Ensemble Voyagers - Two Songs from Okinawa

Ensemble Voyagers

 

Ensemble Voyagers - Two Songs from Okinawa

Ensemble Voyagers – Two Songs from Okinawa

 

ARTIST NAME: Ensemble Voyagers:

Daniele Montagner + Shinobu Kikuchi

 

SONG TITLE:

Asadoya Yunta

 

Chinsagu No Hana

 

ALBUM TITLE: Two Songs from Okinawa

 

GENRE: Traditional/World

 

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The Ensemble Voyagers created by Daniele Montagner is an “open” ensemble dedicated to the exploration of musical jewels ranging from the roots of Western civilization to the traditions of non-European cultures, passing through medieval music to the present day.

 

With the use of original musical instruments or made according to the organology in vogue, a sound journey is undertaken through the aesthetics that has represented and continues to represent the history of humanity, its roots, and its evolution.

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

We try to use mainly original musical instruments or made according to the musical organology of the various ages and ethnic groups that we decide to play, infusing the sound with a contemporary approach.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

It is clear that the music business has changed radically over the last twenty years. Currently, the music business is almost 50% divided between those who use digital distribution and those who still use CDs, vinyl records.

 

It is the “single” fashion return, and currently, everyone composes his own playlist based on his own tastes and the use he intends to make of them, and this was already done with CDs.

 

However, the problem remains that of royalties and product quality.

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State your experience as a musician.

I am a “mercurial” person and I am fascinated and interested in new technologies. Certainly you can’t improvise and honestly, I struggled a lot to be able to understand, adapt and use the new digital modes. I was used to and still tied to the artist’s somewhat romantic relationship I play, and the organizers and those in charge of business do the rest. I had a quick change and had to do it myself, it wasn’t easy.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

The music business as I said has changed a lot and music piracy and illegal file-sharing is a problem for artists. The musical fruition changes with the evolution of society and technology, it is normal. The digital business prefers the “single” as I said before, or an album of two or three songs. Therefore, marketing and promotion strategies and the relationship between artist and consumers are also changing. Each artist then makes his choices.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

We are shortly planning a new record release of an instrumental medieval dance and probably a musical journey in ancient Greece and then we change course and we set sail for new projects…

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

Jordi Savall, Carlos Santana, Elton John, Pink Floyd, and the Italian singer Cecilia Bartoli.

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Tell us your best song up to date.

The artistic creations are like children, there are no favourites and once they are done they follow their path. I would, however, like to point out one that many will surely know. It is a beautiful song from the ancient musical tradition of the island of Okinawa, a song I listened to when I was twenty and remained in my heart, very delicate and cheerful.

 

We have given it a very pure and simple version, as is the tradition using a Japanese singer expert in the musical tradition of Okinawa who also plays the Sanshin, a medieval flute played by me, whistle and castanets.

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

My current thoughts and concerns are increasingly turning to our mother Earth, to our planet. The pain and devastation that men have sown in this world are terrible. I am very busy in this field to do all I can; good and positive. I wish that the awareness, the light and the collaboration in giving the best of oneself descended on men and selfishness and violence dissolved like fog in the sun.

 

As far as our group is concerned, I would like to carry out the projects we have in progress and open ourselves to new collaborations, even to composers who want to write in an ancient but contemporary style at the same time.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

The turning point in the current music industry and not only in this was given by the development and spread of the internet.

 

Ironically, the technological factors that now drive the rescue digital music are also the main reason for the decline of global music business due to illegal file-sharing.

 

The record companies, however, managed to maintain an important role but new business models and new users (players) took over.

 

The use of music is now much simpler via the mobile phone and this has amplified its scope and the way it is used and purchased.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

Unfortunately, we know that it is a usual practice, even if we don’t like it.

 

The recording industry is characterized by an economy of star -system: one album out of ten makes it possible to make a profit to compensate for the failure of the other nine and independent music obviously finds it difficult to obtain its own space, but with the advent of the digital age the situation seems to be improving.

 

Normally, when I travel or when I tune in and look for the most open and independent radio stations and programs of any kind, I like listening to new music. I am very voracious, I listen to everything and above all, I want to listen to what the mass does not listen to.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle it.

The challenges are many. We must learn about our mistakes. Surely you need to find good and serious partners and collaborators and build your dream patiently and with confidence. It will be a mistake to run after money and easy profits.

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

The growing trend of the digital format is made possible by the continuous increase of users using online services.

 

Digital technology and the internet facilitate the possibility of making oneself visible with a simple click. Despite the fact that it remains always a bit difficult for an artist to make himself known, sell his creations and build a profitable career through the only telematics system without having a label (be it a major or an independent) behind him, the possibilities introduced by the internet that stimulate the creativity and imagination of many users and therefore widen the possibilities.

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Tell us about your music career.

I graduated in music in Italy, doing classical studies at the Conservatory; I dedicated myself in my youth to avant-garde and experimental music. Then I became interested in jazz language and worked and produced an ethnic-world project.

 

I played in symphony orchestras and opera houses and played as a soloist and in classical and ancient music groups.

 

I produced three CDs of my music and collaborated with the musician Vidna Obmana on an ambient music project.

 

I played and worked with Steven Halpern for healing music.

 

I wrote a book on music entitled “Frequenze di Benessere” (Frequencies of well-being).

 

I studied conducting and two years ago I created the Ensemble Voyagers in which we produced two albums and two singles.

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

As long as I have the desire and the urge to do something new, I will go on; I would say a spiritual necessity.

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Tell us about you as a person.

I’ve said so many things about myself. I am a creative type, I love harmony, I really love animals and nature, I have many animals and their presence regenerates me and calms me, I play with them, I try to understand their world, which is full of beauty and delicacy. I love the sea, I love traveling, I love to discover.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

First, we choose a historical epoch and a piece of music that touched us emotionally or we remember with pleasure or we go to look for music that is little known but that have artistic importance, without prejudice.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

So let’s imagine the sound it should have, when the sound is clear and the structure and architecture are clear, we begin to build the sound environment, like a painting, or a scene from a movie.

 

We are interested in putting the sound of an instrument in the right place and at the right time, it is not necessary to always play all together, but only those who are necessary for the poetry and musical poetry of that song and for that song.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

After many proposals we decided for Ensemble Voyagers because we feel a bit like time travelers, we immerse ourselves in past ages, we recover sounds also using ancient instruments and we re-emerge in the present.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

The titles of the songs produced are the original titles of the songs in the musical tradition we selected, in the case of the song presented in this interview Asadoya Yunta is a song originated from Taketomi Island in the Yaeyama district of Okinawa, Japan. It tells the story of a young and beautiful peasant woman named Kuyama Asato.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

Asadoya Yunta is part of the “Two songs from Okinawa” album along with the other traditional song Chinsagu No Hana. The title refers objectively to the content of the album and represents like a postcard that depicts our journey in the tradition of the island of Okinawa.

 

All the album covers and individual songs produced as Ensemble Voyager have been made by me, Daniele Montagner.

 

Mobile Version

Ensemble Voyagers – Asadoya Yunta

Ensemble Voyagers

 

Ensemble Voyagers – Asadoya Yunta

Ensemble Voyagers – Asadoya Yunta

 

ARTIST NAME:

Ensemble Voyagers + Daniele Montagner + Shinobu Kikuchi

 

SONG TITLE: Asadoya Yunta

 

ALBUM TITLE: Two Songs from Okinawa

 

GENRE: Traditional/World

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Instagram

 

Apple Music

 

iTunes

 

Spotify

 

The Ensemble Voyagers stems from Daniele Montagner’s idea of constituting an “open” musical group, dedicated to exploration without hesitation and prejudice of musical jewels ranging from the roots of Western civilization to the traditions of non-European cultures, passing through medieval music up to the present day.

 

A sound journey is undertaken through the aesthetics that has represented and continues to represent the history of humanity, its roots, and its evolution.

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Tell us what your fans are saying about your music.

They like the cinematic progression of music, the authenticity of sounds and a pure aural musical experience.

 

They like the idea of the collective of sensationally archaic classically styled musicians with contemporary tonality.

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Tell us the factors you consider in choosing a song as your favourite.

We choose the music that touched us emotionally and that still comes to our mind.

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Tell us the names of producers you will collaborate with if you have the chance.

We are shortly planning a new record release of an instrumental medieval dance and probably a musical journey in ancient Greece, always produced as Ensemble Voyagers.

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Tell us the names of the songwriters you will collaborate with if you have the chance.

The latest productions I mentioned do not currently involve collaborations outside the group.

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Tell us your favourite TV show and state your reason.

We really like programs that talk about the beauty of nature and our planet and art programs.

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Tell us your best mood to create a song.

Ideas come when you least expect it. It’s like a flash! Then the inner engines come on as if by magic and work begins until everything becomes clear and bright.

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Tell us your interpretation of fame or success.

The most important thing for anyone is the feeling of well-being that one has when what one gives with one’s work and commitment is appreciated and considered.

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Tell us the names of artists you will collaborate with if you have the chance.

There are many who I would like to collaborate with, but for good luck, I still keep them secret!

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Tell us about your experience performing on stage for the first time or recording in the studio for the first time.

The first time in the studio I was stone! I asked myself: but am I the one who is playing? I felt like I was in a room full of mirrors and everyone was putting off the worst of you!

 

Now instead I love working in the studio, it’s like doing Zen, it’s an act of pure meditation and musical concentration, you hear the sound in its utmost purity and you can’t escape, you can only try to get even more in, to improve, to perfect.

 

Working in the studio is like being naked, it can be merciless but it’s a great gym!

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Tell us how you approach songwriting.

I approach myself very rationally: first of all, I imagine the sound it must have, when the sound is clear and the structure and architecture is clear, I begin to build the sound environment. I imagine it three-dimensionally as if it were a painting to be painted, a cinematographic scene, a dress to do…

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Tell us your opinion on blending genres or experimenting with sound.

I am an enthusiastic advocate of sound experimentation. I have been playing contemporary music for years and I approached electronic music by attending courses at the University.

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Tell us how you deal with rejection.

It depends on the mood… Of course, it doesn’t please, and it depends on the nature of the refusal … I try anyway to understand the reason for the refusal and where possible to look for solutions and modifications, it can be an occasion of awareness and growth.

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Elaborate on what compels you to sing.

I play, I sing only on my own, at home and often in the car … Playing for me is a necessity of being. The more I play the more I want to play because the world of sounds regenerates me.

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Tell us the comparison between digital recording and analog recording.

They are two completely different sound approaches, two different sound worlds. Sometimes, where possible, I try to mix them to look for the ideal sound, thanks to my fantastic sound engineer Manu Saladino.

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Tell us how you record your vocals.

The vocals…have normally been carefully prepared before; I am very meticulous in this. When the piece is ready, from the point of view of the vocal interpretation I then leave a lot of freedom in the studio.

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Tell us the software you used mostly for recording.

Basically, I use Pro Tools.

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Discuss the selling of CDs and selling of digital files through digital stores.

Our choice was to produce and sell digital files. I believe it is a personal choice.

 

Of course, those who have a nice music system at home, I think prefer to listen to the CD in its maximum possible sound, I know some and have expensive music systems!

 

But currently people listen to music differently: in headphones, from smartphones, in the car, mind eating, cooking, walking … and technology now allows us to offer good quality music files.

 

The music must be enjoyed, used and therefore very popular dissemination and fruition systems are welcome. I have a house full of CDs, I don’t know where to put them, but now I don’t listen to them anymore…

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Elaborate on the song.

The song is the oldest musical form we know, Dante Alighieri also spoke of it in 1200 and there are traces of songs dating back to ancient Greece and the Sumerians.

 

More or less the structure has always remained that, of course, you can introduce more or less fanciful news, but the balance must be maintained, without balance everything collapses.

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Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.

Ensemble Voyagers: Because ideally, we are time travelers.

 

We live in a world and in a time of multiple and heterogeneous musical traditions: it is, therefore, important to know the history to root the future. There is no univocal direction towards the future: there are pluralities of historical and temporal ramifications that go both towards the past and towards the future and that branch out into the present. There is an “open” time, multiple and heterogeneous. The “tonal” and temporal center of each moment is each of us, with our own awareness and perception.

 

An Ensemble without borders was therefore needed because there are no frontiers in music.

 

Music is dialogue and confrontation and has the ability to combine minds and emotions without fanaticism, helping to renew one’s identity.

 

It is also vital to get out of academicism with an overly formal and almost ritualistic flavour that mainly engulfs Western European culture.

 

Two Songs from Okinawa is just what the collective contains. An “objective” title, like the label of a product at the supermarket but with a slightly archaic, dreamy flavour, two songs recovered from the dream…

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