Throbbing Plants

by Anna Nacher & Marek Styczyński

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about

The new album by Anna Nacher & Marek Styczynski of Magic Carpathians comes as a next installment within their Biomusic series devoted to the idea of music composed and recorded in strong relationship with nature. Started in 2000 with 2 albums incorporating the vocalizations of marine animals and the Baltic seashore soundscapes, released in cooperation with two important environmental organizations: Hel Marine Station and UNEP/ASCOBANS, over time the series has evolved blossoming also into the regularly held workshops on deep listening and finding how the musical traditions of Carpathians are rooted in the natural environment and its floral life.

Throbbing Plants bears the Magic Carpathians' inevitable relaxing atmosphere and vibe yet with a twist - the album has been conceived over the course of one year, between New Moons in Sagittarius in 2016 and in 2017. What differs this album from regular Magic Carpathians' releases is the attention paid to the textual component and the fact that it was composed, written and produced exclusively by two core members of the project.

Throbbing Plants is more the experiment in storytelling than a regular musical album. Dreamlike, poetic micro-narratives in Anna Nacher's native tongue attempt at capturing the richness and complexity of the relationships with a Place called Biotop Lechnica. It is a small permaculture farm located in Slovakian dragon-shaped mountain range of Pieniny, scenic region in Carpathians, with the ancient settlments influenced by Celtic past, imbued with a long history of shepherd's culture and herbalism (a few miles down the road there is a medieval monastery where the local knowledge of herbs and healing plants was cultivated by a legendary monk of Benedictine order living in XVIIth century). Nacher tells the stories of Biotop Lechnica's human and non-human inhabitants (the latter including animals, cultivated and wild plants, energies and genius loci of the place) - the stories which, as she herself says, were overheard while gardening, renovating, maintaining and taking care of the farm that used to belong to several generations of local shepherds. Throughout the whole lunar cycle the healing potential of this Place steadily unfolded, as it vibrates with strong power coming from oscillation between life and death, growing and denigration, arrivals and departures, force of elements and energies of beings who generously donated their life energy to its thriving.

Musically speaking, the duo uses just a few instruments which proved important throughout their over 20-year long musical careers, blending their sounds into minimalist yet evocative sound tapestries. Musicians employed Slovakian fujara, Japanese uchiwa-daiko ritual drum, daxophon, tampura arco, cimbals, e-bowed guitar and drone box among others. The sound tracks provide the ambiance to tell - and sometimes whisper - the stories about magic plants (Scopolia carniolica) and their life force, about the fragility of human existence and its real bonding with nature that often escapes the rational mind. The stories have been purposely written and performed in Polish, a language that itself possess interesting musical tones, with a history of local poetry taking advantage of its peculiar sonic qualities as creative material.

The album has been recorded in Kraków, Poland, July-December 2016 and released on World Flag Records in January 2017.

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released March 1, 2017

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Magic Carpathians Project Kraków, Poland

Active since 1998. Mournful vocals, eerie woodwinds, hypnotic drones, primal rythms, noise collages, rich sonic tapestries.
Singer/guitarist Anna Nacher exceptional vocal expression is built on techniques of throat singing developed across Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Marek Styczynski employs a Turkmen hydjak or prepared dulcimer accompanied with home made analog sine wave modulators.
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