BraAgas is an all-female ensemble and one of the finest performers of contemporary Czech folk music. Even though they are known for playing music from various parts of the world, on O ptácích a rybách (About birds and fish) they focus on fascinating recreations of Moravian songs.
O ptácích a rybách contains a set of engaging songs where BraAgas treats the listener to a mix of solo and harmony vocals along with a wide range of traditional musical instruments from the Czech Republic and other cultures, such as dudy (bagpipes), nyckelharpa, frame drums, shepherd’s flutes, fiddle and various types of percussion.
The lineup on O ptácích a rybách includes Kateřina Göttlichová on vocals, guitar, nyckelharpa, bagpipes; Michaela Krbcová on vocals, drums, percussion; Karla Braunová on vocals, flute, clarinet, bagpipes, wind instruments; and Michala Hrbková on vocals and violin. Guests: Jan Hrbek on bass; Jan Balcar on guitar and didgeridoo; Jan Klíma on vocals; and Jan Hrbek on vocals.
O ptácích a rybách features remarkably expressive vocals, all enhanced by a masterful and lush mix of Medieval and Czech folk music. Highly recommended.
BraAgas is an all female quartet created in 2007 after the split-up of the band Psalteria. The first two albums were hard to define genre-wise. “The first album called No.1 was a mix of everything – medieval and folk songs as well,” says Katka Göttlich (Katerina Göttlichova).
The four members of BraAgas have been playing for a long time. In addition to the previously mentioned Psalteria, the musicians played in other bands. “Our experiences from other bands have merged here – for me and Karla it was the Psalteria band, for Beta it was Gothart. Michaela had been sometimes the guest in different groups (e.g. Krless) before BraAgas originated,” says Göttlich.
The fact that the band was formed by professional musicians helped them record albums immediately and also with touring. Live playing is one of those things BraAgas can do really well. Their third CD, Tapas, is the result of their live concert art. The band won the music competition Česká spořitelna Colours Talents at Indies Scope Festival organized by Indies Scope Records and the Colours of Ostrava Festival supported by Česká spořitelna.
The recording of an album was part of the Česká spořitelna Colours Talents prize. “The second one called No.2 – Media Aetas was purely medieval long single and the album Tapas has already nothing to do with ‘medieval times’. It’s an album containing songs which we have discovered and adapted and also those few ‘hits’ which we’ve taken the liberty to modify; those that the listeners of world music will definitely recognize.“
The four musicians play mostly ethnic instruments and historical replicas. Many guests helped them at the studio and there were also some electronic elements. Thanks to the electronics, a new modern sound was developed for Tapas, which was produced by David Göttlich and Petr Koláček.
Tapas includes songs from various parts of Europe, including Spanish, Balkan, Nordic and Italian sources, originally dating back to anywhere within a thousand years time span, interpreted in a very modern way.
Current members include: Katerina Göttlichova on lead vocal, cittern, guitar, bagpipes, shawms; Alzbeta Josefy on vocal, davul, darbuka, duf, riq; Karla Braunova on vocal, flutes, recorders, clarinet, shawms, chalumeaux, and bagpipes; and Michala Hrbkova on vocal, fiddle, cittern.