Road to Palios is the latest album from Ryan Francesconi & Mirabai Peart. Portland based Ryan is best known as the musical director on Joanna Newsom’s stunning triple album ‘Have One On Me’. What is on offer here may seem like another world apart but it is no less stunning. The album comprises of guitar and violin duets with inspiring minimalist instrumental meanderings which take a central focus around Balkan folk music, mainly from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, a field of music that they are both passionate about. Other influences come into play in the form of Baroque, Americana and jazz improvisation but in many respects the music feels genreless and timeless. There are heart-stoping moments of beauty which Mirabai conjures with gauze like fragility on violin, laments that share the same intimacy the world over. There is an authenticity to their compositions that sets them apart.
The album is miles away from the commercial new-age arena but maybe not an artist you’d expect to see signed to Bella Union. But as the label co-founder and runner Simon Raymonde pointed out in his interview with Folk Radio UK “I just go on what I hear..I wouldn’t sign anybody I wouldn’t want to have round for dinner, and anybody that my dog would bark at!”
Stream the album below and watch the official music video for Parallel Flights:
Road To Palios is released on Bella Union