17 Pygmies, Celestina 3, 2012
When Jack and Meg from the Trakwerx label asked me to take a listen to their current release, I could not have imagined they´d sent me the whole Celestina trilogy by 17 Pygmies. Housed in what must be one of the most precious and luxurious packages on the planet! I took a photo of it (second image) but that does not do it justice. Trust me when I say this is a one of a kind set, that just oozes class…
Musically this has to be one of the most ambitious undertakings ever. Like Coheed And Cambria, 17 Pygmies set out to put a story to music and do so within a number of albums. Three in this case. Loosely based upon a 15th century novel about love and betrayal. Now placed in a science fiction environment. CD 3 has a 42 page book to tell the story by Jackson Del Rey, who also does synths, guitar, bass and vocals. In essence the band are a 4 piece, with several guest contributing.
Each CD has 11 tracks and the song titles are kept simple. They start on CD 1 with Celestina I and end on CD 3 with Celestina XXXIII.III. Oh wait, I forgot, CD 3 has an extra track, to make it a total of 33 1/3 songs…
I have been listening to all CD´s back to back and the atmosphere created is that of a hauntingly dreamy peaceful mood. So their claim at combining classical film scores with psychedelia stands. I might add ambient / new age. So in total the chosen label of symphonic progressive rock does this justice.
The vocals support these moods just perfectly. What is strong about it that the music speaks for itself. You don´t need to read the whole story to get caught by this music. If you take a comfortable seat, put the CD on and start listening, it won´t be long before you are sucked in and are probably imagining being in a film yourself. That is quality!
So a stunning discovery I hope a lot of people will follow up on. Beautiful stuff, so thank you Jack and Meg for letting me take a listen!