Aurora (Nomis Musik & WestparkMusic NMCD06 & WP 87235, 2012)
What started as a long distance collaboration between two musicians from Sweden and Portugal respectively has blossomed into an outstanding band. On Aurora, Stockholm Lisboa Project presents a new lineup, with a new Portuguese fado vocalist named Micaela Vaz.
Stockholm Lisboa Project presents a mix of traditional songs from Sweden and Portugal as well as a handful of more contemporary by various composers, including band founder Simon Stålspets.
What may seem like an odd musical combination actually works really well. The current from fado territory into contemporary Swedish folk flows seamlessly. What also makes Stockholm Lisboa Project unique is the extensive use of the harmonica, performed by Filip Jers. The harmonica is not a traditional instrument in fado and is rarely heard in contemporary Swedish folk music albums. It adds a bluesy mix to the passion of fad and the evocative sounds emanating from the Swedish folk tradition. The group describes its music as “fado, polska and beyond.”
Aurora has been well received by the world music media. It received German Record Critics’ Award 2013. Aurora means dawn in Portuguese (and Spanish).
The lineup of Aurora includes Simon Stålspets on Nordic mandola, diatonic harmonica, willow flute, guitars, goat horn and vocals; Sérgio Crisóstomo on fiddle and vocals; Micaela Vaz on lead vocals; and Filip Jers on diatonic, chromatic and bass harmonicas, and vocals.
The seeds for Stockholm Lisboa Project were planted in 2000 when Simon Stålspets and Sérgio Crisóstomo come across each other at a European Folk Music Meeting in Brittany (France). Living in different countries, Simon Stålspets and Sérgio Crisóstomo kept in touch, exchanging music with the purpose of forming a new duo. The project grew into a quartet formation in 2006 performing its first concert in Bern, Switzerland. In 2008 Filip Jers, an award-winning Swedish musician joined the band. In 2011, Micaela Vaz, a great fado singer from Portugal became the quartet’s new vocalist.
Aurora is a splendid recording with a beautiful tapestry of textures from the music traditions of Portugal, Sweden and beyond.