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Karda Estra - Eve

Karda Estra - EveThere may be little or no prog on UK radio these days but TV and films are a different matter.  OK, you’d be hard pressed to find actual tracks lifted from prog albums but I would say that half of all TV dramas, documentaries, many films and a great many advertisements have specially commissioned music that has prog tendencies.  Check the closing credits and you may be surprised to find the incidental and/or theme music is composed by musicians generally associated with prog and if you don’t recognise the musician it is worth noting the name and searching the web for more information and CD’s by the same musician.  There’s a lot of good stuff out there if you take the bother to look.  Prog can be atmospheric, haunting, evocative, and emotive, all ideal qualities for soundtracks.

Karda Estra is Richard Wileman’s project.  Prior to Karda Estra, Richard, who is heavily involved in scoring music for films, released a couple of albums on the SI label under the Lives And Times banner. 

Eve is the third Karda Estra album and is quite unique as it combines both prog and classical styles utilising original instruments rather than sampled sounds.  Inspired by the sci-fi story ‘The Future Eve’ (by Villiers de L’Isle Adam in 1886) and films such as Bride Of Frankenstein, where man creates (the perfect?) woman, the album is an instrumental affair with lyric-less vocals (Ileesha Bailey) used as yet another instrument.  With the advances being made in genetic engineering today it may not be long before sci-fi becomes reality.  Of course, they’d have to isolate the gene for a perfect woman first so it may never happen (I’m in trouble now!).

Using a compact chamber instrument group comprising of Helen Dearnley (violin), Caron Hansford (oboe, cor anglais), Zoe King (flute, alto saxophone, clarinet) and Rachel Larkins (viola, violin), Richard (as you would expect being a composer of soundtracks) paints a picture of Eve, exploring the atmospheric and emotional aspects of the concept.  The addition of subdued keyboards, unobtrusive bass guitar and Hackettesque classical and electric guitars (all played by Richard) subtly alter the overall classical effect with the inclusion of prog, but don’t expect ‘rock’ as there is no raucous bombast normally associated with prog rock.  This is a ‘grown-ups’ album for those seriously into music.  The melodies are haunting and often send a shiver down the spine helped by Richards’s ethereal electric guitar style (think of Hackett’s Hands of the Priestess Part I and Shadow of the Hierophant off Voyage of the Acolyte) and something akin to a theremin sound.

Eve is a work of art and a must for instrumental lovers.  The sound of oboe brings back memories of Gryphon and the only other use of the chamber effect mixing classical with prog to my recollection is Lloyd-Webber’s Variations, but that unlike this was not entirely original.  Richard is currently recording the next Karda Estra album, Titan, to be released later this year.  In the meantime, enjoy the beauty of Eve.

If you can’t wait to hear Karda Estra, you can listen to some MP3’s at http://www.mp3.com/kardaestra (check out Andraiad).

Jem Jedrzejewski

Karda Estra

 

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