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Karda Estra - A Winter In Summertime CD (album) cover


Karda Estra


Symphonic Prog

3.37 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars

In 1997 Lives & Times released their final album, 'Hoarse', on their own No Image label: at the time they were a duo, comprising Richard Wileman (all instrumentation) and Ileesha Bailey (vocals). A year later they were back in a new incarnation, Karda Estra, being joined now by Zoe King (flute, clarinet) and Rachel Larkins (viola). 'A Winter In Summertime' was their first mini-album, with seven instrumental tracks and just over twenty-seven minutes long. For some strange reason, I never heard this when it was released, so some nineteen years on I'm coming across it for the very first time.

Right from the off this is classic Karda Estra, as Richard combines all the instrumentation plus Ileesha's wordless vocals into something quite magical and special. This is a soundscape, a musical feast for the ears. Richard, to my mind, is one of the most important composers of modern classical cinematic music, creating images and drama with wonderfully layered arrangements and perfect juxtaposition of different instruments and sounds. Using Ileesha as another instrument adds to the other worldliness of the album, and combining this with gently picked classical guitar and a lighter curtain of sounds is simply wonderful. There is so much depth within this album, it just draws in the listener so that nothing ese exists except the new world of Karda Estra. It goes from lulling to something more frantic, and the switch between the end of "The Excavation Site" and the introduction to "Transference" is quite mean, as I found myself quite rudely awakened from a dreamlike state. I may be nearly twenty years late to the party, but I am so very glad that I finally got there.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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