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Urban Pipes II

With the release of ‘Urban Pipes’, I presented my utopia, aiming to turn the bagpipe into a universal instrument. Since then, I have acknowledged that I cannot reach this goal because my original culture – the Breton ‘soner’* tradition – influences me even as I am attempting to free myself from it. I have therefore chosen to accept and assert its characteristics: sound projection, density, the soner’s energy and the melody. At the same time, I have retained what symbolised the work of my first album:  “the modification of traditional playing modes, as well as work on how to use the bagpipe sound and harmonic strangeness outside of strictly melodic practice. Urban Pipes II has stemmed from this duality – creating music which plays with melodies, oscillating between full and airy sound, frenzied and then soothing.  Urban Pipes II also presents two duets: one with my brother Guénolé on the “trélombarde” (a longer bombard), one with the singer Beñat Achiary. They reveal the other duality in this album: composition and improvisation. The duo with Beñat presents music that is purely intuitive, created on the spot as we were recording. On the other hand, that with Guénolé results from patient work on our instruments, in order to find the ‘right friction’ revealing their full tone colour.    Whether melodic or not, whether written or improvised, Urban Pipes II displays what it can be to be a traditional musician today: someone respecting one’s heritage while searching for a new musical form.” (Erwan Keravec)