|......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH|
Think about a band that come from a country, let's say a "small Island", without any tradition in Progressive Rock music, in fact, I'm talking about a small place called "Cuba", and the band is called as Anima Mundi. With only three edited albums until today, Anima Mundi, delivery a kind of music with an atmospheric, expansive, melodic and highly symphonic sound. The musicians on the band are highly committed in the strong traditions of Symphonic Progressive Rock, played by famous bands from years 70. Their music is universal full of adrenaline, very epic, atmospheric, surroundings, the musical scope can only be described as a symphonic masterpiece, a band that know how to develop an plenteous and extraordinary instrumental featuring exceptional musicianship and soaring harmonies, delivering a timeless sound that is unquestionably exciting, and absolutely unforgettable. I believe that, the main idea on the band, is not to become only another prog group or merely a new band, they really want to share their experiences, showcase their musical talents. Anima Mundi wants to play a sincere and very creative music, to become recognized by a new reference into the progressive rock scene. Their new album, titled as "The Way", is out of this world, all musical arrangements are full of resources with
grandiose passages full of intense, incredible and amazing symphonic keyboards, with lots of wonderful and clean guitar solos, clean vocals, very well accompanied by a vibrant drum and a harmonium bass sound. What a musical performance!!! What an amazing music!!! What an incredible arrangements!!! What a bombastic, symphonic music!!! What I can tell more about them. I have the pleasure to invite you all to listen to the Anima Mundi and his new album "The Way" and have an amazing musical experience. The music from the band, follows in the same style and influences such as the bands "Yes", "Coda", "Genesis", "Like Wendy", "Camel", "Arena", "Rick Wakeman", "Finch", "Emerson Lake & Palmer", "Egdon Heath", "Transatlantic", "Lady Lake", "Odyssice", "Porcupine Tree" and many other Progressive Rock bands that we know and of course you will love. I really can say that, Anima Mundi has what it takes to be at the forefront of the Symphonic Progressive Rock universe and the new album "The Way" shows a promising successful career. It is recommended to fans who love the best Prog Rock with traditional symphonic elements. Brilliant and a fantastic band, an amazing album, highly recommendable...
line-up on Anima Mundi today are:
Anima Mundi surprises like every single riddle. What seemed to be a whim of snob boys continues its tortuous way, like an invisible and tenacious thread, fantastic for its closest fans. The isolated phenomenon of a progressive rock band in Cuba survives, with new and unknown supplies of good health, with an incredible persistence for more than a decade. Since anywhere there is transparency there are not secrets, the key has been to look for the transcendence in life, and also to see existence like a landscape of harmony and beauty, light, never ending love. They don’t chase popularity or commercialism; they make their own music, what they like, it happens… now they wait for you!
The band, founded in the spring of 1996, maintains a basic formation of electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass guitar and drums, to what have occasionally been added Galician bagpipes, Celtic flute and other instruments.
Its first album, "Septentrión" (2001), was independently produced. "Septentrión" gave to the bagpipes a new dimension of modernity, out of the narrow spaces of Spanish centers and societies in Havana where they were commonly played. Many nowadays musicians use this forgotten Celtic instrument due to the work of the Mundis who took this device, brought to our island by the Spanish ancestors, and inserted it in their music. Several bands of Cuban popular music are trying with the bagpipes, such as Sintesis, Buena Fé, Aceituna sin Hueso, David Blanco and Inti Santana.
The universality of Anima Mundi resides in its proposition of a journey to the essential spirituality of the human being which takes us to a different dimension. Regarding roots, Anima Mundi music could be found influenced by classic bands of prog-rock like "Yes", "Genesis", "Rick Wakeman", "King Crimson", "Emerson Lake & Palmer" and even the very new "The Flower Kings", taking into account "The Beatles", the psychedelic music of late sixties, some exponents of the space rock, like "Tangerine Dream"and "Klaus Schulze", and also some influence of the classical and folk music such as "Mike Oldfield"… to offer us a non repetitive sonorous passage.
The virtuosity of their music is precisely in its fragility and magic. One thing that has marked the band is the constant change of line-ups, with the resulting irregularity on stage. Situated in a no one land musical frontier, there are few musicians in Cuba who are interested in making music in the Mundis way, inside a precarious economical context where there isn’t sensibility to create or even listen to this sort of music, and little institutional support to cultivate it.
The coming of the new millennium legitimated the maturity of the band that until that moment existed as a mere experimental project among friends. Virginia Peraza, Ariel Valdés, Abel González and Gustavo Comptis were musicians who shared the same like for prog-rock since college years. They joined Roberto Díaz who had a very well conceived idea of the project by 1996. They founded Anima Mundi – Roberto Díaz, lead guitar and vocal; Virginia Peraza, keyboards; Ariel Valdés, drums and percussion; Gustavo Comptis, bass guitar and vocals and Abel González, guitar and vocals. They contributed to form the style of the band with the release of three demos: “Eterno Cauce” (1997), “Tierra Invisible” (1998) and “Más allá” (1999).
By 1999, “Las praderas del corazón” was the emblematic title of the band that had got a considerable amount of fans. With the release of this new demo, two performers of the Galician bagpipes joined the other players: Anaisy Gómez and Regis Rodríguez. The eldest Cuban label, EGREM, which specializes in Cuban traditional and popular music, showed its interest in recording an album for the band; this offer didn’t go further than only promises. However, the Mundis maintained the singular sound of the bagpipes, principally in live performances, with plenty of approval from the demanding public. The insertion of the Celtic instruments, the leaving of Abel González and Gustavo Comptis, and the joining of the bassist Ariel Ángel and the singer Andremil Oropesa, changed the sonority of Anima Mumdi. This was a period of many concerts throughout the country that can be summarized in the concept of "Septentrión".
The year 2001 was very fruitful because of the ending of the band’s first album "Septentrión". Anima Mundi spread its offer all along the island by giving lots of concerts. In July 2002, Mellow Records released the CD with an excellent critic of the specialists. By August of that year, the Mundis began recording "Jagannath Orbit". After that, the band offered a good bye show to Ariel Valdés who would travel to Canada after leaving all the new album drum tracks recorded. This performance was unforgettable for all the people that went there. The production of the concert was very expensive due to the use of multiple resources, such as scenographic devices, lights, image projections, big screens and guest musicians from the symphonic orchestra who played bassoon, French horn, clarinet, saxophones, digeridoo and symphonic percussions. The show almost took Anima Mundi to ruin. There hasn’t been any other performance equal to that, and it is kept in the deepest of the band members’ memory as a gleam of success: minimal, intense, unreachable…
Between 2003 and 2006, Anima Mundi gave just a few concerts. They played in national rock festivals, always having guest musicians on the bass and drums. It was difficult for the band to perform with these musicians because they were influenced by jazz as well as Cuban popular music. In the national musical panorama where the lack of interest for alternative propositions appears, the economical situation of the band became severe. Fortunately, in September 2004, Osvaldo Vieites(Osvi) and Yaroski Corredera, on the drums and bass respectively, joined the band, and rescued the rocker feeling, gone since the leaving of Ariel Valdés.
In the middle of such uncertainty, to buy new equipment for the recording and mixes of the new CD at home became necessary, and in that way to retake the production of "Jagannath Orbit", their second album which suffered a transformation during those years. With a great proximity to the progressive symphonic music, all the lyrics in English and a new singer, Carlos Sosa, "Jagannath Orbit", which has already been finished, offers basic musical changes with respect to the first one, and also intends to search in other directions.
May, of the same year, Manuel Govín (Manolo) joins the band. He
is an experienced drummer of a great potential, capable of producing intense
sonorities and offering appropiate contrasts to Anima Mundi music.
Since then on, the band has performed some live concerts and they now prepare
their brand new album, which is only a part of the several surprises that
Mundi expects to please the fans with.
Being a rara avis in its environment, it’s impossible to understand the evolution of the band without knowing the Cuban situation. The phenomenon of migration is suffered by every single family in the island, and the Mundis aren’t out of this problem. Within the musicians that have belonged to the band, nine of them live in other countries, and sometimes this hole in the line-ups hasn’t been easy to fill with new talented performers. To this major trouble, we can add the need of instruments, equipment, and information. Moreover, the indifference of the mass media to rock music, considered by many as having foreign influence and with lack of national identity.
Time to understand
Produced by Roberto Diaz, arranged by Anima Mundi, music by Roberto Diaz except tracks 2, 3 by Roberto Diaz and Virginia Peraza. Recorded by Virginia Peraza at Anima Studios. The album was made between October 2008 and April 2010 in Havana, Cuba. Mastered by Maykel Bárzagas at MB Studios in Havana, Cuba, August 2010.
To get in contact or, If you would like any other information about the band and musicians, you must visit Anima Mundi at MySpace.
For more information and every thing about the musicians and band, please visit ANIMA MUNDI HOME PAGEN
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