjan

Castlefest 2015 Banner
Festivals.
To some they are all about the music, to others they are an escape into a world of fantasy. There are those festivals that crowd their stages with the biggest names, and there are festivals that try to give smaller groups a chance to grow, a stage to shine from. As you have probably noticed, last weekend we were at Castlefest, and personally I would say that Castlefest is all of the above! This festival, to many visitors, is unique in its way to create a whole new world, a place where all the things exist that we would like to see in every day life but somehow don’t seem to work in the “normal” world. Maybe that’s why 2015 saw the 11th edition of this happening, and in all those years the organization has shown that they keep finding new ways to grow, to evolve. This growth does however mean that one does not get to see everything at this festival, so in this report, as complete as I will try to make it, you can read about what I saw and experienced, which is not even 25% of the whole festival. 🙂

Thursday

Starting on Thursday morning, with the pitching of the tent at the camp-grounds, the feeling of “home” took over everything else, and surrounded by friends, most of whom I hadn’t met yet, Castlefest 2015 took off! We were asked to help out with some of the audio workings of the Castlefest live-stream by our friends of Bastaard.net, so it was off to the backstage around lunchtime for us. I won’t bother you with too many details, but with plenty of time to spare, a whopping ten minutes before the broadcast was supposed to start, we fixed the last audio issues that come along with something as high tech and massive as this, and we went live! I can tell you that being a part of this Castlefest family, because that’s what it is, a family, is an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world! The shared feelings of joy and elation as the video and audio feed combined and were sent into cyberspace and the world was amazing, and it is very awesome to be able to send some of these Castlefest vibes out into the world. Small presentations, and some clips from last year, and then it was time for the first performance.

Scotch is a Dutch band from Dordrecht that describes its music as Party Folk, and party it is! A combination of many different styles up to and including ska, and some “other than standard” instruments on stage, combined with quite the stage presence, made for a very interesting show and a great way to start the festival.

Next up was a fire show by Solstix. Because of this show being presented in front of the stage rather than on the stage this gave a very intimate and closely connected feel. The audience was sitting right on top of the show!

After this show it was time for the headliner of the evening, a performance by Afro Celt Sound System. Because of, shall we say, reasons, we were not allowed to broadcast this show, and I wish I could tell the viewers back home that they didn’t miss much. But I’m afraid they did. The show was amazing, and one of the best words I can think of to describe it is empowering. The energy flowed, gushed, from the stage and into the audience and I don’t think many people would have minded this show to continue for even longer, even though they gave several encores and played for I believe almost 25 minutes past their time.

After the evening was concluded there was a party backstage, which I am not at liberty to discuss 😉


Friday

The second day started as a typical festival day. Way too early, because not enough sleep, but way too late, because I missed the first performances at the festival. Though, to be honest, I mainly missed those shows because I was at the 24 hour tent, the catering and party tent on the campsite, listening to another great performance by our friends of Pyrolysis together with Iris of Fiddle ‘n Drum on bodhran, who were booked to play several shows here this year. It’s really amazing to wake up with some nice coffee, some nice friends, in some nice early sunshine, with a nice acoustic folk performance! I wish life could be like this all the time. But I know, we all have jobs, and frankly, I don’t have enough room in my house to accommodate all the band-members of Pyrolysis all the time, so I’ll just have to enjoy it extra here.

Then on to the festival grounds with all its music and diversity in people. Again I was struck by the level of acceptance. This to me is the epitome of Castlefest. The most extravagant costumes combine with the most every day outfits. Fantasy meets steam-punk meets pagan meets fun costumes meets, well, you get the point! Heavily armed knights dance and drink with soldiers from the Umbrella Corporation and the best part is: nothing happens! No arguments, no fights. Friendship and love rule this festival and that is exactly what makes this event so addictive!

As for the performances, what can I say? From what I’ve seen Triskilian was deep and amazing, Cesair beautiful as ever, La Horde and The Dolmen turned the festival into massive parties, each in their own way, and Omnia was their magnificent self on stage. Their stage presence is hardly rivaled and their music is deep, spiritual and powerful as ever.

I must admit that with this being my first real festival day, because Thursday was filled with work on the live stream, I met so many friends, old and new, all through the day that I did not get the chance to see as many shows as I would have liked, and not enough of the shows that I did see.

This was also the day that we ended our competition to win the new SeeD album, or the SeeDee as they call it, and I challenge you to organize a drawing, get a band, two radio people and a prize winner all together, and do that all within one and a half hour at a festival! 😉

The day ended with a performance of Euzen on the Forest stage (the main stage of Castlefest) that blew me away and must have sent vibes all over the city and farther. What a show it was!


Saturday

Day three, Saturday, and traditionally the busiest day both in terms of visitors and catching as many shows as possible. Of course my day started with coffee and Pyrolysis again, my two comrades in the morning, but this day I was at the festival a lot earlier.

So after first starting with a bit of Irish/Scottish folk at the 24 hour tent, my wake up session was perfected by the great Danish sounds of Trolska Polska on the Forest stage. This group to me, together with Virelai, is the epitome of festival-feeling, and I play their music a lot when I need to fill up my “reserves” in times when there are not many large festivals to visit. Seeing and hearing them live on stage again, seeing them absolutely love music as they play it, I’m sure will help me in the coming winter whenever I need a little festival boost.

Then quickly on to the Village stage for the combined performance of LEAF and SeeD, with the latter also presenting their new album there. These two groups not only have in common that they are both Dutch, but they are both very spiritual and focused on getting as much spirituality and perfection into their music as possible. LEAF is in the process of recording and mixing their new album and we were treated to some new tracks, including a galdr called LYS which resonated into the deepest depths of my soul! I can’t wait for this new album to be released! But speaking of album releases, next up as mentioned before was a set by SeeD in which they not only presented their album but even played some songs that will be recorded on their next one! Now, an album presentation is often an somewhat emotional happening for a band, and you can usually hear this in their performance. But the amount of passion and love for their music and their ‘Portal to Elfland’ that SeeD put into this show here was astounding! Koen is a natural entertainer, joking and playing with the audience, and I really felt an amazing connection between the musicians and us, the people that were fortunate enough to be there at that time. After the show I didn’t want to stop applauding, and I wasn’t alone in that. The SeeDee’s sold like hot cakes, and rightly so! But I can’t dwell on one show too much, as there was an entire weekend of amazement!

After meeting up with more friends the next show I saw was La Horde on the Forest stage. During the weekend I’ve described them in a Facebook post as crazy-pirate-disco-punk-folk, and I stand by that. I would like to add, to be clear, that this means the absolute right kind of crazy! Watching them perform and do all sorts of crazy stuff on stage, you can’t not be entertained! A tennis match between Mathieu and Arno, “serious” music that moves into Daddy Cool, and to top it all off they cleaned out a local IKEA store and bought loads of pillows for a pillow-fight in the audience, which they started with a “wall of love” during the song ‘Ulfhednar’. As always a combination of pure fun and pure music!

After all this I took some time to get some rest together with some friends and then we got into position to fully experience the wickerman ritual. If you don’t know what that is, this is a ceremony based in ancient traditions. The Celts, among others, are reported to have performed this in the Iron Age. A figure, usually a man, was built from wicker and filled with offerings. After a ritual or ceremony it would then be set alight to send the offerings to their Gods. Castlefest always holds a ritual like that, and this year, with the theme being love, the wicker figure actually consisted of two figures, a man and a woman holding each other. Throughout the weekend people could bring offerings and place them inside the statue. These offerings could be anything. Some will bring traditional gifts for traditional Gods, others will bring a diary which they would like to burn in order to “close another year”. Reasons are always personal, as are the thoughts as to where these offerings are sent. But through the magic of Castlefest hundreds, maybe even thousands of people join in this ceremony and I can honestly say it is always one of the most powerful moments of the year for me. With the amazing sounds of the guiding music, written and composed by Fieke van den Hurk of Orchus Studio, and of Cesair, the procession and ritual have a certain powerful elegance and standing there you just feel connected to every other person witnessing the event. Many a tear will flow each year during this ceremony. Once the wicker was almost completely burned, Cesair, a band that I first encountered at Castlefest a few years ago, started their set and as usual it was amazing! This is a group of very talented people that have such a focus on quality that I personally find it hard to compare them to anyone else at the moment. Two years ago they had an orchestra and choir when they played on the Forest stage, this year they had flame-throwers, which made for a very impressive show!

After this I was quite overwhelmed, and I decided to retreat towards the 24 hour tent on the camp-grounds, where the silent disco, which is actually not very silent if everyone wearing headphones sings and stomps along to the music, the outdoor jam-sessions, the hamburgers, mead and beer, and especially the amazing people, combine to create that very special Castlefest Camping Feel. If you’ve never been in the 24 hour tent I highly recommend that you buy the Castlefanatic ticket next year and join in on the 24 hour fun that starts as early as Thursday morning and can continue until Monday morning, if you wish. I personally do try to get a good four hours of sleep a night, but that’s everyone’s personal choice.


Sunday

Sunday, the last day. And you can feel that realization reverberate through all of the Castlefanatics. One more day to live the life we want to live, one more day of maximum enjoyment!

Once again I found myself late on the festival grounds and the first performance I (half) caught was Theodor Bastard on the forest stage, while I was having some lunch with friends. World music from Russia, it had some very intriguing depths to it. I would really like to see some more concerts of that group.

Then it was off to the Village stage where Cesair was playing and our lovely merch-babe was, ehm, merching. 🙂 Sitting in the shade together with friends, backs to a fence, drinking a cold beer and enjoying the wonderful sounds of one of my favourite bands… life could have been a lot worse.

And then right after the show we saw Fieke being rushed out of the backstage, through the normally closed off path, by a Vana volunteer. As it turned out she was on her way to surprise the people with a guest performance at the Omnia show on the Forest stage. As always, this scene is one big happy family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Since we didn’t have the means to fly to the other stage that quick we decided to stay around the Village stage for the next show, which was Shireen. This is a band that has a sound that is hard to describe, hard to place it in a specific category. So I won’t. I’ll just call it Shireen. Like several other bands at Castlefest you can hear that they focus on quality. The music flows together, and the depth and layers of the songs will let you dream away while wide awake and that makes it perfect for a Castlefest afternoon!

The last performance of the day, and therefore of the festival, was a stomping, heart pounding power-play by Prima Nocta. I first saw them at the Castlefest Winter Edition and I knew then and there that they would be amazing on the Forest stage! The power that they convey from the stage to the audience is amazing and it definitely picked up all of these tired festival goers and gave them a last massive burst of energy!

After this the stages were cleared, the instruments packed, the tech gear broken down and Castlefest 2015 was almost over. I say almost, because different people have different traditions, and there are always some after-parties. The 24 hour tent is one place where Castlefanatics could go to keep the party going a little while longer, but since most people had already left the camp-grounds, leaving only the hardcore campers 😉 you also see groups forming all over the camp-site with people wanting to hold on to that feeling of togetherness, sharing that last bottle of mead, that last beer, that last song, but certainly lots of laughter.


As I come to an end of this report I have to add some things. This report was obviously written from my point of view, and as stated I wasn’t everywhere all the time unfortunately. This means that there are more performance I have not written about then there are those that I did write about. On one hand this is a sad thing, because I would have loved to have given you a full description of the entire festival, but on the other hand it does leave something for you all to dream about without knowing. If you want to know more, then come to Castlefest next year and find out for yourself! 🙂

There is one more thing that I need to mention here. Castlefest originally started out as a market with music, and even though I’ve mainly written about the music here, the market is still a very important part of the festival! You can get anything here, from beads and laces to entire costumes. Drink special ciders, extraordinary meads or maybe a nice fruit smoothie, and don’t even get me started on the food! A friend that came along this year works professionally with food and he was amazed by the quality of just about everything you can get here. I do believe he tried his best to taste everything, I still have to ask him if he succeeded in that mission.

All in all Castlefest has been the highlight of my year for several years now, and I’m certain it will continue to fulfil that role for many years to come. I would invite you all to come see for yourself. There’s just one warning. Over the past years I’ve seen that Castlefest very easily breeds Castlefanatics. This festival is as addicting as they come! Be warned! 🙂

– Arjan








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