Thursday, 26 February 2015


Late one autumn on a stroll around Walthamstow Marches, in London I found myself under an old railway bridge. It was an instinctive response to begin to sing under the old structure, the bridge replied to my melody with a unique and fascinating sound, one I had not heard ever before.
The sounds were unusual and very deep, a natural
reverberation mixed with the clutter above of the iron wheels on the rolling train, relentless moans of the wind, dripping water after an early fall cloudburst, sudden pattering of passers-by. This cacophony of mesmerizing soundscape created a very deep emotional experience during my ‘beneath the rail passage’ jam sessions, which I coordinated as a result. It was after these inspiring jam sessions I decided to record this album ‘Songs Under The Bridge', in an attempt to recreate this polyphonic harmony in a more controlled environment.
The bridge became for me a very special attribute and source of inspiration in the creation of this project. Many of the ideas for this piece of work appeared during my spontaneous and experimental performances under the bridge; even the title for the album pays homage to my experience.
Simultaneously, this album ‘Songs Under The Bridge’ is also a reflection of my personal experience living behind the iron curtain of my home country Belarus. My songs are anchored by feelings of misplacement and misleaders; oppression and distortion of reality on a great national scale; delusion and how a belief in the metaphysical wonders of this world can be our way to liberation.
These stories are still very relevant in modern times as we witness misunderstood wars being fought, lives lost and creativity censored. In particular to me it is those withered expanses that stretch throughout the ex-Soviet Empire. The bridge is the symbolic metaphor; I imagine it is the passage, the creative arc across troubled history.
I consider that each song in this album, although existing in a collection of songs, possesses its own distinct narrative and arrangement. This was a very conscious decision, I intended to underline, that by also giving a distinctive sound to each track.
As the result, I invited 22 wonderful musicians to perform on this project. I highly value their immense contribution and I believe this energy, excitement and innovation surges forth in this album ‘Songs Under The Bridge’.
MANY THANKS to all of the musicians who took part in creating this album: Nathan Fustec, Elo Masing, Dave Maric, Ned Crowther, Phil Brunner, Benedict Taylor, Jasmine Scott Neale, Rochelle Anne Swanson, Sophie Charlotte Ramsay, Maja Rivić, Mak Murtić, Paul Woodson, Maria-Christina & The 7 Pedals, Joel Stewart, Marina Nikitina, Gábor Halász, Antonin Voyant, Andrea Piro, Graham Mushnik, Rosie Turton, Dan McKean and Nick Jonah Davis.
Also, thank you to Andrei Rabkavets, Toby Oliver, Niall Doherty and Martin Merenyi.
Finally, I would like to express gratitude to extended friends and family and VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to my beloved Moi Tran for all the help and support.
All Songs Are Written By Sasha Ilyukevich,
Apart From 'By The River':
Lyrics - Sasha Ilyukevich,
Music - Sasha Ilyukevich and Andrey Novikov
The Album ‘Songs Under The Bridge’ was recorded in different locations in the UK between December 2013 and December 2014.
Mixed By Nathan Fustec, Pulse Studios, London, UK
Apart From 'Mio Moi': Recorded and Mixed By Gábor Halász,
Studio of Gabriel Prokofiev, London, UK
Mastered By Támas Illy, Jawbreaker Recording Studio, Hungary
Produced By Sasha Ilyukevich and Nathan Fustec
Drawings By Sasha Ilyukevich
Art Direction and Design By Moi Tran
2015 Copyright – Sasha Ilyukevich. All rights reserved.

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