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Star of the Sea

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Album Review

The influences that contribute to this album are as diverse as any you'll find. Recorded in the San Francisco and released by the avant-garde independent label City of Tribes, it is an intriguing example of world music. The musical instrumentation is more Eastern than Western in its leanings. While everything from keyboard samples to cello can be heard on the recording, the standout instruments are the oud, riqq, hammered dulcimer, and other unusual Eastern strings and drums. Lead singer Sonja Drakulich has a floating, agile voice that is perfectly suited (and probably better trained) to the Eastern scale than the Western. Her interpretation of lyrics that are, in many cases, eight centuries old is masterful. However, the lack of traditional structure renders the melody line rather inaccessible to the average listener. The only track that really draws in the listener is "Del Mar Rojo," a song with lyrics composed by the Sephardic Jewry at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. On the flip side, the track most in keeping with the theme of the album may be "Leda": After a two-minute intro, it segues into a string passage so gentle you can almost forget you're listening to anything at all. The final track, a traditional Croatian song called "Oj Jabuko," is unusual because of its highly dissonant harmonies and percussion-driven structure. The timeless, lingering tone of the album brings to mind isolated monasteries, endless deserts, and ancient villages. ~ L. Katz, Rovi


Formed: 1994

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s

Middle Eastern music of the 13th to 15th centuries serves as a springboard for the improvisations of San Francisco-based Stellamara. The vision of vocalist, percussionist, hammered dulcimer player, recording engineer, and producer Sonia Drakulich and dulcimer player Jeffery Stott, the group was called, "the missing link between goth and new age" by alt-rock magazine Oculus. While Rhythm described the group as "a dreamy, ethereal mix, tackling authentic and undeservedly unexposed Galician, Parisian,...
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Star of the Sea, Stellamara
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  • 8,91 €
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: 23 September 1997

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