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HOFFMAN, KAY - Floret Silva

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Sommor SOMM029
Release Year: 2016
Note: re-issue of the rare LP from 1985 (recorded already 1977) by this Swiss artist who later worked as dance & trance-therapist in Munich; using text from the middle-age collection 'Carmina Burana' and old folk-melodies, an avantgardish / progressive album with a meditative/mystic direction and wonderful singing was created...
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €22.00

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"Wiederveröffentlichung einer raren LP von 1985 (bereits 1977 aufgenommen) dieser Schweizerin, die inzwischen als Tanz- & Trance-Therapeutin in München tätig ist (www.kayhoffman.de). FLORET SILVA benutzt Texte der „Carmina Burana“, jener Gedichtsammlung aus dem 12.Jahrhundert, und bettet diese in mittalalterliche Folk-Melodien und ein „progressives“ Gerüst ein, gesungen meist von JACQUELINE DARBY. Eine avantgardistische Hippie-Platte mit meditativ-mystischer Ausrichtung und wunderschönem Gesang." [Drone Rec. info]

"Sounding at times like Vashti Bunyan fronting Sunforest, "Floret Silva" is a haunting mix of medieval music and progressive / psych / folk with Latin lyrics straight from the Carmina Burana book.

The "Floret Silva" project was born when minimalist composer Kay Hoffman went to Italy in the mid–70s. Once there, she met with welsh soprano Jacqueline Darby, who had recently been working with the Italian avant–prog band Pierrot Lunaire. Jaqueline was working on new compositions with RCA producer Vincento Miccocci in Rome and she asked Kay if she was interested in getting involved in a new project. Kay agreed and Gaio Chiochio and Arturo Stalteri of Pierrot Lunaire also joined them on this new venture. Gaio travelled from Rome to play the guitar and other friends of Jacqueline also offered their collaboration.

In a short time, Kay wrote all the material, inspired by the Carmina Burana book and her love of Medieval and Renaissance music. Kay also contributed vocals, clavinet and piano and together with Jacqueline Darby – on haunting vocals – plus an impressive cast of jazz/rock/progressive musicians, they recorded "Floret Silva" during 1977–78, under the guidance of Vicento Micocci.

Sadly, RCA backed off and the album went unreleased until a copy of the masters found their way to Japan, where the great Belle Antique label put out the first vinyl edition of "Floret Silva" in 1985. In 2006, US label Robot Records resurrected it again for the first CD release.

After many years out of print on vinyl, we present a new edition of this lost piece from the 70s Italian underground scene. A visionary album which anticipated the sound practiced by many neo–folk bands some decades later.

RIYL: Jan Dukes de Grey, Vashti Bunyan, Sunforest, Wicker Man, Pierrot Lunaire, Opus Avantra, Current 93, Nico, Gal Costa, Wooden O, Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band…

Master tape sound

4–page insert with detailed liner notes by Richard Allen and photos.

"This album is like the prettier, more elegant companion piece to Nico’s somber medieval explorations on The Marble Index" – Brainwashed.com

"This should appeal to experimental psych–folk fans for sure, even if this unique treasure is really something outside almost any genre designation you’d care to come up with!" – Aquarius Records

"…An almost perfect fusion of styles that when combined with the archaic language is both haunting and entrancing reminiscent perhaps of the otherworldly atmosphere created by Bo Hansson on his Lord of the Rings album." – Richard Allen

Iste Mundus – Floret Silva – Exorcismus – Intermezzo (Chume, Chume) – Ich Will Truren – Rondo – Mai Tanz – Quot Sunt Horae – Tot – Sonus Dulcis Lyrae – Ouverture – Zum Fest – Intermezzo (Fagott Sommer Nacht Promenade) – Tempus Instat – Langueo (Vacillantis) – Chume, Chume – Nummus – Post Communio Sancti Cyrilli "


"We've had the cd reissue of this gem before, but now for the very first time it's been reissued on vinyl, too! What does Floret Silva sound like, you ask? How about RennFaire gone Rock In Opposition? Italian prog meets medieval madrigals?? We're still puzzling about how to describe this wonderful, wonderful disc, a reissue of a rare lp which was recorded by composer Kay Hoffman in Florence, Italy in 1977, though not released until 1985, on vinyl in Japan only!
Hoffman and her collaborators, including members of the very excellent and arty Italian prog band Pierrot Lunaire, took a trove of medieval Latin poetry known as the Carmina Burana - poems written by anonymous authors around 1200 AD that are both religious in nature as well as very earthy and real, about such subjects as love and money - and set them to music. The settings are diverse (as befits the variety of these texts), and the results are often eerie and pretty and even a little bit groovy, with quirky chamber ensemble/prog rock backing and even the use of field recordings. Utterly magical for the most part, most especially due to the delicate vocals of Jacquline Darby. One song reminds us strongly of Stereolab, others call to mind (rather more obscurely) that Flamen Dialis album we've raved about before. This should appeal to experimental psych-folk fans for sure, even if this unique treasure is really something outside almost any genre designation you'd care to come up with!" [Aquarius Rec.]

“1977 avant/folk progressive masterpiece from minimalist composer Kay Hoffman. Includes collaborative performances from Jacqueline Darby and Gaio Chiocchio--members of the legendary, Italian progressive group Pierrot Lunaire. Originally slated for release on RCA/IT (Italy) in ‘78, the album was later rejected due to recording deadlines, release schedules, and requests by RCA for other artistic/musical considerations. However, many years later, Floret Silva did end up surfacing on a very different shore. Copies of the masters found their way to the highly eclectic Japanese label Belle Antique, whose musical director had heard rumors about the early project in the mid-1980’s. As a result, Floret Silva was finally released eight years after the completed sessions in 1985 as a small edition, but very well received LP (Belle Antique 8502, Japan). Apparently, not many copies of the record were exported outside Japan. This merely created even more mystery surrounding the recordings as well as rumors associated with a Pierrot Lunaire-related project. The recordings were based on the Carmina Burana--a collection of medieval poetry written by various authors of which little is known. Floret Silva was an attempt to find a voice for these anonymous authors in the late 1970’s in Florence. Now, nearly 30 years after the completed sessions, Floret Silva blooms again….this time in the US. Available for the first time on CD with remastered sound, including a 12-page booklet with full lyrics and English translations. A lost (but now reclaimed) gem from the Italian progressive underground.” [label info for the CD release]