Tag Archives: SeeD

SeeD Pagan Folk at Fantasía Epica Avalon Summer Faerie Fest 2017

Technical difficulties at Avalon Summer Faerie Fest, but that doesn’t get our friends of SeeD Pagan Folk down!
They just moved their instruments into the crowd and started an unplugged event !



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


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


Review ‘SeeD – Portal to Elfland’ online

Cover (750p) Once more we got a chance to review an album before it’s released, and this time we have had the honour of listening to Portal to Elfland, the first full length album of the Dutch Paganfolk band SeeD. We’ve also asked Koen van Egmond, the band’s lead singer and flautist, to give you some background stories to the tracks.
The band has a strong connection to nature and myth, which resonates through the entire album, just like for instance Omnia, and it is therefore not a surprise to hear strong “early Omnia” influences in their music.

Read all about the wonderful mythology behind the songs that read like fairytales. Get a glimpse into the minds of bands creating new music, and see if you can connect with the thoughts and emotions that this album invokes!


SeeD – Portal to Elfland (2015)

Cover (750p)


Once more we get a chance to review an album before it’s released, and this time we have the honour of listening to Portal to Elfland, the first full length album of the Dutch Paganfolk band SeeD.
As a band they are deeply rooted in nature and myth, and this resonates through the entire album.
We have also asked Koen, the lead singer and flautist of the band, to give a little background information about each track.

Track 1: The Veil

CeltCast: The first song, ‘The Veil’, sets the atmosphere for a mystical journey, which is of course very appropriate for and album which is intended to form a Portal to Elfland. During this track there is some playing going on with the stereo image of the music, which definitely gives it a very mysterious feel.

Koen: An intro that I think speaks for itself and acts as an introduction to open the listener up to the concept of the Portal to Elfland.


Track 2: Portal to Elfland

CeltCast: The second track is also the title track for the album, ‘Portal to Elfland’. The first thing to notice in this song is the very heavy bass presence. The song continues to flow in this mystical atmosphere even through the chorus. There is a depth in this track that gives it an almost shamanistic feel. As a personal preference I would have liked to have heard some more high end in this song, but there’s no accounting for taste is there?

Koen: A song in which the listener experiences the journey of stepping through the portal. You can already hear the creatures that you can encounter, and through the sounds of a creaking ship and turning sails it creates the atmosphere of being on a journey and being carried on the currents through the portal. (Mental image: Think of the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean where the ship goes over the waterfall to Davy Jones’ Locker.)


Track 3: Twilight

CeltCast: Next up is the song ‘Twilight’. If I were to pick one word to describe it it would probably have to be ‘intriguing’. First there is the lightness of the flute, and then comes some deep percussive bass. This song slowly builds to completion from the start. Just over halfway in there is an energy boost that takes control of your body, almost forcing you to move.

Koen: We musically show the onset of the evening. The sky turning from blue to pink, to purple, to red. And the creatures that become active that time of day, along wit hall the mystique of the dark parts of the forest and the rest of the world.


Track 4: May’s Jig of Lunacy

CeltCast: And then comes ‘May’s Jig of Lunacy’. For a track with ‘jig’ in its name it starts of rather slow, but then comes the power! This is in my opinion the first track of the album that clearly shows a connection to the earlier work of Omnia. It’s very powerful, very musical. Heavy on the percussion, this is a very strong song!

Koen: A jig written for the creatures of the Fae world, that don’t like to play according to the rules as set by man. Something we often see in Balfolk dancing. It’s possible to dance a jig to it, but a true Balfolker, fixated on the rules of the dance, will go mad because the steps don’t fall the way he or she would want them to. Lunacy drives people crazy, think about witches that are strongest during a full moon and in the old days would have been labelled crazy and dangerous.





Track 5: Nymph Hunt

CeltCast: Whom among us doesn’t like the idea of a little ‘Nymph Hunt’? This fifth track of the album is also very reminiscent of early Omnia music. Closing your eyes, it’s easy to envision a hunt after beautiful Nymphs, that leads you across streams and through forests, with the Nymphs staying ahead of you, but only just…

Koen: An up-tempo song in which we act out the playfulness of being free in nature, especially the male and female aspects that are always teasing each other. You can see a mental image of a Nymph pretending that she doesn’t want to get caught by the horny Satyr that is chasing her.


Track 6: Torc

CeltCast: Track number six is called ‘Torc’. The intro of the song is very deep, almost as if it’s meant to bring you into a trance. Although the song does climb out if that depth the trance-like state continues. It feels as if this song, in particular the flute, is trying to tell a story. The transitions between energy levels within this song happen so naturally that you can hardly even notice your mood change. A very musical song.

Koen: A song in which we show our faith in totem animals. It starts with Omnia’s ‘Bran’ acting out a raven, but it quickly flows into the ‘Torc’ part that we wrote that symbolises the boar. I myself have already been on a journey with my totem animal the heron for years and the interconnection is becoming stronger every day.


Track 7: Aerie

CeltCast: Where ‘Torc’ starts off deep, the next track ‘Aerie’ starts off high, open, light. A feeling of magic and Fae, and a sense of urgency that this song contains an important story that needs to be told. Close your eyes and find out what that story is…

Koen: A musical representation of the story of Aerie, a character from the well know RPG game series Baldur’s Gate. A winged elf that is viciously robbed of her wings and now has to live among humans without the freedom she once knew and without ever seeing her kind in the high heavens again.





Track 8: Brave

CeltCast: The eighth song signals that we are already halfway through the album, unfortunately. The track isn’t only called ‘Brave’, it’s a song about being brave and finding your own way to change the world around you. This song has some very, very inspiring lyrics! A very powerful song, feeding the soul with feelings of strength and possibilities. I’m loving the positive vibe from this!

Koen: A song that speaks of the hard choice of staying true to ones self or to go with the flow with life and the people around you. The choice to conform yourself tot he more ‘normal’ people or to just be your happy self. In this song we encourage you to be brave, and despite the fact that it can be difficult at times, to stand strong and be yourself.


Track 9: Green Man

CeltCast: Next up is a track with a very familiar name, ‘Green Man’. An iconic figure in Celtic mythology, and very common in neo-pagan circles, the Green man has had many songs written about him, and this song is a worthy addition to that collection. The chants, with a very subtle harmony, create a very danceable ode to this figure of mythology.

Koen: A song in which we honour the Green Man. A leafy face in many shapes and sizes that symbolises the primordial power of nature and the changes that that power can affect.


Track 10: Lady of Laughter

CeltCast: ‘Lady of Laughter’ is, as the title suggests, a very cheerful song. Slightly more up-tempo than some other songs on this album it conjures up images of faeries in the forests and fields, laughing and dancing, lighting up their surroundings with mischief and happiness.

Koen: A female fae that Koen encountered, and with the inspiration that she gave him we wrote this song. In it a message to respect Nature and the Fae, because they can be unrelenting in their retribution.





Track 11: Land of Melancholy

CeltCast: Quite the opposite, the next song ‘Land of Melancholy’ is slower and more down to earth, though one shouldn’t be fooled by the title, the song certainly isn’t depressing in nature. It actually becomes rather powerful further on in the track. The song ends with quite the surprise on the lyrics. I did not expect that.

Koen: A fairytale written by Koen about two lovers who accidentally stumble into the Land of Melancholy and there fall under a spell of the rulers lament, because she has lost her lover. As long as they are enchanted they will dance on the fields of melancholy and will never return to what they left behind in the lands of man. Again a testament tot he unrelenting nature of the Fae.


Track 12: Gathering Mushrooms

CeltCast: Starting with some really nice percussion and the clear and crisp voice of Sara ‘Gathering Mushrooms’ is something different. The song has a familiar feel, even though I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it. The combination of the strong and somewhat heavy percussion and the high and happy sounds of the vocals and flute make for a very interesting and entertaining song!

Koen: A traditional, arranged by Michael Philip McGlynn, known from Anuna. This song is about a bo that sees a beautiful young woman bent over to gather mushrooms early in the morning. He is very taken by her and this ends up in a very intimate loving ritual. (They both ‘sat down’ together, oh)


Track 13: Merry Making

CeltCast: ‘Merry Making’ starts with a similar bass sound to the percussion as ‘Gathering Mushrooms’, but the song picks up almost from the start with very enchanting flute play. Throughout the song there are several changes in rhythm that make this track very fun to listen to. A very merry track, leaving you wanting to join in the making…

Koen: A song written to capture the atmosphere of a flaming campfire, the bottles of mead and the nice music and people at a festival. Somewhere near the end a 7/8′ part, to show that sometimes alcohol can have a different, less happy effect. And also just because it can be nice to write some challenges into more straight folk music to keep the musicians in the crowd entertained.


Track 14: CPPS

CeltCast: The energy in ‘Crazy Pagan Party Song’ reminds me of the happy summer festival feeling of Virelai. Fast rhythms, fast melody, I’m definitely going to want to see this song played on a festival main-stage somewhere, with a few thousand people dancing in circles in front of it! It will wear the dancers out but will give a festival an amazing power-boost!

Koen: Well, this accurately represents the atmosphere of our rehearsals…


I usually choose one track from the album as a favourite, to give some indication, some context, as to how I listen to the album and what I’m looking for. For this album I would definitely have to go with ‘Twilight’. The variations in the song, the different levels, they all make the song very interesting and certainly entertaining!

One thing definitely worth pointing out is the artwork. The band logo, the antlers, the tree bark, everything on the cover comes together in a way that just calling it “artwork” isn’t enough. I would actually call it Art, with intentional capitalization! I do hope they will sell posters of this, because I really want my very own Portal to Elfland at home!

Something that is also very noteworthy about this album is the way in which it was recorded. As opposed to the regular way of going into a studio and recording each instrument separately SeeD had taken a very different approach. Their “studios” were the forest and in some cases a church, and they recorded the track in more of a “live” style, playing together as if they were on stage and in that way capturing the shared vibe on the album.

Overall this album is very interesting in several ways. First simply because of the music. It is music written and played out of a passion, and that is something that you can really hear in every track. The second reason that this album is interesting is because it show a lot of promise. Is it an immaculate album? No, I can’t say perfection has been accomplished. The recording and mixing of the album are good, yet not at par with the major studios in the world. I also believe that Koen’s singing will become more confident, when in time, through practice and experience, it will have improved. But you know what? Even though there are other minor things that I could point at, overall I really love the album! I think it is a gem, a must-have in the Dutch Paganfolk scene, and I am a very happy man for having a copy of it! I can’t wait to see their performance at Castlefest and I am very curious as to what the future has in store for SeeD!


SeeD are:

SeeD (750p)


Koen van Egmond: Burke whistles in F & D, Susato double whistle in C, Sallow flute in D, Xaphoon, Tombak, Offerdalspipa

Lars van Egmond: Backing vocals, guitar and percussion (davul, didge, darbuka and jaw harp)

Sara Weeda: Ashbury Irish bouzouki (open D tuning) called ‘Bronagh’, Brendan White double skin Irish bodhrán called ‘Donar’, Cort Earth acoustic 12-string steel guitar called ‘Ysis’.

Robin Dekker: Dual Cajon, Deer hide, rune infused Shaman drum, Lars’s Davul, Egg shaker, Pigma Micron Fineliners









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