|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Sitar and Slide guitar take their turns on this enchanting CD. It all happened on one late Sunday afternoon. Originally recorded on audiotape to utilise tape warmth and compression, Astra then transferred the tracks to digital recording equipment using minimal EQ to preserve the overtones and harmonies. Additional sounds were recorded digitally. This is a solo project. The minimal instrumentation is reminiscent of some of Ry Cooder’s or Brian Eno’s work.
Roman Astra – Occasional Overtones
Review by Roger Holdsworth
Roman Astra’s first CD (of about nine) was recorded in mid 1999, basically in one session at home in Tasmania.
It features sitar, guitar and voice with a delicate wash of synth to provide a connecting background.
Those original and inspired recordings, with occasional sounds added over the next weeks, form a set of eight “mood pieces” capturing a contemplative atmosphere – and that’s particularly true of the long final piece.
Roman Astra was born in Vienna, studying piano and then guitar as a child.
Then he discovered the sitar (in an op shop!) some time in the 1980s and “felt like I’d always played this thing”.
Since coming to Australia in 1987, he’s been performing solo and with friends, combining Hindustani, Persian, Tibetan, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon influences.
As well as sitar, guitar and voice, his recordings have also featured esraj (Sri Lankan violin), pipa (Chinese lute), beer bottles, hubcaps and telephone book percussion.
Somehow all that sounds both exotic and distinctly Australian!
The atmospheric sounds of Occasional Overtones may draw comparison with artists such as Brian Eno, Michael Brooks and Ry Cooder, but they are also in many ways essentially Australian sounds, drawing inspiration from Tasmanian landscapes as well as the “occasional overtones” inherent in the instruments.
This is music for meditation and quiet enjoyment, rather than dancing.
4 in stock (can be backordered)