Excalibur III: The Origins, the very last studio album in Alan Simon's famous trilgoy Excalibur will be released February 1st 2012 by the prestigious label Celluloïd, managed by producer and discemverer Gilbert Castro (Cesaria Evora, Johnny Cleg, Kora Jazz Trio…)
Eight years of recording, five continents, 300 musicians, 19 new titles! An incredible trip to the roots of the legend!
Created in 1992 by the Breton author-composer and director Alan Simon (to whom we owe the return of Roger Hodgson from Supertramp), the Excalibur trilogy represents twenty years of studio recording and 62 original titles. The three studio albums - Excalibur I: La Légende Des Celtes in 1998, Excalibur II: The Celtic Ring in 2006 and the final album Excalibur III: The Origins - have united more than 600 musicians from all horizons: Folk, Classic, Rock, Jazz, Song, Celtic, Blues and Soul.
Its live premiere took place in Rennes, October 12th, 1999, in front of a full arena (6.000 people in the Liberté). Excalibur has since been performed live across Europe in front of more than 200.000 spectators. After 12 years of absence in its country of origin, the return of Excalibur in Brittany will be announced in December for an exceptional extravaganza during summer 2012 before leaving for Russia, Ukraine and England, USA and again Germany and the northern countries.
Anticipated by the fans for 6 years, the last studio album brings together a pleiad of legendary artists. The kings of Folk and Rock form a solid and delightful musical Round Table: John Helliwell, Supertramp's saxophonist, alongside the mythical Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer); Martin Barre, legendary guitarist of Jethro Tull, and John Wetton, voice of the memorable King Crimson and Asia. Les Holroyd, charismatic singer of Barclay James Harvest feat. Les Holroyd, gives himself the brilliant presence of the late lamented Billy Preston (keyboard of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones). An album of fusion and journey, Alan Simon has not forgotten his passion for the Folk: Fairport Convention, The Silencers (Jimme O'Neill), Runrig (Bruce Guthro), Clannad (Moya Brennan) carve up the lion's share. Not forgetting the amazing solos of jazzman Didier Lockwood and the vigorous presence of some talented guests of the new generation: the group Skilda featuring Kohann, the "Breton Björk" and the flutist/piper Konan Mevel who signs numerous inspired solos, the talented harpist Cécile Corbel, the essential guitarists Pat O'May and James Wood and finally the favourite of Alan Simon: "Dun Aengus," a voice halfway through Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and James Hetfield (Metallica) for whom the Breton composer wrote three leading songs ("Evil Day", "The Legend of Oisin" and "Fir Mhor").
Twelve months of mixing were needed to complete the album that totals no less than 130 original tracks. A total immersion for Alan Simon and the Italian alchemist sound engineer Marco Canepa (Angelo Branduardi, Paolo Conte, Roger Hodgson…) who surpassed himself for this last opus.
In addition, the musical production leans on several ensembles: Les Tambours du Bronx, the baroque choir Batti Becchi and finally the Symphony of Bucharest conducted by the American Lee Holdridge (author of the remarkable Original Soundtrack of the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull) who brings to Excalibur III a symphonic orchestration in cinemascope.
Excalibur III: The Origins relates the odyssey of the first Celtic clans (3.000 years before our era) across Asia and Europe. Nicknamed then "Keltoi" by the caravans of Greek merchants who were the first people to cross them on the borders of Altai, the Celts began then an odyssey unimaginable nowadays. Their trip ended in a land located at the end of the earth, a land hanging from its dreams somewhere between sky and sea, a land once called: Armorica. Ireland and Scotland subsequently became their last bastion...
With Excalibur III: The Origins Alan Simon wanders more than ever against the fashion and the tendencies in composing this substantial opus, the symbol of the sharing unity and the discovery of our roots.
Before the release of the album, we invite you to visit the website: www.excaliburtheorigins.com where we offer the possibility to fully listen to two titles. The first extract entitled "Evil Day" (Alan Simon) is performed by the main character of this saga, the mysterious chieftain "Dun Aengus." The singer is accompanied by Martin Barre from Jethro Tull, John Helliwell from Supertramp, Fairport Convention, James Wood and Pat O'May. The second title "Skye" (Alan Simon) is performed by the members of the group Skilda (Kohann, Morgane Créac'h and Konan Mevel) with the Symphony of Budapest and the percussionist Marco Fadda.
You will find in attachment the cover of the album Excalibur III, a photo of Alan Simon, an exclusive interview gathering numerous mythical artists who have taken part those last 15 years in the saga of the Breton composer and finally an historical summary of the adventure Excalibur. Those elements are approved for press use.
[Source: Michele Laurent/Babaïka Productions]