Constellation news: Esmerine UK tour dates in December & Jerusalem In My Heart live in the UK in November, plus new video footage‏

October 18, 2013


Esmerine will bring the music from their latest album Dalmak to UK stages during two weeks of live performances starting at the end of November 2013.

The band’s core quartet will be rounded out by 2-3 additional guest players on Turkish string and percussion instruments, including Hakan Vreskala who helped record the Dalmak album in Istanbul last year and recently joined the band for a string of fantastic live dates in Canada.

Here are the tour dates:
05/12/13 Bristol, The Cube
06/12/13 Brighton, St George’s Church
07/12/13 Sheffield, Sheffield Cathedral
08/12/13 Colchester, Colchester Arts Centre
09/12/13 London, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Esmerine are:
Bruce Cawdron (formerly of Godspeed You! Black Emperor), marimba
Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt. Zion, Saltland, Set Fire To Flames), cello
Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Islands), percussion
and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson
European tours in 2011-2012 brought Esmerine to Istanbul, where the group’s enthusiastic reception led to an invitation for an artist residency in the city. Dalmak is the fruit of that visit: the majority of the album was recorded in Istanbul, where the band’s four Canadian musicians were joined by an equal number of Turkish guest players: Hakan Vreskala, Baran Aşık, Ali Kazim Akdağ and James Hakan Dedeoğlu on various instruments.
Dalmak is a Turkish verb with many connotations: to contemplate, to be absorbed in, to dive into, to bathe in, to rush into, to plummet. As a title for Esmerine’s new album, “dalmak” refers in a literal sense to immersion in the culture and music of Istanbul but also appropriately evokes the range of music that emerged from this immersion: a collection of songs that shift between meditative pulsing and enveloping restraint to headlong flights into rhythm and groove. With Dalmak, Esmerine presents some of its most richly minimal and intimate music alongside what is surely its most explosive, energized and ornate.
The album is a tour-de-force of cross-cultural music-making, emotive but unsentimental, deeply textured and detailed but never precious, superbly guided throughout by a balance of DIY rock, new folk and modern classical/contemporary sensibilities. On Dalmak, up-tempo rhythmic songs “Lost River Blues”, “Barn Board Fire” and “Translator’s Clos” are at the album’s core. Marimba, cello, drums, tenor banjo, bass and trumpet are joined by bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama, saz and electric guitar from the local players for these centerpiece tracks, where extended melodic themes are passed around and woven through staccato grooves and polyrhythmic vamps in deeply satisfying fashion. Then, more studied cello and marimba songs “Learning To Crawl” and “White Pine” reveal the album’s gorgeously saturated warmth, depth and pulsing grit.
Listen to two Esmerine tracks via Constellation’s soundcloud page:
“A richness and vibrancy befitting the title and finding Esmerine breaking exciting new ground beyond their more established modes of carefully constructed (and ever beautiful) compositions.” – ROCK A ROLLA
“A thrilling and meaningful conversation…Dalmak is a real achievement for the Canadians…Let’s hope the album is the start of something new.” – NEW INTERNATIONALIST
“[Esmerine] ultimately craft gorgeous, sparkling experimental noises that blur the line between post-rock, minimalist electronica and Turkish folk. It’s a humbling concoction that’s all too easy to get lost in.” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT
“It’s a listen of brutal intensity and beautiful celebration; a true mirror of musical and cultural diversity, chained together at last – they needn’t be continents apart.” – FLUID RADIO
In relating news, Montreal-based experimental music and film performance trio Jerusalem In My Heart will head to Europe for a string of live dates including two UK shows:
04/11/13 Manchester, Islington Mill
06/11/13 Cardiff, Experimentica Festival
JIMH forges a modern experimental Arabic music by wedding melismatic singing in classic Arabic styles and electronic compositions with contemporary electronic production. The debut album Mo7it Al-Mo7it equally emphasizes the intimacy and narrative pace that focused, intentional studio recording allows. The result is a unique and profoundly emotive album of contemporary Arabic music, a stunningly subtle first record for a project that resisted documentation or any sort of fixity for so many years.
Moumneh’s voice has become a powerfully authentic instrument, and his production techniques applying distortion, tape echos and delays to varying degrees transmit a timeless intensity to the recording. Saturated synths and the overdriven signals of Moumneh’s acoustic buzuk and zurna reinforce the reigning sensibility, providing a bracing counterpoint to the vocals and lovely, searching instrumental narratives in their own right. Szlam’s work was the source material for the album’s visual aesthetic. Szlam’s visual creation for the album derives from sequences that echo lunar notions and photographic intervals that reverberate and resonate, evoking the oscillation of time.
While JIMH’s debut album provides an arresting document of the group’s sonics, the project’s full articulation demands a live setting, where the deployment of multiple 16mm film projections assures that these will be breathtaking, revelatory audio-visual happenings.
Check out this tour video which JIMH have unleashed in support of this upcoming live action:
 Finally, you can listen to two Jerusalem In My Heart tracks, also via Constellation’s soundcloud page:
“A gauzy enigma of echo-drenched Arabic vocals, twanging buzuk, and grainy, over-saturated electronics. The sequenced modular synth that pulses through ‘Yudaghdegh al-ra3ey wala al-ghanam’ recalls the neo-kosmische of Emeralds or Jonas Reinhardt, but the keening Arabic vocals take things into more hermetic territory. Other tracks deploy erratic Terry Riley-like organ, while acoustic numbers showcase Moumneh’s powerful voice and mesmeric buzuk runs.” – THE LIST
“The buzuk and zurna are played clean and processed while classic Arabic melismatic singing is melded to electronic textures and found sounds. The effect can be gentle, as on “3andalib Al-Furat”, where an acoustic instrumental is enhanced by birdsong, or far more transformative as on “Yudaghdegh El-Ra3ey Walal-Ghanam” where a pulsing synth undertow brings a glistening modernism to the traditional vocal melodies. The mix between elements shifts from track to track, but there is a common heartfelt yearning and emotion that unifies the album.” – WIRE
“This is a significant trope for strange and powerful music: JIMH might be an art group, but the weight of political debate is not far off. Indeed, the sighing, melismatic vocal of ‘Yudaghdegh El-ra3ey Walal-Ghanam’ speaks volumes. A male
vocal placed over some electronic fuzz and a rhythm racing through a sequencer, it is both wistful and ecstatic.”

“The album builds to a grand scale, with insistent reverberating buzuk leading the breathless charge of vocals and electronics. Even stripped of all but the artwork’s lunar cycle traces of the visual aspect, Mo7it Al-Mo7it is a fascinating and subtly realised work from Jerusalem In My Heart, bringing potentially disparate strands to a unique whole.” – ROCK A ROLLA

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