Back in 2020 when COVID started, it made it so hard to travel and visit other places. And this feeling of isolation inspired us to use musical means to fix it. Belle Morte came up with the idea of doing a series of singles in collaboration with musicians from different countries, featuring at least one ethnic instrument. With every single, we aim to explore new cultures and traditions, to bring something new and fresh to our fans. This way we can let our minds travel in time and space, though our bodies remain where they are, locked in 4 walls.
🇫🇮 Fallen idol: jouhikko’s echoes in snow-covered Finnish forests
The first trip takes us to snow covered Finland. Meet Tero Kalliomäki, who recorded jouhikko (Finnish name for tagelharpa) parts for “Fallen Idol”. The sound of the jouhikko was like a call from another world, one filled with mythical creatures and ancient stories. Tero’s mastery of the instrument added a unique touch to the atmosphere of “Fallen Idol”. See song lyrics.
Featuring Tero Kalliomäki
Tero Kalliomäki is a Finnish musician whose instruments include guitar and jouhikko (bowed lyre). Tero is known as the original guitarist of the Yearning band, where he was active between 1994 and 1999, as well as the lead guitarist and songwriter of Saattue. Besides he made music with Ines Lukkanen in Embassy Of Silence and Uinuos and also performed as a duo with Ines.
Currently Tero plays jouhikko in his own music project Kallomäki and released several albums. Tero also has its own KillHill studio located in Riihimäki, where some of the releases were recorded.
🇺🇦 🇵🇱 Krew: Ukrainian bandura weaves tales amidst Eastern winds
The idea of ‘Krew” appeared in February. When the war began, we were completely devastated and heartbroken. As a Belarusian band, we have strong connections with Ukraine: we have relatives and friends living there, and in general it was always perceived as somewhat native land for us. Moreover, Belarusian territory was used by the Russian army, horrific betrayal and burden of shame.
We decided to compose this song to reflect our complex feelings and search for some deliverance in art. From the very beginning, we had an intention to show the proximity of 3 languages and 3 cultures, so we’ve also involved Polish and Ukrainian singers Ada Rusinkiewicz (Hethet) and Alex Pilkevych to reflect their own perspective and Yaroslav Dzhus to record bandura, traditional Ukrainian folk instrument. See song lyrics.
Yaroslav Dzhus, Kyiv, Ukraine
Yaroslav Dzhus is modern bandurist, composer, arranger, participant of the “Голос країни” TV show, winner of People’s Choice Award at the “Україна має талант” TV show, artistic director of the group “Шпилясті кобзарі”, founder of the Bandura Style project.
Alex Pilkevych, Wrocław, Poland
Alex Pilkevych has been writing music since the age of nine. Over the years he released four EPs: Explanatory Gap (2014), Within The Brain Drainery (2015), Jar of Joy (2018) and That Way Lies Madness (2021).
On “That Way Lies Madness” Alex had a chance to work with such amazing musicians as Katie Thompson (Chiasma), Adam Janzi (VOLA), Max Morton as well as Anastasiia Zazuliak responsible for photography & videography.
His music is influenced by bands like Leprous, Karnivool, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Gojira, The Contortionist and many more.
Ada Rusinkiewicz, Łódź, Poland
Ada Rusinkiewicz is a vocalist and a vocal coach. She specializes in extreme vocal techniques: distortion and false chord screaming. When she grows up, she wants to be like Melissa Cross.
Ada is a singer-songwriter in progressive-depressive band HETHET. They play a soundtrack to the worst events in your life – so feel free to dance in tears. The band is now recording first LP album.
🇲🇳 Exorcism: Morin khuur and vast Mongolian steppe horizons
“Exorcism” continues our international collaborative series and this time we travel far East, to the grassy steppe of Mongolia. This single features traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument called mornin khuur and throat singing, both performed by Ulziisaikhan Khoroldamba. The exotic and raw sound of morin khuur creates an intense and haunting atmosphere that perfectly captures the essence of “Exorcism”. This single marks a new chapter in our musical journey and we are thrilled to bring a piece of Mongolian culture into our music. See song lyrics.
Featuring Ulziisaikhan Khoroldamba
Ulziisaikhan Khoroldamba is morin khuur player, khuumei (throat) singer and also morin khuur teacher. He has been playing morin khuur for ten years. Founder of Khug-Jim LLC. Also hosts morin khuur event called “Khug Tegshirlee” every year since 2021 .
When a piece of music crosses my path that sounds like this, I get chills which some researchers have dubbed ‘skin orgasm’ and excitement builds. Exorcism is in the category of symphonic metal but its more of an auditory vacation! This song is opulent, and beautifully layered with exquisite Eastern inspired soundscapes.Exorcism review by Metal lair
🇦🇲 Blame me: duduk’s lament in Armenian desert sands
“Blame me” is a unique blend of symphonic metal, Armenian duduk and jazz influences. It develops our international collaborative series even further, becoming the forth song with guest musicians.
With “Blame Me,” we explore the concept of intense emotions and feelings of guilt. The mournful notes of the Armenian duduk, played by Lernik Khachatrian, evoke the sense of emptiness and longing that can be found in the barren deserts.
Featuring Lernik Khachatrian
Lernik Khachatrian is a skilled clarinetist/dudukist of Armenian origin, born in Kharkov, Ukraine. While his love for music was present since childhood, he only began playing the duduk later on. His exceptional talent has led him to participate in numerous festivals and perform alongside renowned soloists.
The song begins with quiet and emotional vocals, which gradually merge with the melodic sound. Belle Morte’s voice is bright and emotional, with a distinctive intonation. It complements the musical background creating a single, harmonious sound image, magnificently reflecting the depth of the text and its meaning. I was impressed by the technical skill and musicality of the band,. It is a well-crafted piece of work and a beautiful performance.Mike (Chillout vibe music)
🇮🇩 Black waters: suling, gamelan and ocean shores of Indonesia
Captivating combination of symphonic metal and traditional Indonesian instruments creates a unique and romantic blend. Featuring guest musician Maulana Malik Ibrahim playing suling, gamelan and performing Sundanese mantras. See song lyrics.
Featuring Maulana Malik Ibrahim
Maulana Malik Ibrahim is a contemporary folk musician from Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia. Started producing music from 2012 and created over 100 original music pieces on Upwork/Fiver. Maulana Malik Ibrahim has released a gamelan instrumental album “Bolster Gasah” in 2021 and two singles in 2022. These songs are available on all digital platforms including YouTube.
September: oud and saz echo in the heart of Mesopotamia
Introducing “September,” the freshest banger infused with an enchanting Middle Eastern flair. We joined forces with the talented Ruben Monteiro, and Ada Rusinkiewicz (Hethet) who recorded backing vocals for the track. Ruben’s masterful oud and saz performances add an authentic touch, weaving intricate melodies into the tapestry of our music. Get ready to embark on a musical journey that bridges cultures and transcends boundaries.
Featuring Ruben Monteiro
Rúben Monteiro is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer which places himself within an uncommonly wide range of musical genres. His current projects swing from progressive rock to Mediterranean music, including also in this sonic path medieval and folk rock, as well as fusion. Ruben developed a special interest for the ancient cultures and music, specially from Medieval and Middle Eastern music. In the last years he has been dedicated to Eastern and Western Modal Music study and practice in a non-stop process of composition and arrangement work. Since the year 2000 Ruben M. had released around 19 albums, in solo and with different groups, and had traveled with his music through several countries such as Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, U.K. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Malaysia, China and India. Afghan Rubab, Lavta from Istanbul, Saz Baglama, Hurdy-gurdy, Bouzouki and the Electric Guitar are the instruments that are most presented in Ruben’s compositions that we can ear in his groups Albaluna, Kairós Quartet, Nubero and in his solo project.