Kameny ze dna
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Mercifully Drifting, Rough And Gentle, Stories Of Jana Vébrová. Kameny ze dna (i.e. Stones From The Bottom) is only the second album by Jana Vébrová, an original singer-songwriter from the windmill. There is probably no other Czech singer-songwriter who approaches her work and expression in such a raw and naturalistic way, drawing inspiration from less definable and predictable sources. However, compared to her debut, here she shows herself in a more ethereal and subtle position. The album was produced under the direction of Ondřej Ježek and the studio guests were Alexey Aslamas on violin and viola, Petr Tichý on double bass, Jan Jirucha on trombone and tuba, Michal Nejtek on piano, Aliaksandr Yasinki on accordion and Miloš Dvořáček on drums and percussion. Lie down in the stream and let the diverse melodies, poetic lyrics and unmistakable voice of Jana Vébrová flow around you.
In addition to a very distinctive vocal expression, Jana Vébrová's poetic and multifaceted lyrics are also significant. She is blessed with great dynamism in her voice, but also in the composition of her songs. Emotional variety and urgency in passages both delicate and harsh. She is not a plagiarist, she is looking for her own way. As she herself admits: "Maybe it's the region I come from, the Czech, northern borderlands. The zero percent of local folklore and the uprootedness of the region leave the artist with no choice but to look for her own source of inspiration. To find it within oneself, from oneself."
The title of the album “Kameny ze dna“ (i.e. Stones from the Bottom) is derived from Jana's everyday life at the Nisa River, CR. "For seventeen years I lived at the watermill in Hrádek nad Nisou (CR)," says Jana Vébrová, adding: "I perceived this element and experienced everyday activities and natural events associated with it. I was wading, swimming, merging, diving, observing the river change through the seasons, throwing flip-flops, lying in the seaweed, and introducing all this to our 3 daughters since they were born, and who have grown up with the river. Our favorite, almost archaeological activity was fishing for rocks and water-smoothed and abraded shards from the bottom. Metaphorically, this ritual can also be transferred to a personal self-reflection. Just as we reach to the bottom of the river, we can also reach to the bottom of our soul and pick up a shard, a pebble, a rock, bring it to the surface, read its story, which can sometimes be happier and sometimes sadder. Ideally, you then place it peacefully beside you or throw it back into the river. Send it downstream, let it sink to the bottom, but never to the same place again."
The album contains 14 songs, most of them by Jana Vébrová. One of them is a variation on the folk text "Bože můj", which was already in the nineties covered by the trio Ostřanský - Václavek - Jelínková on the album "Domácí lékař”. Two songs are ballads from Kytice (i.e. Bouquet), a collection of ballads by the Czech author Karel Jaromír Erben (Štědrý den / i.e. Christmas Day and Holoubek / i.e. Little Dove).
In her original compositions, one can hear purely personal inspirations, „jdoucí bez okolků na dřeň“ / i.e. "going straight to the core" (Třesu se / i.e. I Am Shaking), but they are usually covered with poetics (Břízy / i.e. Birches, Písečný vír / i.e. Sand Vortex, Doma / i.e. At Home) or are directly dreamlike scenes (Kaštanoví koně / i.e. Chestnut Horses, Cílkova, Námořník / i.e. Sailor). The opening song pleads to God, to bridge dramatically and dynamically through the entire album in the closing one, Kameny ze dna (i.e. Stones from the Bottom), a resumé, a peaceful evaluation of a stage of life that has passed since the release of the debut album.
Kameny ze dna was recorded by Jana Vébrová in 2022 in the jáMOR studio in Prague, CR, under the sound and production by Ondřej Ježek. The graphic design was done by Luboš Drtina.