‘Fika’ is out and positive feedback is growing rapidly

Elysian Fields new CD, ‘Fika’ (pron. ‘fee-ka’) is already getting some great feedback. I’ve written a short article about the CD for CutCommon magazine describing our vision for this collection of music from, and inspired by, Scandinavia, and just how challenging it was to complete the CD and get it out during the pandemic https://www.cutcommonmag.com/jenny-eriksson-we-make-art-even-in-a-crisis/

Here is a sample of comments from a range of sources including early reviews:-

  • ‘I was deeply honoured when the Australian group Elysian Fields chose to record two of my compositions on their new album FIKA. I am especially proud that the opening tune on FIKA is my piece LIVING. This unique ensemble create a universal sound that is very inspiring to listen to and I am sure their music can reach out to many groups of listeners. Elysian Fields deserve a broad attention for their album FIKA!’ (Jan Gunnar Hoff, Grammy nominated Norwegian pianist/composer; Steinway & Sons Artist)

    Jan Gunnar Hoff

  • ‘It’s impossible to put Elysian Fields, made up as it is of baroque and jazz musicians, into a definitive musical category. In fact, their particular fusion of jazz, classical and world music with its inventive melodic and rhythmic innovations is in a class of its own.’ (Loretta Barnard, AustralianJazz.net)
  • ‘The first track ‘Living’ is a wonderful reinterpretation of a modern jazz work, utilising the extended colour found in this unique line up of instruments. It is recorded perfectly both from a technical and performance perspective, showing a heightened sense of conviction and purpose in the arrangement, an incredible achievement from all involved!’ (Elsen Price, New Australian Radio)

    Elsen Price

  • ‘Working with Elysian Fields offers access to a unique sound world as a composer, performer and producer. The timbre and resonance of Eriksson’s electric gamba style sets a fascinating musical scene that is beautifully adorned by Bishop’s compelling vocal. The ancient and modern musical worlds are bridged by McMahon’s sublime piano voicings and playing style which provide a platform for the group to generate a warm and wholistic listening experience.’ (Matt Keegan, Elysian Fields’ award-winning producer, composer and sax player)

We have released a 60 second promotional video that can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qb3Sxjtxi4

The CD is distributed by MOVE Records and full details on how to purchase and download it are here http://www.move.com.au/disc/elysian-fields-fika

Book of the week – ‘Kindred Chords’ by Loretta Barnard

Kindred Chords is a fascinating book about Australian musical families written by Loretta Barnard. Does her surname sound familiar? Loretta is a member of the famous Australian jazz family. Her father is Bob Barnard, one of the greatest trumpet players in the history of Australia and her uncle was Bob’s brother, Len, a renowned jazz drummer. Her cousin Rebecca Barnard, is a highly regarded Melbourne-based singer and song-writer. Rebecca’s son, Harry, is a drummer carrying on the family business! Kindred Chords covers musical families across classical, jazz, rock, country, folk, soul, R&B and more and really fills a gap in the market. Nobody has done something like this before. There are fascinating facts such as famed Aboriginal composer and opera singer, Deborah Cheetham being the niece of deceased country music performer, Jimmy Little, for example. A spoiler alert, there is a chapter on me and my son, composer and bass player, Siebe Pogson. This book will be a welcome addition to any music-lover’s library and contribute to that great ongoing debate – is musical achievement the result of nature, nurture, or both? Don’t wait, order your copy now https://www.shootingstar.pub/product/kindred-chords-australian-musical-families/

Playlist of the week – What should I say: four poems by Thomas Wyatt

I chose this playlist as a reminder of how Elysian Fields integrates features of early music, jazz sensibilities and improvisation into our work. Pianist/composer Matt McMahon is a great fan of the poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt, a courtier to King Henry VIII. Wyatt was one of the founders of modern English poetry, and especially then sonnet. Without Wyatt’s work Shakespeare’s famous sonnets may have been completely different! Matt kindly set four of Wyatt poems for our first Elysian Fields’ CD. We’ve performed this work on many occasions and audiences love it! Please give it a listen and let me know what you think. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1EUcWwUyuph630w7xilrD1?si=k8so1MMKRveqbpBXOaYgEA

Best wishes. Stay safe and well!

Jenny Eriksson

Director, The Marais Project, Elysian Fields and Da Vinci’s Apprentice

July 22, 2020