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Stellamara | The Golden Thread

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The Golden Thread

by Stellamara

An otherworldly collaboration between world music ensemble, Stellamara, NY based Cellist Rufus Cappadocia, and European legends, Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma. The Golden Thread is an intercontinental masterpiece. Beyond any derivations and into the Divine!
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude
1:47 $0.99
2. Aman Doktor
6:12 $0.99
3. Miskolc
4:28 $0.99
4. Yemen Türküsü
9:06 $0.99
5. Azade
5:29 $0.99
6. Prituri Se Planinata
4:19 $0.99
7. Odam Kireç
10:09 $0.99
8. Lado
6:44 $0.99
9. Element
12:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
San Francisco Bay Area based world music ensemble, Stellamara, travels to the Island of Crete and emerges with their new album, "The Golden Thread." In collaboration with the European legends, Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma, and with NY-based cellist Rufus Cappadocia, "The Golden Thread" is immersed in otherworldly melodies, deep musical meditations, and astonishing improvisations. With her extraordinarily intricate, siren-like voice, Sonja Drakulich carries the listener on a journey into realms of beauty both deeply known and yet undiscovered. "The Golden Thread" travels beyond any derivations or trends in world music, diving deeply into a felt experience of the divine. This is Stellamara's third CD release, and it exceeds all expectations. It is a truly masterful creation.

Each masterful release by Stellamara has appeared years apart, but the treasures and rewards are well worth the wait. Led by the exquisitely gifted singer Sonja Drakulich, with her Hungarian and Serbian ancestry, this group runs on a feverish energy that always stops sufficiently short of frenetic, although they never lack intensity. Right from the start, the virtuoso playing of the members of Stellamara becomes ever-present, while the stellar interplay lends an even greater power to their wonderful web of sound. You'll find yourself wishing for an even stronger vocal emphasis if only because of the magnificent vehicle of vocal expression that Sonja possesses. Her voice is at a never-ending peak of clarity and luminosity, from soft, distant and tailing off into the night, to lively and ignited by fires that burn brightly within. At times she may bring to mind Lisa Gerrard, Loreena McKennit or Azam Ali, but the magnificent way she uses her voice is hers alone. There is no lack of power or presence in this intricately realized music, and those who favor Balkan, Medieval, Persian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish or Far Eastern music will find themselves captured quite easily in the free-flowing marvel that is created. Gari Hegedus has a repertoire that utilizes various Eastern modal systems, and he plays Oud, Baglama, and Mandocello proficiently, taking each passage to a soulful level of modern passion. Cellist Rufus Cappadocia, percussionist Tobias Roberson and clarinet player Peter Jaques join in the sublime magic, moving the music from evocative to inward while driven with a balance that is carefully maintained yet not controlled. Featured as well are two Lyra players (a small pear-shaped upright fiddle from Crete): Irish-born Ross Daly (who also plays Baglama, Divan Saz, Tarbu and African Rebab) and Kelly Thoma (she is also part of the group Labyrinth w/Daly). There is a deeply devotional sense to this music which ebbs and flows from faraway places and times, making for a listening experience that is quite remarkable and unforgettable.

—Lloyd Barde, Common Ground Magazine August 2009



to write a review

Dan Fries

I love listening to the beautiful, deep, meditative, heartfelt, virtuosic music. Essential for all lovers of world music.

Shalom Ormsby

Transcendent Soul-Stirring Music From Heaven
"The Golden Thread" is the perfect title for his release, for like the golden thread of Greek mythology, this music offers the listener a pure, subtle, and sure connection to the divine. Their devotion to their ancient musical lineages and to the cultivation of classical virtuosity is made all the more extraordinary by the way in which they have infused their music with unique, fresh, heartfelt improvisations. This alone makes this release great... but there's another element that makes this music perfectly transcendent: their lead singer, Sonja Drakulich (who I believe must be an angel, for I can't imagine that the angels of heaven could sing any more beautifully). The intensity of feeling that she communicates, from the greatest depths to the greatest heights of emotion, with such power and such subtlety, stirs my soul, and moves me to a place of silent reverential awe. [Listen to "Prituri Se Planinata," and you'll understand what I mean, beyond what words can express. If you're like me, you'll find tears to your eyes... and in those tears, you'll find what I'm talking about.]

"The Golden Thread" is more than music to me. It's a form of pure worship and devotion to the divine. I truly believe that anyone who stops and allows themselves to truly listen to this music will be led, as if by a mythological yet very real golden thread, out of the mundane world, through their opened ears, through their opened heart, into a timeless, expansive, heavenly realm of unimaginable beauty. I can't recommend "The Golden Thread" highly enough. It's simply of the best albums ever.


Follow the golden thread...
The third Stellamara album is more improvisational than their previous releases. It has the feel of a live set, and there are no effects or electronics. Songs last longer, and each instrument has room to breathe. The vocals appear intermittently, one more instrument in the mix. The Near Eastern mysticism and folklore of past albums comes through, but in a subdued, *mature* fashion. "Prituri Se Planinata" and "Lado" are among the best pieces this ensemble has produced.