THERIANTHROPE XI: PAUL SAX
It’s been a long while since I presented you an update regarding the ongoing Therianthrope recording sessions. A lot of work has been done behind the curtains, a lot, to make sure that your waiting will worth it. So today with a great excitement, I can announce one of the most intriguing guests musicians. His name is Paul Sax, a violinist best known by his work with the pioneers of British progressive rock scene Curved Air. Paul has added some of his gorgeous improvisations to some of the key pieces of Theiranthrope. I’ve always thought of violin to be one of the most emotional instruments, and in the right context and played by an acknowledged master of the instrument, it does enrich the tunes with more deepness. Paul Sax is an amazing and inventive player and a very kind, generous and open minded person, so I must say, it is truly an honor for me to be able to introduce him as a guest on my best to date work. And I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I do.
THERIANTHROPE X: RECORDING WITH ELVYA AND DYIAN
It has been a fantastic day for me and for Therianthrope yesterday. I’ve booked a small musical venue to record some fabulous dulcimer playing by Transport Aerian’s guest Elvya, of whom I was talking in this blog post some time ago. She is pretty known by her absolutely fabulous solo project, that I recommend to anyone who loves very high quality yet absolutely spiritual and sincere music and by her appearance on one of the creations by Ayreon.
She has a beautiful singing voice and her main instrument is a hammered dulcimer, an exotic string instrument, that she plays masterfully.
She added this majestically sounding ancient instrument’s parts for a couple of songs of Therianthrope and participated in weaving of Abstract Symphony. The whole session took slightly less time than I expected as Elvya appeared to have a sensational grip on harmony and improvisations and did almost everything I expected in one or two takes.
But the surprise was still yet to come. It turned out that she was accompanied by a friend, a Polish folk musician who just happened to be around these days, and who also happened to be no other but Dyian, known by his performances with a slightly modified exemplar of Hurdy-Gurdy. And he brought that to the recordings and kindly agreed to lay a few parts on the opener song! I have had a fortune to videotape fragments of them both playing and I promise for a small video to be published in the nearest times! The man also appeared to be of a very sweet and friendly personality, and brought and incredible vibe to the whole thing.
So I watched him rolling that handle and creating sounds that felt like coming right from the 9th century, when this instrument has initially been created.
And in the end of the session I also appeared to be a happy owner of a physical copy of Elvya’s album The Untold Stories, which I can cordially recommend to absolutely everyone, be them prog-fans or not, as its probably one of the strongest independent artist works I’ve heard in the last couple of years. As far as I know, the album is still available and you can get it by contacting Elvya via her official page or following this link.
Overall that has been an extremely productive and very pleasureful experience with exotic instruments, free thinking and friendly musical fellows.
THERIANTHROPE IX: DYIAN
Sometimes amazing things happen unexpectedly. Today I’ve had a recording session with the amazing Elvya to put on tape some of her astonishing hammered dulcimer improvisations, and she brought a friend to the recording session who happened to be no other but Dyian, a polish folk hurdy gurdy player, who has also kindly agreed to play some additions with his exotic ancient instrument. So here I am to announce another guest on therianthrope album.
THERIANTHROPE VIII: RACHEL BAUER
A woman’s touch can change a lot. In some cases, like it happened with my previous work Darkblue,it can change everything. Despite that Therianthrope is more of a one-actor-theater, I consider some haunting, deeply dark female voice to be an absolute necessity, to tell some parts of the story, or just to be there when its needed. The choice is obvious, and the next guest on the album is no one else but Rachel Bauer, a lady who shaped a lion share of visuals, and a lot of sound and atmosphere on Darkblue will also play a role of spoken word narrator/backing vocalist on Therianthrope, although her role this time will be slightly less significant due to the matter of the concept.
THERIANTHROPE VII: STEFAN BOEYKENS
Right from the start of current incarnation of Transport Aerian, he was there. A brother in arms, and on of the essential fulcrums of project’s live sound. Sadly, we only occasionally experienced studio work together, so it is decided to make it a little different this time. You’ve already guessed: Stefan Boeykens, Transport Aerian’s irreplaceable live line up guitar player is to provide some guitar textures for some pieces on the album. He has a very special sound and style rooting in the classic guitar and his parts will surely be a beautiful addition to the organizingly chaotic canvas of both Therianthrope and The Abstract Symphony parts of the album.
THERIANTHROPE VI: ELVYA
Do you like your music haunting and with a touch of something exotic and vivid, as much as I do? From the start, I wanted this project to operate on different musical levels, so the touch of some exotic yet beautiful soundshapes were needed. So let me introduce you a very special guest on Therianthrope album. Her name is Elvya, and she is known as much by her astonishingly haunting and beautiful solo work that has been released this year, as much as by her work with Ayreon. She plays a very special medieval instrument called hammered dulcimer. It’s sound and her personality will add some special flavor to the project that you soon will be able to taste yourself.
THERIANTHROPE V: PETER MATUCHNIAK
I seldom work with other guitarists than myself in studio. The fact that I decided to change it this time does imply a cordial compliment to the guitar player that I am honored to introduce today as a part of Therianthrope. Peter Matuchniak, known by his work with Gekko Project and many others, is to collaborate with Transport Aerian this time, to provide some of his signature melodic tones as well as some proggy guitarscape extravaganzas. Combining a crafty jazz-influenced technique and a deep knowledge of guitar effects, Peter will be a great textural addition to the melodic side of the Abstract Symphony and Therianthrope.
THERIANTHROPE IV: MARCO RAGNI
Italy appears to thrive with highly unusual, open and unique minds, and so does it attract such, remembering stunning success of Peter Hammill there. One of the dearest guests on Therianthrope is Italian multi-instrumentalist Marco Ragni, MRR brother-in-arms with roots in psychedelic scene, for whose most recent creation Land Of The Blue echoes (also starring, among many others, legendary Durga McBroom of Pink Floyd and the underground champion Colin Tench of Corvus Stone) I have had an honor to play some bass. Marco Ragni’s vision will play a significant part in the Abstract Symphony and he is also to provide some synths and guitars on the other songs of the album.
THERIANTHROPE III: DARREN BRUSH
I’ve always had a feeling that extended harmonic instruments would be in the right place in my music. So while the bass guitar player is still to be announced, now it is time to introduce the other side of rhythm section of the Therianthrope project. A stick player, a progressor and a free thinker, Darren Brush is joining efforts to provide some melodic experiments and investigate the rhythmical spaces of both album part and the Abstract Symphony.
THERIANTHROPE II: INTRODUCING THE DRUMMER
A band is only as good as a drummer is. That’s why for Therianthrope the care is taken for the best and most matching drummer to be in charge. Thus, I have a privilege to introduce you Bart Van Roy, a great musician, a good friend who already did some work for Transport Aerian many years ago, and now back to business. His drumming technique combines the power of a rock drummer and finesse of progressive approach. He is the first to be introduced for you, among the many of amazing musicians who will be taking part in Therianthrope album.
It has all started now. The first sketches of sound are brought into this world. More considerations and visuals are soon to be given.