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Phantom Limb

Maroulita De Kol - Anásana

Maroulita De Kol - Anásana

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Greece’s ecstatic ritual singer, pianist, and ambient composer Maroulita de Kol announces her debut album Anásana, a record of deeply traditional Hellenic ceremonial cultures interwoven with contemporary experimental colour. 

Athens-raised, Berlin-based Maroulita de Kol creates music formed from the ancient, pre-Christian rites and practices of Greece, newly re-presented through a contemporary lens. A former student of classical piano and voice, an unbreakable bond with her homeland yielded an extensive and ongoing dive into the mythologies, arts and storytelling of ancestral Greece. These studies eventually guided her to the debut solo works that make up Anásana. 

The instrumentation and themes of Anásana borrow both from the ancient ecstatic ritual of historical Greece and meditative electronic ambient music. Flowing lines of deeply learned piano technique clothe traditional Hellenic folksong. And while its imagery was unmistakably born in Greece, its tones are inflected by de Kol’s time in Berlin and her immersion in its electronic and experimental scenes. “My music is an act of freedom and beauty,” she explains. “Hymns that aim for the restoration of Women's faith; they can heal the collective wound of the feminine.” 

Key track “το Δέντρο” [Eng: The Tree] begins with de Kol’s voice, almost entirely unaccompanied, as she evokes a Byzantine trance. A gateway into a faraway land, full of magic and mythology, the track eventually swells to undulating waves of strings and traditional percussion, with Maroulita’s voice at its centre like a priestess of a solemn religion guiding her flock through an arcane, liturgical sacrament. “It is a hymn to human friendship,” explains de Kol. “The kind of friendship that redefines intimacy.” The piece takes place in a blissful ancient world of birdsong and salt air, sunbaked caves and blue skies, as de Kol conjures spells in reverence to ancient divinities. 

Here and within the entire record, the music of Anásana is singular to de Kol’s compositional voice and offers few comparisons. But similarly unique artistry can be found in the Arab-ambient of Fatima Al Qadiri and MSYLMA, in Park Jiha’s exploration of culture, instrumentation, and style, or even in the meticulously observed approach to bilateral arrangement of Arooj Aftab or Mabe Fratti. Likewise, one could evoke a Byzantine Elizabeth Fraser, or even enter the hallowed court of Queen Enya. 

Also a member of the ensembles Reverse Mode, Arcangel Trio, Twin Flames, and Farmagia, Maroulita de Kol has performed in venues across Europe. She also composes for theatre, art performance, film, and documentaries. 

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