Tag Archives: Sowulo

Sowulo releases Grima!
A storybook put to music

Alex isn’t that much of a writer. But sometimes, when he feels something deeply, the words just pour out of his fingers. That is exactly what happened when he listened to Fæcele, one of the two songs featured on the Grima, the newest album of Sowulo that is now available as a digipack:

‘Every time Fæcele passes on our music stream, I feel so proud that we are allowed to play this beautiful song as our Monthly Marker. The build-up, the emotion, the depth of the song. Hearing all this I am so looking forward to the release of the grima Digipack (and to a campfire somewhere deep in the Nordic woods, but that is another story). I just feel that Grima will give us a chance to (in our minds at least) return to the world before Corona, where we all felt safe.
This song touches the extacy I felt hearing Heilung for the first time and I cannot wait to see Sowulo perform this live!’



High praise indeed! Want to know more about Sowulo’s latest release in a review written by our Cliff, as always just follow the link: LINK

Sowulo – Grima (2020) review



Once there was, and once there wasn’t.
One thing comes to pass, and the other doesn’t.
Two families fought before men walk the earth.
Out the peace they then wrath, followed unlively birth.
After many moons bloodshed, spears set aside.
In a great hall, they met to turn the red tide.
A cauldron was set in the midst of the thing. The anguish went out and the spittle went in.
From saliva of all, the wisest became, destined to fall and Kvasir his name….


With these words Grima, Sowulo’s new album, starts. A rather unconventional way for a Nordic folk band, but Sowulo was never meant to be a conventional band in the first place. Starting out as a musical project founded by Faber Hornbach to celebrate the pagan holidays, it developed into a musical journey deep into our pagan heritage. (Which for me as a dutch person mean the times of the Batavi and the Frisians, part of the west- and North Germanic tribes that inhabited western and northern Europe around the Roman times). And we are doing it through Faber’s eyes, traveling with him to the days of the Northern Germanic tribes. The times were stories were told of the worlds flanking Yggdrasil. Storys of the plights of the gods and their interactions with dwarves, giants, elves, and all the other mythical creatures living in the nine worlds


Just a year ago Faber surprised us with Mann, a personal Nordic folk album, really powerful and tribal, in which he searched for his inner warrior, lover, king and musician, in a way discovering his own person and his place in the ever-turning circle of life. Mann ended up being a very intense and beautiful pagan folk album, sung in Anglo-Saxon. An album that took me a while to fully understand, but I now count as one of the better Nordic folk albums in my collection.
Fast forward a cycle of the sun and we have a new Sowulo album. Part of it already came out as a digital album on Bandcamp, and again it was a huge surprise as it consists of stories, not songs! And not just any old stories. No, Faber and storyteller Niek van Eck traveled back in time to the days of Asgard, when Odin ruled the nine worlds, and Ragnarok was just a small ripple in the future to come. Stories that ended up being written down in the Edda, the basis for all our knowledge of the Nordic myths and legends. Three of those stories made it onto Grima. Three stories based around the main theme of faith and destiny. Especially the futile struggle to escape your own destiny, be you a giant, man or god.
Triumph Over Tears, the third story for example, tells about the faith of Baldr, the son of Odin and his wife Frigg. It starts with the discovery of the Gods that Baldr was destined to die, and in their futile attempt to stop this from happening, they actually became responsible for his death! A death that otherwise may not even have happened.



Spātle Ǣghwās, the first single inspired by Grima is based on the ‘Saliva of all’ storytel-track

Gungnirs Gap, the fourth story on Grima, is even clearer in its message. It tells of Odin who discovers that the Norns, the ones weaving and breaking the threads of life, manage to laugh at faith while doing so, totally bewildering Odin, who in the end discovers that even for him, the mightiest god there is, trying to avoid faith is futile.
The opening track Saliva Of All and Beguiled By Blood Brew together form the longest story on Grima. It tells about the faith of Kvasir. The wisest of all, whose fate was to be killed by greed, and whose blood was turned into the mead of poetry, the mead that even to this day gives us the beauty of poetry, music, and stories.

It is clear that Niek van Eck (left), our narrator in this world of ancient sagas did indeed ask Odin for a drop of inspiration, as did Faber because Grima is as impressive an album as Mann is in its own unique way. From the first sentences of Saliva Of All, it is clear that Niek is a gifted story teller. He has a pleasant, deep, strong voice that fits these old Nordic stories perfectly. All told in English, his stories manage to captivate me time and time again. Even now, after listening to them for a fifth time, writing this review. He knows perfectly well when to slow the pace of his story, or when to speed it up to keep you captivated, and also when to change his tone of voice to emphasize a certain phrase or sentence.

Faber in his own right complements Niek very well. He took the stories and composed music under it, creating a perfect soundtrack to support every story Niek is telling. The best compliment I can give Faber is that the music never takes the foreground. While listening you tend to forget about it although you know it is there. The drums; the nyckelharpa; the strokes of the jouhikko; the gentle touch of the lyre; and the mythical sounds of the synth play some lovely repetitive themes that fit the stories very well. They lay a beautiful carpet on which Nieks words find a perfect resting place, changing rhythm and tune to emphasize every new chapter Niek is starting in his stories, but they never take over.
Only at the end of the last story, at the end of Gungnirs gap, Faber finally lets the music flow freely and lets the instruments tell their own story of fate, destiny and human nature. A perfect ending to a lovely storytelling album.
Now Grima, in the form it was released on April 2020, would never have made it to the CeltCast review pages, as we are an acoustic music station. But luckily on the digipack, there are two bonus tracks, and they deserve just as much attention as the four beautiful stories I told you of above.



With Spātle Ǣghwās and Fæcele, Faber took the musical themes he used in the stories and transformed them into two lovely songs, sung in old Anglo-Saxon. That might sound a bit odd for a nordic folk album at first, an old English language? Not if you know the history of it. Anglo-Saxon was the language spoken by the Germanic tribes living in the north of Germany all the way up to the top of Denmark. It was those tribes who, together with the Frisians, from 375 AD onwards made the jump to east England after the Romans left there, driving the original Celtic inhabitants of England outwards to Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, where Gaelic still lives today. So it is actually a north Germanic language

The first thing you notice when listening to Spātle Ǣghwās is the truly stunning voice of Emilie Lorentzen, best known as the backing vocalist of Euzen and Heilung. She lifts the already very powerful, atmospheric folk of Sowulo into new heights, her voice effortlessly shifting from angelic hights to intensely piercing, she puts the crown on this historic folk ballad, inspired by the story of the birth of Kvasir.
Fæcele is a faster song that’s perfectly in line with the music we heard on Mann. It shares the strong male vocals, the nyckelharpa, and drums from Mann, but adds a certain feminine touch to it, especially through the classical influences and atmospheric vocals halfway in the song.
While the music under the four stories is played by Faber alone, on Spātle Ǣghwās and Fæcele he is joined again by his fellow bandmate and Celtic harp player Chloe Bakker. Furthermore, we hear Rikke Linsen (Pyrolysis) on Violin and Heleen de Jonge on Cello.
Faber has written yet another chapter in the story of Sowulo, a story that is as exciting as it is unexpected. I can’t wait for what the next page of their story will bring, I guess I will just have to wait till the wheel of life turns once more. But until then I will keep enjoying the ancient myths of the north, and the ancient sounds of the Northern hemisphere, clearly touched by the meade of poetry, the blood of Kvasir himself.

Cliff

(For those who can’t get enough of the old Nordic saga, here is one more, recorded in 2016, just before Sol was released. In this case the narator is Eugene, and it is told in Dutch, but with English subtitles.
Enjoy! )




Cliff

Editor: Sara
Cover art:Tim Elfring
Pictures:
Cliff de Booy (1)
Rebeca Franko Valle (2)
Samantha Evans (3 and Grima video covers)

Credits Ginnungagap Story video:
Video production by Jasper van Gheluwe | Deer and Wolf Productions
Soundtrack by Faber Horbach | Auroch Audio Productions

Sowulo is in need of a Viola!

Within the north Ever wanted to join a Nordic Pagan folk band? Well here may be your chance! Sowulo is looking for an additional musician!

Are you a viola player or do you know somebody who is, please let them know!
The perfect match would be somebody who is used to play in a group like an orchestra or even better a string assemble. Somebody who has a classical background but feels lured by the music of Sowulo .
The only requirement is that you live in the Netherlands and willing to rehearse (and possibly record) in the city of Arnhem.

Reactions can be sent to this webpage!

Sowulo releases a new album GRIMA



Last Monday Sowulo announced that their new album GRIMA will be released coming friday, the 3th of april. according to Faber: “In the last past months I worked on the upcoming Sowulo album. Again I did my best to do something unexpected. I teamed up with Tumulus to create something truly unique.
The upcoming GRIMA album contains an immersive combination of Storytelling and Atmospheric music. Tumulus aka Niek van Eck did what he does best: storytelling like a mad skald-wizard, and I had to honour to add some cinematic tune to it.
We recorded GRIMA from a place of deep presence, rooted in ancient stories of wisdom.’
The artwork, Faber told us: ‘Consists of drawings by Niek van Eck edited by Jasper van Gheluwe .
Friday the 3th of April, American time, GRIMA will be digitally released on all the major platforms and smaller platforms, including Spotify and Sowulo’s Bandcamp page here, where we can all listen the album for the first time. Expect stories of Nordic saga told by Tumulus with compositions by Faber Horbachs hand under it. Indeed something truly unique.
The physical album release will take a bit longer. But just might be worth the wait. Of course will keep you informed on that.

picture by: Rebeca Franco Valle

Hello music lovers! 🎼

The last days of the year 2019 are passing by fast! Especially now that we are working so hard to have the new server up and running in the new year. The majority of our old collection has been reassessed and transferred to the new server. We are processing new music these days immediately upon arrival! We are so happy that we can show you the results quickly! Below are some featured albums that were processed this week. Have fun reading and of course, we are curious about which acoustic folk music you like!

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Sowulo – Dageraad (2016) Sowulo released a new album this year (review dd 24th Oct, made by Cliff de Booy), but the CD you see in the picture is an older one from 2016. This one contains only one song, namely ‘Dageraad’. This single was intended as a sponsorship campaign for a full album. The album in question was released soon after and was called ‘Sowulo – SOL (2016)’, on which ‘Dageraad’ was, of course, featured once again. Did you know? A couple of band members are also members of ‘Heilung‘! 🍂

OMNIA – World of Omnia (2009) This band regularly comes back in my reports. Omnia has made so many albums! On this one, they name their development: “What we were, what we are and where we are going… welcome to our World”. There are two live songs on it, five older songs as a remake and seven new songs. My personal favourites on this album are: “Old Man Tree”🍁 and “Dil Gaya” (trad. Hindi). The album is beautifully designed again with a booklet with nice photos, the lyrics and the origin of some songs. Very happy with our signed version! 🌳

Jyoti Verhoeff – Phoenix (2012) Jyoti is one of my favourite artists and she made this album together with the talented cello player Maya Fridman. The songs are often focused on nature and that what’s important in life. The album, signed for us 😊, is beautifully made with a booklet with atmospheric photos and lyrics (Sander Van Den Berg, Yana Kovtun and Jyoti herself). I cannot choose a favourite song… Sit down and let yourself be carried away on the beautiful magical sounds. 💚

Rapalje Celtic Folk Music – Rakish Paddies (2003) This is something completely different. Time for an Irish party and a good glass of beer? Then it’s time for Rapalje! The album is a mini-book, the CD itself is in the back. The booklet contains beautiful paintings of the band members. Rakish Paddies’ contains no less than 21 songs since it actually is a collection of three albums into one: Celts in Kilts (1997), Rakish Paddy (1999) and Wack Fol the Daddy-O (2000). 🍺

AmorromA – Op Voyage (2001)Their Facebook page states: “AmorromA, the musical brainchild of Jowan Merckx, is a Belgian folk band that creates its own music based on traditional music from all over Europe”. In the booklet, they tell us that they have made a musical journey with a couple of friends of musicians from too many bands to mention. 😁 The different types of flutes are central on this album. Probably also a favourite album for our Balfolk friends (Mazurka, Bourrée, Scottish)! My favourite is ‘Over de grens’ (translated into English: ‘Across the border’). For me, as I Dutch lady, Belgium is also ‘just’ across the border. 👣

Irfan – Irfan – remaster (2019) This album is a remaster of the album ‘Irfan – Irfan (2003)’. Not a new album, but the old album recorded with much better listening quality. For CeltCast as a folk radio station, this older album is on the border in terms of format, but still we will play a couple of songs of this remastered version. 🕌

Ranarim – Morgonstjarna (2006) Unfortunately, this band no longer exists, because … I love their work! Beautiful folk music from Sweden! All 15 songs will be played on our radio station. Folk music to dance to and to dream away by. Beautiful voices and folk instruments. The album also contains a Christmas song. All the lyrics are in the booklet (in Swedish, of course). 🥰

Prima Nocta – Lost in Time (2017) Of course, the savage men of Prima Nocta also belong on our radio station. 🙂 We can play 11 of the 15 songs, since they fit our format. The album and booklet contain beautiful drawings by Bart van Nieuwerburgh. Listen to the energetic Medieval, Viking and Celtic sounds. When you see them play live, you also see these beautifully savage men in equally beautiful historical clothing. ⚔️

Triakel – Triakel (1998) Last week I already told you about this Swedish folk music. This is another album of this fantastic band! And, I have news for you… soon… we’re going to play songs of their newest album! I’m going to tell you more about that later. 😍

Kallidad – The Awakening (2017) In November I already told you about our meeting with the Australian band Kallidad at Elfia. On this album there are only two songs we can play, but I’m really happy about that. If you need some energy… put this album in the player and I promise you… you can’t sit still! 🎭

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We’re very happy that these beautiful CD’s have been processed: ❤️

Sowulo – Dageraad (2016)
Omnia – World of Omnia (2009)
Jyoti Verhoeff – Phoenix (2012)
Rapalje – Rakish Paddies (2003)
amoRRoma – Op Voyage (2001)
Irfan – Irfan – remaster (2019)
Ranarim – Morgonstjarna (2006)
Prima Nocta – Lost in Time (2017)
Triakel – Triakel (1998)
Kallidad – The Awakening (2017)

🎶🎵🎶

That’s it for now. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule and a Musical New Year!🎄

Festive greetings, Ilona CeltCast 💫✨

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