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Jayden Davis-Tope
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Jayden Davis-Tope The Alvaret Ensemble have masterfully painted a vision of vast frozen land and with each song managing to imbue strong sensations of frigid cold and empty space. In spite of the lonely vision crafted by the Ensemble, they never fail to create such an intimate and delicate feeling with their music that provides that additional layer of depth as the album progresses. Favorite track: Ast.
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alapastel Would you like to witness delicate musical poetry that is so fragile that it is lost if you are not in true silence and solitude? This is is an intimate Nordic magic. Favorite track: In leave rein.
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Blau gers 10:07
Ast 02:47
Ea 07:24
Wylst 02:31
Harkje 04:43
Modder 04:42
Wiete wylgen 08:56


The Alvaret Ensemble is the improvisatory collective based around Greg Haines (piano), Jan Kleefstra (voice, poems), Romke Kleefstra (guitar, bass and effects) and Sytze Pruiksma (percussion). ‘Ea’ is the group’s third album, after releasing the acclaimed self-titled double debut and the second album ‘Skeylja’ in respectively 2012 and 2014. ‘Ea’ was recorded over three nights in a small church in the Netherlands. As usual the group invited other musicians to join, as they did on the first two albums and also during their live concerts. On ‘Ea’ the group is expanded with the Polish violist Olga Wojciechowska and Portuguese cellist Joana Guerra, that became permanent members since the recordings.

Just like on previous recordings The Alvaret Ensemble began to play without scores or discussion. The setting in the church, recording at night and the prominent role for the string section results in an album that comes closer the ‘Alvaret’s’ first album than to Skeylja. Again there were hours of recordings, which took the group months again to compile and mix the album. Release dates were even postponed, as some first editions of the album were eventually rejected by the band itself, to start the whole process over again. At long last the group came to the double album ‘Ea’ and gave it a new home on the new record label Laaps. In reviews the Alvaret’s debut was stated to be tender, quiet and restrained; an introspective album, which stark beauty was perfect for winter, when color has been leeched from the landscape and all has been laid bare. ‘Ea’ might fit that description perfectly. Even better, maybe.


released January 20, 2020

Recorded at Dorpskerk Huizum, Leeuwarden, December 2016
Recorded by Jan Switters
Edited and mixed by Greg Haines, mastered by Taylor Deupree

Greg Haines - piano, church organ, percussion
Jan Kleefstra – words, poems
Joana Guerra – cello, voice
Olga Wojciechowska – violin, piano
Romke Kleefstra – guitars, bass, effects
Sytze Pruiksma – percussion

English translations by Vivien D. Glass

Laaps Records, 2020


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Kleefstra Bros Netherlands

The Kleefstra Bros are poet Jan Kleefstra and guitarist Romke Kleefstra, both members of Piiptsjilling, The Alvaret Ensemble, CMKK, Tsjinlûd, Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra and several collaborations.

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