SOUNDS NEVER HEARD BEFORE”Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, 2012)
The Breton Erwan Keravec and the Basque Beñat Achiary explore new territories and their music goes beyond the boundaries of genres and styles. Their vocal and bagpipe improvisations are forging sounds that have never been heard before, sounds that create a contemporary tradition bordering on the universal.
The meeting of Breton bagpipe and Basque song, in virtuose improvisations void of any regionalist connotation and carried by the breath of an inventive master piper who cultivates the sound strangeness of his instrument to turn tradition into avant-garde, and a charismatic word juggler.Télérama
Keravec’s main concert pitted bagpipes against voices, including extraordinary vocal improvisations from Basque singer Beñat Achiary, who growled, shrieked and keened into the microphone to match the intensely expressive microtonal wailings of Keravec’s pipes. Despite playing both Breton and Scottish traditional music, Keravec explained his desire to remove the pipes from their cultural associations and hear them afresh as a ‘pure’ musical instrument – and his radical experimentation with their sound made a profound, visceral impact.The List, David Kettle