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In a ground-breaking initiative, Australia’s premier classical CD label ABC Classics this morning announced the digital release of a Celtic folk/classical crossover project that has captivated radio listeners around the country.
The two tracks released today on iTunes are a preview of Celtic Road, a CD and bonus DVD package by the Brisbane-based band Sunas, with the physical release scheduled for 18 February 2011.
Recorded in the fever-pitch of inspiration during sessions in Brisbane in October, the album represents ABC Classics’ first full-scale venture into contemporary folk.
‘I heard Sunas accompanying the great Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean at a private concert in March and I knew instantly that they were a band capable of adapting to the modern world of crossover,’ says Manager of ABC Classics Martin Buzacott. ‘We already have a successful Folklorica sub-label and several elite Celtic fiddlers among our ABC Classics artists, but this was the first time we explicitly set out to make a contemporary folk record that touched both the classical and pop traditions as well.’
The album’s raw energy – typified by the first single Crooked Jack - speaks of the great contemporary folk tradition, but the sophisticated studio sound and avant-garde video production marks it as a crossover project like no other.
A teaser to the album can be found at http://www.vimeo.com/17289241
Today’s other iTunes release from Sunas features the band’s singer Sarah Calderwood in a haunting interpretation of the English folksong Bushes & Briars, accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey.
When an unmixed raw take of it was played on-air on 612ABC local radio in Brisbane in October, hundreds of people rushed to the Ferry Road Recording Studio to hear Sarah perform it live. Some wept openly as they listened, and the studio concert is captured on the bonus DVD to be released as part of the Celtic Road album.
Crooked Jack and Bushes & Briars are now available on iTunes.
Sunas will appear at the Woodford Folk Festival from 27 December – 1 January and the Illawarra Folk Festival from 13-16 January.
For pre-orders of the physical album and bonus DVD, go to www.sunas.com.au