obal alba

Solo

Jarda Svoboda

Indies Scope / 2016
Genres: folk
MAM570
CD € 9.78
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MP3bitrate 256-320 kbps € 3.81
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FLAClossless format, MP3 version added for free € 5.73
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WAVlossless format, MP3 version added for free € 7.65
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ABOUT

The solo album by Traband’s band leader, singer, composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jarda Svoboda, bears a prosaic title, Solo. This new release of ten songs follows on the journey lined up in the album Přítel člověka (i.e.Man’s Friend), which Jarda Svoboda created with Traband in 2007. Both of the albums are dominated by a harmonium. This keyboard instrument has a distinctive sound, which is similar to organ and accordion (“between church and pub”), and establishes the overall atmosphere of the album. But it is not only the harmonium and vocals. The album is built on harmony with an autoharp, which is another unusual and, today, forgotten instrument similar to a  zither. It is performed on the album by Jarda’s frequent concert guest, songwriter Fanda Holý. To a lesser extent, but also importantly, other musicians and Jarda’s friends contributed to to the album, such as Mourad with his mandolin and Jayk with rhythmic instruments.

Jarda Svoboda excels as songwriter on his solo record. This time, his songs are more personal and the lyrics more poetic. Unlike traditional song formats, the overall message is more important here. “These songs are, as always, targeted. There’s usually someone in particular behind them,” says Jarda Svoboda about his lyrics and also adds why there is a song called Slova (i.e. Words) dedicated to Václav Havel. “Even with Traband, we dedicated most of our songs to specific people. Only not that literally. You can just listen to what we sing for instance in the song Radiohit from the last Traband album Vlnobeat. This album contains a song called Slova (i.e. Words), which is inspired by Havel’s essay A Word About Words. Still topical even nowadays. I think that word is the key, power and weapon. I believe in the power of words.” And this belief is reflected in every line, verse, and song, which are on the album.


The fact that Jarda Svoboda would get back to harmonium at full intensity after the albums Přítel člověka and Domasa was kind of expected. Nevertheless, Jarda Svoboda has been trying to make use of all the possibilities of this instrument for quite a while. “The harmonium is my very old love. It’s like an organ for the poor. It used to stand in those little protestant churches where we initially performed a lot. It’s sound can amiably fill in the space and it’s got human size. It’s lacking the pomposity of big organs which knocks you to the bench uncompromisingly. The harmonium breathes as a living creature. If it wants, it can sound like those organs but it can also play simply like an accordion in a pub.” Jarda Svoboda’s songwriting on the album SOLO has its distinctive character; you won’t find any campfire songs on it. We can’t expect the fate of “popularization” of the songs but they can affect their listeners really intensely if they let them penetrate.


TRACKS

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