Karda Estra - Eve

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Cyclops
Catalog Number: CYCL 104
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:35:00

When thinking about classical composers, the strange thing is that you always come up with the "old" obvious names. Of course, there are new classical composers, yet, due to the lack of media interest (sounds exactly like prog!), very few current composers are well-known. Yet apart from these musicians, there are composers who merit being taken seriously, compared even to the likes of great classical composers. Such a name certainly has to be Richard Wileman, who in the past delivered some interesting goods under the moniker of Lives & Times before switching towards even more intimate structures as Karda Estra.

After A Winter In Summertime, Thirteen From The Twenty First and The Land Of Ghosts comes Eve, his first for the Cyclops label. Inspired by the short novel The Future Eve, written in 1886 by Villiers De l?Isle Adam, it tells the story of the "world famous inventor and master electrician Professor X" who created a "perfect" companion for his disturbed friend Lord Ewald. Wileman was taken by this story and explored the work?s atmosphere and tragedy. Written around a very orchestral arrangement, adding authentic instruments such as violin, oboe, cor anglais (English horn), viola and flute, the work is soothing and relaxing, yet surprisingly interesting throughout. Also, the voice of ex-Lives & Times cohort Ileesha Bailey adds to the mystique of the music. Backed by subtle strokes of classical guitar, it?s the oboe in "Andraiad" that sets the pace for the song, soon followed by Hackett-like injections of electric guitar.

The album was recorded at The Twenty First, the studio that is none other than Richard?s own house with 21 being the house number. He invested in a Roland VS880 hard disc recorder and, inspired by producers such as George Martin and Brian Wilson (who both used to record on only 4-tracks during the sixties), makes sure he doesn?t over produce and spoil the atmosphere. The addition of real instruments on top of sampled orchestral sounds results in soundtrack quality music, whilst the occasional voice of Ileesha adds a refreshing approach. Of course, the title track, "Eve," would have sounded even more grand if a huge orchestra had been used to back the main piano, yet this would certainly mean the loss of the intimate nature of this recording. It would, however, be nice to have the addition of a grand piano to stretch the magic of the compositions. "Sparks That Flash And Fall" is yet another stroke of music that would fit in nicely with the entire 4AD catalogue because of its fragile nature.

Eve has the kind of music that will appeal to lovers of classical music, progressive rock and gothic alike. A great merit from someone I want to call a fresh contemporary classical composer from now on. To be honest, Richard looks exactly like Wim Mertens, so the path towards recognition and success is open wide. Now where are those filmmakers?

An Ordinary Mortal (4:33) / Andraiad (8:27) / The Pale Ray (3:28) / Super Electrical (4:40) / Eve (7:37) / Sparks That Flash And Fall (10:23) / Thoughts And Silences (3:23)

Richard Wileman - classical, electric and bass guitars, keyboards, percussion
Ileesha Bailey - drums
Helen Dearnley - violin
Caron Hansford - oboe, cor anglais
Zoe King - flute, alto saxophone, clarinet
Rachel Larkins - viola, violin

A Winter In Summertime (1998)
Thirteen From The Twenty First (2000)
The Land Of Ghosts (2000)
Eve (2001)
Equilibrium (2002)
The Land Of Ghosts Vol. 2 (2002) (oop)
Constellations (2003)
Voivode Dracula (2004)
Alternate History (2004)
The Age Of Science And Enlightenment (2006)
The Last Of The Libertine (2007)
Weird Tales (2009)
New Worlds (2011) (free album download)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: September 21st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.kardaestra.co.uk
Hits: 1503
Language: english


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