Sourdeline

Sourdeline are a French folk ensemble that was primarily active as a recording unit during the late 1970s. Formed in 1974, the band recorded two albums for the folk label Discovale.

Members: Catherine Burban (vocals, psaltery, dulcimer, spinet), Jean-Pierre Danielsen (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, flute, crumhorn), Jean-Pierre Dalongeville (vocals, guitar, mandocello, mandolin, sitar, crumhorn, 1974-79), Jacky Izambert (percussion, tabla, vocals, 1974-76), Pascale Piat (violin, 1975-77), Alain Lousteau (vocals, bass, violin, percussion, 1977-78), Yvan Moiziard (violin, 1979-81), Jean-Michel Darremont (bass, 1979-81)

On La Reine Blanche (1976), the band mix classic and contemporary elements of French acoustic music, from the D-minor flute-laced instrumental “La Reine Blanche” to the G-minor vocal cut “J’ai Vou le Loup,” where sitar and violin alternately add texture over the mandolin/dulcimer rhythmic backdrop. The 3/4 bowed instrumental “Le Chaudron” demonstrates the band’s ability to weave solos and droning chordal patterns against abrupt metric figures.

The balance continues on Jeanne d’Aymé (1978), where violin and crumhorn weave around persistent psaltery/dulcimer strums on “La Belle Abandonnée.” A similar arrangement with less bow and more percussion is heard on the instrumental “Ronde de Mai.” A more stripped-down approach is used on “Complainte,” where the crumhorn emanates above and below the psaltery sustains.

While there were no followup releases, the band continued to exist at some level. A 2014 release titled Sourdeline & Friends appeared on Reverb Worship with Burban and Danielsen in the lineup. The two ’70s titles were reissued in 2010 on the Spanish Guerssen label.

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