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The Sword And The Shield / Botanica

Compact Disc (Audio)
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The Sword And The Shield / Botanica
The Sword And The Shield / Botanica


Debut album by the extraordinarily talented young composer and recording artist Valeska Gavotte. Valeska Gavotte and the alias of Kevin Leahy, a young (just 23) musician and composer from an old fishing town North-East of Boston, US. His music is an intricate weave of violins, pianos, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, banjo, mandolin, glockenspiel and percussion. It is by turns playful and profound, full of timeless folk simplicity and chamber music sophistication. Seasoned critics searching for parallels that might give their readers some idea of what to expect will probably point to earlier examples of genre-blurring outfits, such as the Penguin Café Orchestra or Rachels - except that neither made use of vocals, so a further reference to Sufjan Stevens might be necessary. For Valeska, however, such comparisons would be wide of the mark. Asked to name some of the musicians who have inspired him, he draws up a list of classical composers (Bach, Mozart, Debussy) and jazz giants (Coltrane, Grappelli, Count Basie), his only concessions to modernity being Squarepusher ("I'm in complete awe of his genius"), Aphex Twin and Radiohead.


  1. Name
  2. The Pergola Reprise
  3. In Arbor Pavillion
  4. Waltz for Culpepper
  5. Gavotte's Ladder
  6. Rot Flower Village
  7. War Hymn
  8. Drema's Melody
  9. Maple Circle Suite
  10. The Mimosan Folk
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