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jueves, 25 de agosto de 2016

Musica Ficta - A Child & A Well (2012)


Ahora la buena música viene de Israel, en un disco que me gusta muchísimo, y anunciamos con este disco algunas incursiones en la buena música que se hace en Israel.. Mucha onda Jethro Tull con voz femenina, pop, musica clásica y toques de hard rock barroco para el único disco de la banda hasta el momento. Músicos académicos haciendo un disco genial y muy poco conocido. No dejen pasar este raro disco sin al menos escucharlo atentamente, aunque te aclaro que es probable que se te pegue y no lo puedas dejar más.

Artista: Musica Ficta
Álbum: A Child & A Well
Año: 2012
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 45:11
Nacionalidad: Israel


Lista de Temas:
1. A Child & A Well
2. The Fall
3. Man And Angel
4. Little Town
5. Run Free You Idiot
6. Empty Promises
7. The Postman
8. A Fantasy

Alineación:
- Julia Feldman / vocals
- Dvir Katz / flute
- Omer Rizi / keyboards
- Udi Horev / guitar and composition
- Avi Cohen Hillel / bass guitar
- Michael Gorodinsky / drums



Alguna vez el gran guitarrista y compositor Francesco Zago ha dicho; "La escena de rock progresivo israelí es algo que podemos considerar realmente sorprendente". Así de claro, y quien lo dice no es un imberbe que no sabe lo que dice, uno de los creadores de la gran discográfica Altrock (y por "grande" me refiero a su búsqueda de calidad y no porque sea económicamente importante). Sorprendentemente esto es así, la escena progresiva de Israel es muy rica y muy desconocida. Música Ficta es una banda oriunda de Jerusalén que se las trae...
Hay varios grupos por el mundo que se llaman Musica Ficta, pero yo le svoy a traer los que son de Israel y sacaron este lindo disco en el 2012. Músicos académicos de diferentes campos (jazz, música clásica y rock) se conjugan para obtener un trabajo con mucho colorido, amplio en su propuesta musical, con música escrita pero que incorpora la improvisación del jazz y los ganchos melódicos del pop, en un estilo que expresa las singularidades de cada uno de los músicos que componen la banda. Casi no hay información en Internet por lo que dejaré algunas referencias en inglés y me dispongo a hacer un comentario personal sobre el trabajo (es lo que hay,no se quejen), que vuelvo a decirles, me gusta mucho y conocí de casualidad.



Como comentara antes, el mejor punto para explicar a la banda israelí la tenemos en los Jethro Tull: prog con mucho folk y barroco colorido y variado, y mucha insidencia de varios géneros. Aquí las letras están en hebreo y la voz es femenina, lo que da un gran toque de extrañeza. El nombre del grupo se basa en un antiguo término latino que se utilizó desde el siglo XII hasta el siglo XVI y tiene la intención de describir una cierta descripción a la desviación musical utilizada en la Europa medieval. No sé si es una descripción exacta para definir el eclecticismo de la banda. Incluso tengo entendio que el disco se grabó en realidad en el 2005 aunque vió la luz en el 2012, así que creo que la banda seguramente ya ha desaparecido. Disfrutemos pues, esta pequeña joya que nos han legado.
Suena todo a retroprog británico; con canciones compactas y bastante pegadizas, pero están llenos de ganchos, bucles y saltos. Algunas riffs que lo acercan por momentos al hard rock pero sin perder jamás los tintes líricos populares, los Xdelicados sonidos de flauta, y los cuerpos de aspecto clásico. Esto se extiende a canciones pastorales y especialmente agradables.
Pero ojo que Musica Ficata no es un clon de Jethro Tull ni mucho menos, a pesar de ingredientes musicales similares, los israelíes adoptan un sonido completamente independiente flotando por encima de la maravillosa voz de Julia Feldman, vaclista que actualmente participa en numerosos proyectos musicales principalmente desde el campo del jazz. Con su voz angelical, las canciones adquieren un ligero aroma a Renaissance no tanto por el tono de voz sino por la dulzura que alcanzan algunos temas.
Generalmente siempre está presente esa maravillosa interacción entre la bella voz, la guitarra acústica y la flauta crean climas cercanos al folk que las apariciones de la guitarra eléctrica se encarga de pulverizar, volviendo a líneas de ensueño jazzístico, bastante sinfonismo, abrazos al Canterbury y al progresivo italiano pero en hebreo. Un retroprog que toma elementos de los 70s pero no es guiado por él. Lírico y delicado, es un disco bastante atemporal, en que las melodías son tratadas a la antigua usanza, dando canciones a la vez hermosas, pero con sonidos y enfoques más modernos. No es una copia del modelo británico de los 70s sino que toma cosas de esa época y ese lugar y los lleva a otro mundo y a otro momento.
Aquí el prog maníaco encontrará múltiples elementso de satisfacción: órganos, guitarras a lo Fripp, sintetizadores y delicadezas rítmicas, flautas a lo Anderson y guitarras a lo Andy Latimer... toda una sorpresa pero en hebreo.

Casi todas las canciones del disco suenan bastante oscuras y melancólicas, quizás exceptuando a alguna, como la que da vida al video. Elementos que precisamente dan rienda suelta a esta oscuridad inserta en sus melodías tienen que ver con cierto aire a Genesis, porque a pesar de la aparente proximidad a Jethro Tull, creo que en el espíritu de cada track está viva esa melancólica propuesta que supiera llevar adelante Peter Gabriel y su troup.
Cerrando el tema: voces impecables, buenas melodías, grandes puntos de partida, muy buenos músicos, hermosa voz femenina en hebreo, abundante trabajo compositivo donde hay elementos instrumentales barrocos insertos en canciones generalmente dulces y algo oscuras, mucha ensalada de estilos, canciones que tienen unidad entre sí dan forma a un disco notable que deben escuchar. Y es que Musica Ficta nos ha dejado un solo disco, pero este trabajo es digno de conocer porque no solamente suena interesante sino que es muy emocionante.

Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés... nunca faltan y siempre vienen bien.


Although "A Child & A Well" from Israeli band MUSICA FICTA don't shows great news , I wish to say which this album deserves at least one audition ( an in my case, a place im my collection), because presents very good taste in arrangements mixing some progressive rock styles. Besides this, although don't express great musicians virtuosity the performance is very competent. How I already said the album "walk" through some styles, mainly heavy/jazz prog and certain ballads themes. I can detach the track 3 "Man and Angel" and their "heavy" main melody and the lyrics parts with a jazz-waltz accompaniment ! Another great moment is the track 5 "Run free you idiot" a jazz- rock with reggae and heavy rock intermissions. In spite I can detach this two tracks the whole album is the same level ! My rate is 4/5 stars!!!
Maryes

Led by guitarist and songwriter Udi Horev, MUSICA FICTA (Fictitious Music?) was formed in 2003 in Jerusalem, Israel, although the names of most of the band’s members assume that they hail from the former USSR. It’s unclear whether “A Child and a Well” is their debut album, as its press kit doesn’t say anything on the matter.
The recording consists of eight tracks, dynamically evolving compositions strictly alternating with more laid-back (the evenly-numbered) ones. I think I should begin with those belonging to the former category: the title piece, Man and Angel, Run Free You Idiot and The Postman, especially since the first three of them are creations of almost the same compositional approach. Although the style is nominally Symphonic Progressive in all cases, the band probably spends as much time (in total) flirting with progressive hard rock and folk rock idioms plus acoustic interludes, focusing equally on instrumental work and vocal passages by Julia Feldman – an exceptional vocalist, singing in Yiddish rather than Hebrew, as I suppose. The music is just fine, with a high standard of musicianship and many varying sections, including a couple of ‘quantum jumps’ to explore some really unexpected areas, resulting in the form of a prog-metal romp. Organ, guitar and flute in the Jon Anderson vein make comparisons to Jethro Tull circa ’72-’73 pretty obvious on each of these three, at least within some of their instrumental sections. However, this isn’t a copy of the English group’s manner. The musicians are up to the task, and the arrangements show a lot of their own musical discoveries apart from the above influence. Things are mixed up further when they additionally deploy avant-garde and classical elements in the vein of Gentle Giant and Gryphon (think “Red Queen to Gryphon III”) respectively, as on the instrumental piece The Postman, at times soloing within really unique chord progressions. All the players get their time to shine, but it really is the group as a whole, rather than any individuals, that makes this music work, since the arrangements feature many nice touches like organ, piano, flute or acoustic guitar behind synthesizers, electric guitar, bass and drums. The compositions are mature and highly polished; it seems the band has developed them during years of performances. Although they don’t feature complicated harmonies or countermelodies, Julia’s vocals are also strong throughout, and while it’s certainly beyond me what she is singing about, I do really enjoy her soprano. As for another category of tracks, they’re all brilliant too, at least in their own way. One of those, The Fall, although basically slow-paced, is classic symphonic Art-Rock of the first water – in terms of purity of style and overall quality alike. Coming with a couple of acoustic passages containing only piano and either guitar or flute in the arrangement, Little Town has a certain balladic quality to it, but is still abound in elements that are determinants in the previously named genre. By the way, I don’t sense any outside vibes on either of these tracks. Finally we get two purely acoustic pieces, Empty Promises and Fantasy, the former another – and the last – instrumental here. Both of them are based on passages of acoustic guitar, some of which are as complicated and beautiful as those by Steve Howe on ‘Mood for a Day’ from Yes’s “Fragile”. The instrumental is almost entirely in the manner of Howe, whereas the other tune only begins like the said composition, later on evoking ‘The Shadow of Hierophant’ from Steve Hackett’s “Voyage of the Acolyte”, only with higher vocals than Sally Oldfield’s and with different lyrics, for sure.
Conclusion. “A Child and a Well” is one of the best classic sympho-prog efforts of the last few years, and its creators are really a group of musicians that fans of the genre can enjoy. That being said, the child should not be afraid of diving into this well of high-quality progressive music. All of us are children in some ways, regardless of how old we are.
Vitaly Menshikov

Musica Ficta is a symphonic progressive rock band from Israel, formed in 2003. Their debut album, A Child & A Well was recorded already in 2005, but released in 2012. Udi Horev, the guitarist, is responsible for all the music on this release, while he was assisted by Julia Feldman in the lyrics department.
The start of the album is very promising, with some hard rock riffs coming from the guitar and some nice organ work as well. The constant moving from electric to acoustic guitar and from organ and/or synth to piano results in music which sounds really sharp and intelligent. The band settles into a slightly too soothing pace later on, but we’re soon at full attention, with the guitar producing more crunchy goodness. We move back and forth from gentle pieces to more diverse ones, which also include harder guitar parts. They also decided to do a completely acoustic piece – Empty promises. Just when you think they might start rehashing music from the 1970s, they decide to step up to the plate again and take a few more risks. The almost metal like riffs coming from the guitar do sound refreshing and break up the routine, so to speak, from the mid-tempo symphonic rock. The album finishes with their best 2 pieces – the hard rocking The Postman and the dreamy A Fantasy (such a fitting title).
We definitely hear a lot of 1970s symphonic rock in their music. Genesis was probably the biggest influence, though the 1970s scene in general seems pretty well represented in general. All the trademarks are there – the acoustic segments, flute, organ, piano, vintage synths, soaring guitar solos. But they have also added a hard rock element to the music and incorporated it in such a way that they have proved themselves to be much more than 70s copycats, but a band with its own artistic style and vision.
An interesting facet of the band is that they sing in their native language and not in English, as most of the newer bands do. A bold move, but one which pays off, I think. The female vocals are also a nice touch, as she handles her duties very well and has a very pleasing colour.
A Child & A Well is a consistently good piece of art, which won’t exactly have you at the edge of your seats, but it does provide for some inspirational moments nevertheless. I think this band has a lot going for it and I look forward to hearing more from them because they do possess a great diversity in their expression.
8 out of 10.
Rok Podgrajšek

In spite of their name (Latin for “fake music”, referring to the use of notes lying outside the “true music” system as established by Guido D’Arezzo), there is nothing fake or contrived about Musica Ficta, an Israeli six-piece formed in 2003 by guitarist and composer Udi Horev. Their debut album, A Child & A Well (English translation of the Hebrew Yeled Vebeer) was originally recorded in 2005, but only released on the international market in 2012, on the Fading Records subdivision of AltrOck Productions – thanks to renowned sound engineer Udi Koomran’s close relationship with the cutting-edge Italian label. Koomran, who mastered the album, also guests on one track; while Paolo “Ske” Botta is responsible for the stylish graphics.
Musica Ficta are a supergroup of sorts, featuring the considerable talents of Russian-born jazz singer Julia Feldman and flutist/composer Dvir Katz, known on the jazz scene as the leader of Chameleon Trio. The other band members (original keyboardist Yuri Tulchinsky was replaced by Omer Rizi just after the recording of the album) are also obviously very talented, and well-versed in a wide range of musical modes besides rock. This should not come as news to anyone familiar with the small but thriving Israeli progressive music scene, which last year produced one of the classiest “retro-prog” albums of 2011, Sanhedrin’s Ever After, and can boast of a strikingly original prog metal band such as Orphaned Land.
True to the multiethnic nature of their home country, Musica Ficta infuse their sound with influences that go beyond classic prog. The use of Hebrew for the lyrics (though all of the song titles are in English) adds an exotic touch to the music, whose heady blend of lyricism ad heaviness contains suggestions of medieval and Renaissance music, and tantalizing hints of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music (particularly evident in the title-track). With those characteristics, further enhanced by the presence of a strong female vocalist, Musica Ficta may draw comparisons to Ciccada, a band whose debut album (bearing the uncannily similar title of A Child in the Mirror) was the first Fading Records release.
In keeping with a praiseworthy trend for shorter, more compact albums, A Child & A Well clocks in at a healthy 45 minutes, with relatively short tracks (the longest, the instrumental “A Fantasy”, is under 9 minutes) that nevertheless offer all the complexity and lush instrumentation that a self-respecting prog fan might desire. Most of the compositions feature Julia Feldman’s confident, highly trained voice, as capable of hitting the high notes as of reaching for deeper, more subdued tones. For some odd reason, however, her voice failed to resonate with me – especially in the album’s attempt at a power ballad of sorts, the slightly sappy “Little Town”, which is rescued by its Genesis-meets-PFM finale. Personal gripes aside, Feldman’s performance will not fail to impress fans of commanding female vocalists such as Annie Haslam or Christina Booth. The title-track (which can be also enjoyed as a video, with the band dressed in 18th-century costume) is probably Feldman’s finest hour on this album, the lilting, dance-like pace of the singing offset by the harder-edged instrumental sections, driven by organ and guitar.
The central role of the flute in A Child & A Well has elicited inevitable comparisons with Jethro Tull, compounded by the often aggressive stance of the electric guitar – and, indeed, Udi Horev’s approach owes a lot to Martin Barre’s hard-driving style. “Man & Angel” rests on the balance between gentler, vocal-based passages and heavier instrumental ones that characterizes much of the output of Ian Anderson’s band; the same dynamics of folk-ballad-meets-hard-rock can be found in the intense “The Postman”. Indeed, However, there are also nods to lesser-known outfits like Delirium (in my view, one of the best early Italian prog bands), whose influence emerges in the jazzy, bass-driven instrumental “Run Free You Idiot” – an intriguing concoction of Avant suggestions, razor-sharp guitar riffs and lilting harpsichord that is definitely one of the highlights of the whole album. My personal pick, however, would be the 8-minute-plus “A Fantasy” – a stately, supremely atmospheric guitar showcase, acoustic at first, then electric, complemented by the eerily surging drone of Koomran’s haunting electronic soundscapes.
A Child & A Well is a superbly performed album that,while not perfect (I personally found the second half more satisfactory than the first), has the potential to appeal to most progressive rock fans, even those more inclined towards cutting-edge stuff rather than anything with a “retro” flavour. Unfortunately, Musica Ficta seem to have dropped off the radar in the past few years, with its members engaged in other projects. It is to be hoped that they will surface again in the near future, because their debut surely shows a lot of promise.
progmistress

This seven year-old recording by a the now defunct Israeli progressive rock band finally sees the light of day, and shows a mature artistic vision — one which is more adventurous than fellow Israeli proggers and label mates Sanhedrin demonstrated in the release we reviewed in our previous issue.
The well arranged, symphonic music confronts pastoral sceneries with bursts of edgy, at times even metal-inspired, playing. "Man & Angel" demonstrates this, sounding like a marriage between Genesis and Queen: the first is echoed through the song's fantastic theme and the guitar work, while the latter is evoked at the track's midway by some heavier tones and a Brian May-styled guitar solo; and so does "Run Free You Idiot," which features wild flute playing to galloping (even shredding!) guitar rhythms.
The dynamics are impressive (which is a key factor in making a good, neo-progressive rock album), and yet they do not overwhelm the poetic beauty and the sense of drama. The tension between the clean, fragile voice of Julia Feldman, and the throbbing riffs and rhythms places this album a cut above many contemporaries practicing progressive rock (of the old-fashioned type). We'd even like to argue that if Genesis were formed in the current century, it would probably sound like Musica Ficta, and that should give you a notion of how accomplished the music offered on this debut is.
We actually did find ourselves wondering how important it is to understand the Hebrew lyrics, and concluded that even non-Hebrew speakers shall be able to enjoy the songs just as much. Even though the lyrics are occasionally a bit witty ("The Postman") they can also be banal ("Empty Promises"), and in the latter case the musical delivery and Feldman's sensitive vocal performance are a far more important factor.
Anyway, one of the album's best tracks is the purely instrumental "A Fantasy": clocking at over eight and a half minutes long, this mostly acoustic number unfolds creative, medieval inspired variations on the title track's theme.
A Child and a Well is one of the best progressive rock releases to emerge out of Israel, and one that certainly demands worldwide attention. (9/10)
Avi Shaked

Musica Ficta's "A Child & a Well" remind me of some of the best of the 90's progressive rock bands, with heavy guitars (not quite metal, but almost), flute, soaring synthesizer solos, acoustic piano/guitar, an active rhythm section, and pretty female vocals. On this latter point, despite the English titles of the songs and the album itself, the lyrics are entirely in Hebrew. As if to prove that the lingua franca should always be the first choice, as the Hebrew language is practically impenetrable for English speakers, and yet it sounds beautiful as if another instrument has been applied. Compositionally complex, so that the attentive listener is rewarded with multiple screenings.
Album was recorded in 2005, but not released until 2012 from the excellent Fading (AltRock) label from Italy.
ashratom

Pretty impressive, especially Julia's voice. Hebrew im guessing is the language sung, not the most colorful or flowing, but she does a good job with it. Takes a bit getting used to though. Good vocal range and expression. The accompaniment reminds me of early 80's Jethro Tull at times, with the flute, the guitar flavors and the way the percussion is arranged. This is particularly noticable on the opening track.
jim1961

Musica Ficta, literally, in Latin means a "false" or "contrived" music. But this music is not at all false or contrived; instead it transcends the original layer of composed music with some great added notes and themes. The band was formed in Jerusalem in 2003 by guitarist and composer Udi Horev, and includes, Julie Feldman, on vocals; Dvir Katz, on flute; Yury Tulchinsky, on keyboards; Avi Cohen Hillel, on bass guitar; Udi Horev, on guitars; and Michael Gorodinsky, on drums.
The song titles are written in English; however, Julie Feldman sings them in Hebrew. There are no lyrical translations available in the CD booklet. However, it is still interesting to hear songs sung in the language that provides the best interpretation and feel of the artists' narrative perspective.
There are no bad tracks on this album. All tracks are full of early Genesis and Renaissance era musicianship at the highest level. Feldman's vocals are a nice change of pace from the rest of the female singers in this genre.
The title track, "Man & Angel", "Little Town", "Run Free You Idiot", (nice title), and "A Fantasy" were my favorite tracks. If you love the style of music produced by early Genesis, with Peter Gabriel, any music from the 15th - 17th century classical instrumental eras, you will enjoy this album. A great modern interpretation of the classic themes of the past.
Mark Johnson


Que lo disfruten tanto como lo disfruto yo.



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