The Burden of Ēirikura: A retrospective question.
It is on a sombre note that the termination of the project, Ēirikura has officially been declared, after some delay and deliberation.
The idea of the project, born in 2014, was a welcomed and well-planned one. The parties involved,
in Konigsberg/Kaliningrad and Eire/Ireland, committed to a non-binding, non-contracted agreement.
It was not without challenges from the onset, although overcoming these obstacles proved joyous.
The belief in the project, it’s virtue and worth was held to tightly, by the two main artists involved, Aleks (in Konigsberg) and Johanna (in Ireland) from the beginning until the end of it’s creation and even further still.
In Konigsberg, much contribution to the musical endeavour was made by talented musicians. Aleks led the project, and he also acted as mentor to Johanna. The almost totally virtual (online) nature of the collaboration, meant that communication in writing would dominate the means of correspondence and the work method of organising, sending files, recording and rerecording etc.
Initially, Johanna expressed that the impact and pressure of the new collaboration’s intensity on her was a bit “overwhelming”. After time and becoming more at one with what was demanded as a recording artist/poet – and also becoming more familiar with her mentor’s method of communication, the infancy stage of the project progressed steadily toward development.
Along the way to completion, there was an under-current of resistance felt, though, along with positive encouragement and affirmation from other parties involved in the music making process.
It seems that the music industry is a cut-throat one. Musicians have high expectations of each other, they are competitive but also constructively critical of each other, this was felt in the creation of Ēirikura, particularly from Konigsberg. In Ireland, Johanna’s work was done solo, mostly. She was aided with the recording of two local school girls’ choirs, by their helpful teacher of music.
A friendship, by communication beyond the obligations of the project evolved – it can be said that even from the start the friendship and common-bond element played an integral part of the correspondence and work ethic of both artists – Aleks and Johanna, working together from a distance. The remaining work on the project was completed in Konigsberg, up to Spring 2017, when the album release saw the light of day. ‘Reflection of a Higher Realm’ by Ēirikura, the CD, was beautifully crafted, and the emotional devotion the artists invested in all the songs, was apparent. The album received positive reactions, for the most part.
It was certainly a ‘worthwhile learning experience’ according to Johanna. ‘An adventure’, according to Aleks. They go their separate ways, without regret.
Aleks continues to be involved in a number of Konigsberg bands. Johanna continues to teach part-time in Ireland, while writing verse prolifically and passionately in her free-time.
All good things must come to an end. In this reflection, ‘The Burden of Ēirikura: A retrospective question’, it must be realised that the sense of purpose and the joy far outweighed the trouble or effort. It was a successful project, despite some resistance felt, and through self-belief, perseverance, dedication to the creative process.
The resulting album can testify to this belief in the power of art to overcome, surmount, and breakthrough to a Higher Realm.
Ēirikura is a musical multi-faceted venture, inspired by the coming of spring, in Prussian and Irish ancient lands. The forces of nature are contemplated, from the germination of existence, through the joys of innocent youth and fresh love that is everlasting, to the inevitable facing of decay and cessation, but with the promise of rebirth and resurrection through the never-ending cycle of nature. Ēirikura brings the listener on an entrancing journey, from start to finish. Using a phantasmagoria of radiant images of natural growth and decline, Ēirikura gently guides the listener to their spiritual gate, eventually to glide in a dreamlike state to higher realms. English, Prussian and Gaelige (Irish) are the languages interwoven, as Ēirikura creates a sense of mysterious timelessness, The varied enchanting soundscape of Ēirikura, is created using familiar instruments: guitars, strings (violin, viola, cello), grand piano, flute, oboe, trumpet, drums, to more unconventional ones, such as bandura, zither, bowed psaltery, musical saw and various percussions. The eclectic sound created ranges in genre from neo-folk, neo-classical to ambient and experimental. Complementing the instrumentals are many united voices of girls’ choir, solo singing and poetic recitals, blended together on ‘Reflection of a Higher Realm’ by Eirikura, to make it a unique auditory pleasure.