Alan Stivell | Artist
Alan Cochevelou aka Alan Stivell born 1944 is a Breton and Celtic musician and singer, recording artist,, born 1944 in Riom Auvergne, France. From the early 1970s, Stivell has revived global interest in the Celtic harp and Celtic music by synthesising traditional celtic music with rock, folk and world music styles. As master of the Celtic harp, bagpiper and bombard player, Stivell modernized traditional Breton music and singing in the Breton language. A precursor of Celtic Rock, he is inspired by the union of the Celtic cultures and is a keeper of the Breton culture. When Alan was a child, his father Jord Cochevelou, hand built a Celtic harp, which is an ancient instrument, less than half the size of the modern harp. Alan began playing the instrument at the age of nine under the tutelage of his father and Denise Megevand, a concert harpist. Alan also learned Celtic mythology, art, and history, as well as the Breton language, traditional dance, the Scottish bagpipe and the bombarde (ancient oboe). Alan began playing concerts at the age of eleven and studied traditional Breton, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh folk music, also learning the drum, Irish flute, and tin whistle. He competed in, and won, several Breton traditional music competitions in the Bleimor Pipe band. Alan spent his childhood in Paris, with its cosmopolitan influences but often returned to Brittany. Stivell began experimenting with modernized styles of music that became known as Celtic Rock. In 1966, he began to perform and record as a singer and the following year was signed by Phillips records. In 1968, after two years of touring Alan joined the Moody Blues onstage to perform in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. In 1970, Stivell released his first hits, the single "Broceliande" and the album Reflets, both on Phillips. He became closely associated with the burgeoning Breton roots revival, especially after the release of the superb purely instrumental 1971 album Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, which won one of the most famous awards in France, the prize of the Académie Charles Cros. This was followed in 1973 by excellent electric rock-influenced album Chemins de Terre, which featured guitarist Dan ar Bras. Over his long and illustrious career Stivell has to-date released 25 studio albums. Standouts include the previously mentioned Reflets (1970), Renaissance of the Celtic Harp (1971) and Chemins de Terre (1973), plus E Langonned (1974), Journée à la maison (1978), Emerald (2009) and AMzer: Seasons (2015). Also highly recommended are the live albums À l'Olympia (1972) and E Dulenn - à Dublin - National Stadium (1975). Alan Stivell is a French national treasure and, to quote music critic Bruce Elder, "his music captures the mystery and strangeness of Breton, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish landscapes that are both ageless and timeless. It is haunting, mysterious, and beautiful, with no equivalent in modern popular music and few peers in the realm of commercial folk music."
Artist Website: alanstivell.bzh/language/en/
Featured Albums: Alan Stivell