Location: Folk voor het WNF 2019 (NL) – Day 1Band/Artist: Philip Steenbergen – Part 1/2—Enjoy (share) our many other videos: :-)https://www.facebook.com/Celtcast/videoshttps://www.youtube.com/CeltCastView pictures of our photography team at:https://www.instagram.com/CeltCastTune in to our volunteer-run radiostation,ad-free Celtic, Folk, Pagan & Viking music:https://www.CeltCast.com/playerVisit our website to read reviews & more:https://www.CeltCast.com
Geplaatst door CeltCast op Vrijdag 27 december 2019
Of course we are hard at work getting every little part of the Fantasy Awards 19/20 organised, but we shouldn’t forget to take a moment to spend time with friends and family. And sometimes, we can combine the two! ^_^
Next Tuesday we will be joined by CeltCast’s good friend Philip Steenbergen for a whole new ‘Live in the Livingroom’ session at CeltCast HQ!
With Philip’s incredible history in the folk scene, his brand new album, (which Cliff just did a review on (see this webpage), and of course his upcoming performance at the Fantasy Awards, we’re quite sure we’ll have loads to talk about. As usual we welcome your questions too! Feel free to ask away here in the comments or in those of the livestream itself which we will be monitoring closely for that real-time interaction! 🙂
Can you put the feel of an early spring morning on a CD? If you are a talented musician like
you can. With Prelude he has written and recorded the perfect soundtrack for a lovely sun-filled April morning drama movie. Prelude is filled with twelve instrumental songs that combine the magic of folk- and world music with touches of gypsy cheerfulness, prog-rock twists, and contemporary music quality. Philip felt no boundaries while writing the material for Prelude. No, on the contrary, he clearly used only one criterion: ‘if it sounds right, use it.’ and that makes Prelude a lovely album, that I highly recommend to any contemporary music lover.
Philip Xander is a Dutch multi-instrumentalist who started his folk career as the guitarist of
and is now dividing his time between the gypsy-, chanson-, klezmer- and Balkan folk band
in which he plays eastern/Arabic percussion and the Irish folk band
in which he plays guitar and mandolin. Besides that, he often accompanies musicians like
during their live shows
And now I hold his first solo album Prelude in front of me. A CD he recorded with the help of his friends:
Anouk Platenkamp (harp);
Judith Renkema(double bass);
Otto de Jong (drums, tabla, and percussion);
Erwin Tuijl (piano, keys, Rhodes, synths, harmonium, therevox)
and of course Philip himself on guitar, mandolin, darbuka, and frame drum. Philip also composed and produced all the songs and Erwin Tuijl was responsible for the recording, mixing and producing of Prelude.
Philip playing New Heart, New World from his first solo album Prelude
The new album Prelude
Philip Xander isn’t the person to claim the spotlight, so Prelude is not an acoustic guitar solo extravaganza. No, it really is a collection of lovely songs with a real band feel to them, starting with the lovely song Drifting; a beautiful tender guitar melody that I could listen to for hours. Although it is only Philip on guitar playing this song, I would not call it a solo. It is a melody, a thought, a feeling put down to music. Seamlessly it flows over into Children of Chance. A fun, slightly jazzy cross between a gypsy folk song and a contemporary pop song with a piano melody that could have been written by
This really IS spring in music form: lovely and funny with so many interesting melodies. The show is stolen, not by Philip, but by the beautiful violin of Anne Bakker. Gypsy style violin, distorted psychedelic sounds, gracious classical melodies, she does it all. What a lovely start to this CD.
After the slightly odd intermezzo of First Rites, Prelude continues with another beautiful instrumental ballad: Generations. ‘Tender’ is the word for this song. A tender piano melody to start it, tender guitar playing by Philip to continue it, and a tender transition of tempo halfway through the song representing the different generations -question mark- who knows. You make up your own mind. In the meantime just enjoy the musical experience.
And that experience continues with a huge smile on my part when I hear the cheerful mandolin melody that starts the fifth song: Dawn. Philip and his friends have really managed to capture the feeling I get when I go out in the wild before sunrise. The feeling I have sitting somewhere along the water’s edge, waiting for the world to wake up.
As I said the power of Prelude is that it doesn’t sound like a solo escapade. Philip didn’t write twelve guitar solos. No, he wrote twelve real songs, sometimes dreamy, sometimes folky, sometimes just acoustic guitar songs, and sometimes all of those at once. As you can hear in Nadir – Zenith. The song starts off really dreamy, then picks up speed to become a nice acoustic guitar song only to speed up again and have the talented Emelie Waldken join in with her Nyckelharpa, making it a lovely contemporary dreamy folk song.
In the first section and most of the second section of Prelude– the record is divided into 3 sections of each four songs- the album is a lovely sweet instrumental CD, drifting between dreamy acoustic guitar melodies and enjoyable folk tunes. With Gallery of Faces Philip introduces a new tone. a wee bit harsher, a wee bit more psychedelic. As if the innocence of youth is gradually lost. As if something went wrong in this lovely musical dream world.
This tone is continued on the third and last section of Prelude. The song The Puzzlebox is played on a baritone guitar, making it sound lower, more ‘adult’ to me. On Enthaos we really start to hear Philips psychedelic side. Still subtle, still tender, but clearly shifting towards the style of Jyoti Verhoeff. It contains an odd, somewhat jazzy melody that seems to be played on a xylophone; and piano chords that -for a brief second- reminds me of a famous
song and I’m loving it all. I am loving The Puzzlebox’s ‘weirdness’, its uniqueness. Philip’s subtle play with emotions within the music.
The psychedelic tones of Enthaos flow effortlessly into Children of Suffering. Again a song that breaches the gap between dream folk and Jyoti Verhoeff’s contemporary avant-garde style. Children of Suffering has a fuller, more poppy arrangement than the other songs on prelude. Partly because of the full hammond organ and other keyboard sounds, and partly because of the full string sound under it. Not to mention the grand prog-rock finale, full drums, keys, and strings, all coming together in a sudden stop. Philip did mention his solo album would be [quote]: “An instrumental art-folk concept album, blending various kinds of folk- and world music with contemporary influences and psychedelic undertones.” Well in Children of Suffering he brings all of this together
Coloured Smoke is the perfect, balanced ending to a wonderful debut CD. Highly recommended to those who love contemporary music in the style of
or the Dutch band
There is a clear story flowing through the CD, but it is done so subtle that you can either choose to take the music as is, as lovely melodies to enjoy, or dive into the music and create your own story while listening. Either way Philip and his friends have created a beautiful album, that will make many, many more rounds in my CD player. I have absolutely no doubts about that.
This was a busy week with family gatherings, work and a visit to
Folk voor het WNF 2019
Folk voor het goede doel
(Folk for charity). In the meantime, I listened to the albums below to add them to our new radio server. In not too long, we will count down to the exciting moment when our new server will go live. Keep an eye on my posts for extra updates! For now, enjoy reading about the new albums and listening to the music! 🎶
Gwendolyn Snowdon – Free People (2019) – one track – Battle Hymn of the Free People ft. Fiona Rüggeberg 👩👩👧👦
In the beginning of June, Alex and I were at our place in the forest to recharge ourselves. The sun was shining through the trees and a message was sent to us… It was a message from Gwendolyn which contained her new song “Free People”, which she wrote herself and features Fiona (of FAUN) and Fieke van den Hurk of Dearworld Studio, where it was also recorded. Of course, we listened to this beautiful song! We are looking forward to more of these beauties! The ‘Warrior Women Choir’ in the song consists of talented musicians like
Lies Sommer, Coca Roman Music, Hester de Boer, Abigail Bakker, Sanne van Gend, Meidi Goh and Rikke Linssen!
I have no album to show you, but I will show you the cover, photo made by Anouk Pross Photography! 👨👨👧👦
Philip Steenbergen – Prelude (2019) 🎸
A couple of weeks ago, Philip also send us a message regarding his new album. And…. we listened to it and we were stunned! It’s beautiful! Last weekend we went to Folk voor het WNF 2019, where Philip was performing too. He played a solo show with songs of his new album and he played a set with his band Withershins. Of course, we brought his new album home and advise you to listen to these magical guitar sounds! We can’t play every song on CeltCast, but there are five songs that definitely fit our format. 😍
Triakel – Handelser I Nord (2019) 🗻
Last week I told you that we have news about Triakel! So yes, here is their new album! It’s beautiful Swedish folk music, completely fitting our format. The album has a booklet with 48 (!) pages with lyrics, archive material (old photographs) and background stories about the songs. A beautiful album to have and to listen to! 🥰
FAUN – Faun and the Pagan Folk Festival – Live (2008) 🍃
This is an older live album of our friends of Faun. Because it’s a live album, it was difficult to find the songs we can play on our radio, but we can play half. On this CD, you can hear ‘Sieben’ and ‘IN GOWAN RING‘ too. The booklet has 40 (!) pages with photos, lyrics and background information. This album brings the real concert experience! 🤩
– Tandem (2006) 👣
This album of Naragonia is beautiful for our balfolk friends. Lovely music for dancing (Scottish, Tricot, Waltz, Circles, Mazurka) and of course to listen to! The booklet contains a description of the songs in Dutch, English and French! 💃
Rapalje Celtic Folk Music – Clubs (2012) ♣️♥️
Here they are again, our Dutchmen of Rapalje! This album is one of a series: Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs. Seven tracks and seven beauties which all will be played for you! ♠️♦️
Versengold – In Namen des Folkes (2012) ⚔️
One of my favourite albums from Germany! The music is diverse and the violin players are amazing! I love the songs ‘Sturmtanz’, an instrumental track, and ‘Vom Zauber des Wildfräuleins’ which, like many other tracks on this CD, contains quite a narrative. 📖
Celtic Myst – The Christmas Collection (2003) 🎄
A compilation album of diverse artists, all with beautiful Christmas songs. We played it during the holidays and at the end of next year, you will hear them on our radio. But first, we have to start with 2020 and enjoy the lengthening of the days before the dark days before Christmas will be upon us again. ☃️
We’re very happy that these beautiful CD’s have been processed: ❤️
Gwendolyn Snowdon – Free People (2019) – one track
Philip Xander – Prelude (2019)
Triakel – Handelser I Nord (2019)
Faun – Faun and the Pagan Folk Festival – Live (2008)
Naragonia – Tandem (2006)
Rapalje – Clubs (2012)
Versengold – In Namen des Folkes (2012)
Celtic Myst – The Christmas Collection (2003)