Voices (1)

Annie Ebrel
'Tre ho ti ha ma hini



1.     Son ar c'hafe     01:08
2.     Robardig     04:32
3.     An daou goñje     07:00
4.     An dragon yaouank     03:58
5.     Renean ar Glas     10:35
6.     Parrez Kanuhel     07:49
7.     Al laouelan     05:55
8.     C'hwist 'ta     00:19


Noluen Le Buhe, 
Marcel Guillou.
Coming from Lohuec in Central Brittany, Annie Ebrel has been since she was 14 years old, the ambassadress of breton musical culture in the world. With a single voice which distils with a rare smoothness all the ranges of the emotion, she clears new grounds of the Breton song.


Annie sings in Breton, usually “a capella” or with sparse instrumentation, and can veer into almost Breton scat-singing and jazz versions of “kan a diskan” songs, lesser known traditional folk standards, ballads and laments. She has a collaboration with Ricardo Da Fra on was it the double bass, called “Voulouz Loar” (Velvet moon) if you prefer some jazzlike qualities of her voice, which is very strong but pleasing mid-range, and smooth, like velvet.


Annie is now the most famous traditional female Breton singer as she elevated the a-capella Breton tradition to a never-reached level since she toured with Riccardo Del Fra in different major Concert Halls all over Brittany. She often sings on her own but also likes to join other singers such as Noluen le Buhe or Yann-Fañch Kemener and has taken part in different collective recordings. Her masterpiece still is the 'Dibenn' album where she added her brilliant voice to the excellent musicians from Hastañ.

Song is at the heart of Breton music. In contrast to instrumental traditions, women have an equally important role in song. Traditional song in Brittany is unaccompanied and unison in nature. The vast majority of ballad singing is performed solo. In both the French-language tradition of eastern Brittany and the Breton language songs of western Brittany, response style singing is very common, especially in songs for dance. In contrast to other areas of western Europe (including Brittany's Celtic neighbors) singing for dancing is very common and well appreciated. Like instrumental traditions, song repertoires and the use of song varies from one region of Brittany to another--song for a particular dance will be found in the region where that dance is traditionally found.

There are several words one finds associated with Breton song that merit a brief definition.

Kan ha diskan is a particular type of responsive singing for dance found in the Breton-speaking areas of central western Brittany. Most commonly, it is sung by two people, a kaner ("singer" in Breton) and diskaner ("counter-singer"). The prefix "dis" is difficult to define, but in this case it has the sense of opposition as in rolling/unrolling, winding/unwinding. The kaner begins and the diskaner repeats each phrase. The unique aspect of this style of responsive singing is the fact that the singers take up their singing on the last few syllables of each other's phrases.

 Gwerz is a Breton language term that has no good English translation, although in French it is roughly translated as complainte. It refers to a repertoire of ballads in the Breton language in which historical, legendary, or dramatic events are recounted. Son is the Breton term for all Breton language songs other than the gwerz. Included in this category are love songs, drinking songs, counting songs, and other "lighter" songs for dancing.

1 comment:

Miguel said...

Sorry the CD is not new there are a few scratches.. :(