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2 Feb 2017

Sourdeline “Jeanne D'Aymé” 1978 France Psych Folk





Sourdeline “Jeanne D'Aymé” 1978 France Psych Folk
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The uniqueness of the French folk scene is that is rooted in a history which has love and moral independence amongst its inspirations, because in this area, surrounded by threats from other countries and for some period untouched by Roman-Christian morality, they have kept long periods of independence in benefit of culture. Within these borders with some varieties in languages (like “langue d'oil” or old French which they mostly spoke in the North, and “Occitan” which was more widespread than today in the south, both with their own music style influences), and with this, some different cultural developments were available, there still was a communication between them, like there also was a communication between court music and the music of the ordinary people, because minstrels travelled freely. This collective French memory is part of a heartfelt heritage which is something French folk and folk-rock music loves to be reminded off. Outside the mainstream France knew many new minstrels and bands influenced by medieval folk. But even within France hardly anyone knows what wonders were made from the sixties until now and many treasures are still kept hidden from view. “The French Folk Magic Guide” recently published by Phileas Folk showed just a glimpse of some of these wonders, but his list is far from complete. Within the folkrock area Mallicorne were one of the few, even well representative bands who gained international reputation. But the two Sourdeline albums are of course equally worth discovering, especially for their charm and consistent feeling of inspired folk celebration. 

Stylistically one could compare the vocal harmonies on some tracks to Malicorne, its medieval inspirations to Tarentule, and a few exotic touches has made some associate Emmanuelle Parrerin with it. Most of the album is rather sparsely arranged in a rather pastoral way, with a few folk dance movements and an acoustic percussive track. The female lead voice is lovely, like in Malicorne’s band, but also the lead male voice has a beautiful softness. Instruments like bto in the mix. The original inspirations on old music make something reborn in a rooted tradition alone worth keeping vivid, like Sourdeline also does. 
The band name Sourdeline refers to the earliest bagpipe invented by a Frenchman in Italy Baptiste Riva, an instrument with 4 chanters and a complex key system, and which had an extra pump like an accordion which allowed a steady flow. This instrument could work as a reference to the old music, but more specifically the band just liked the sonority of word, which fitted well to their music (as a sort of lyrical explorative gentleness a matter of speaking). 
The whole B side of the album was inspired by a traditional song from the centre of France (Quercy), a harvest song called "au roc d'anglars". It is composed of two short phrases of which first is repeated and which tells the story of a young girl called Jeanne d' Aymé who was courted but then abandoned by the king’s son. Sourdeline kept the words intact on the first song, which describes the first meeting of Jeanne and the Prince. The second song speaks about the love of the couple ending with the return of the Prince to Paris. On the third part Jeanne goes to Paris to find the Prince but he turns her down. At her return she drowns in the fountain. In the last song" Jeanne d' Aymé" the band sings how the ghost of Jeanne still comes to haunt at the fountain. When the band made this concept of 4 songs as one story, the idea came a bit after having listened to “Jack Orion” from Pentangle, including the idea of using a sitar. The increasing complexity in the arrangements in fact was an approach towards the English folk scene. 
The album had been recorded in one short week at studio Iris, a small 16-track studio close to Brest with which Renaud Richard made the best use of the material. 
Jean-Pierre recalled two more memories from the recordings. For “Hé là oû va tu donc” they recorded Cathérine’s voice outside in the garden, and he remembers that the percussion was recorded over it a bit too loud so that now we can’t hear or distinguish the birds in the garden. He also remembered how during the recordings of the disc, they heard about Elvis’ death. 
Let’s hope this reissue will bring renewed attention to France’s rich folk heritage. Sourdeline surely proved how a band like them could reveal an inspired world on its own which expressed something outside time, but which also expressed something unique about what happened in France, with their approach they made this also sound recognisable on an international level in folk music........

Stylistically one could compare the vocal harmonies on some tracks to Malicorne, its medieval inspirations to Tarentule, and a few exotic touches has made some associate Emmanuelle Parrerin with it. Most of the album is rather sparsely arranged in a rather pastoral way, with a few folk dance movements and an acoustic percussive track. The female lead voice is lovely, like in Malicorne’s band, but also the lead male voice has a beautiful softness. Instruments like bto in the mix. The original inspirations on old music make something reborn in a rooted tradition alone worth keeping vivid, like Sourdeline also does. 

The band name Sourdeline refers to the earliest bagpipe invented by a Frenchman in Italy Baptiste Riva, an instrument with 4 chanters and a complex key system, and which had an extra pump like an accordion which allowed a steady flow. This instrument could work as a reference to the old music, but more specifically the band just liked the sonority of word, which fitted well to their music (as a sort of lyrical explorative gentleness a matter of speaking). .....

Formed in 1972 in Northern France, Sourdeline has remained as a hidden treasure for decades. With a strong Pentangle influence in their works, the guys released a couple of astounding albums during the next few years, acquiring a wonderful baroque folk sound based in some traditional French folk songs and many originals, with the use of a large number of traditional instruments. Their second and last album 'Jeanne d'Aymé' is from 1977 and, though being the lesser known of them both, is for us at Guerssen their definitive work, a truly major discovery waiting for you who are not yet in the know. This is the first ever, deluxe reissue. Remastered sound, original artwork in stunning gatefold cover, 180g vinyl, and a fantastic 4-page insert with unseen photos and liners by Gerald Van Waes, as well as Sourdeline's story written by the band's leader Jean-Pierre Danielsen..............

Catherine Burban (chant, dulcimer) 
Jean-Pierre Dallongeville (chant, sitar) 
Jean-Pierre Danielsen (chant, flute) 
Jacky Izambert (chant, tabla, percussion) 
Alain Lousteau (chant, percussion)

Tracklist 
A1 Voici La Saint Jean Et La Saint Pierre 
A2 Complainte 
A3 Hé Là Où Vas-Tu Donc ? 
A4 Si J'Avais Un Galant 
A5 Ils Sont Bien Pelés 
A6 La Légende De Saint Nicolas 
A7 Trois Danses 
B1 Au Roc D'Anglars 
B2 La Fontaine 
B3 La Belle Abandonnée 
B4 Ronde De Mai 
B5 Jeanne D'Aymé

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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