A Sense of Place: Elders by Yadayn

With its 15-album Built Upon a Fearful Void series, Lost Tribe Sound offers a new world of peregrine sounds by an assortment of artists from around the globe some of whom are new to the label this year. That includes guitarist Gowaart Van Den Bossche, aka Yadayn, who has just released his first full-length record since Adem (2017, Navelorama) three years ago. Given Lost Tribe’s penchant for highly experimental and eclectic takes on electroacoustic, folk, primitive, and post classical music, Yadayn fits right in beside such creative six-string alchemists as Western Skies Motel, Mute Forest, and The Phonometrician. The new album is called Elders, a Dutch word for “elsewhere”, which sets the thematic tone for an evocative musical meditation Van Den Bossche recorded upon moving from Belgium to London as he reflected on experiences and personal relationships connected to trips he took to Iranian Azerbaijan over a three year period.

The label’s album notes tell us these trips ended up resulting in “a personal failure” for the artist and that this album is an effort to make sense of the related events through an engagement with Iranian musical and literary traditions. Whereas previous Yadayn albums have all featured mostly solo guitar recordings, here Van Den Bossche makes extensive use of overdubs while adding meaningful selections of field recordings from his time in Iran, Persian poetry written by a random acquaintance, and loose interpretations of traditional songs. Combined with his fluid and intricate finger-style guitar, it all feels at once hauntingly intimate yet exotic and remote.

Whatever experiences informed these songs, whatever encounters, trials, or disappointments, they clearly left their marks on Van Den Bossche, but he discreetly he leaves enough unsaid so as to let the listener find their own far away places and their own stories within the extraordinarily rich tapestry he weaves.

It feels right to leave many of the personal experiences behind Elders untold, at least in a written language. In its place, Yadayn’s musical transcription has provided something much more powerful. Sorrow, anger, joy, and calm all make time for each other during the course of the album. Its emotions are worn on the sleeve, weary yet wiser, and ultimately grateful for the experience.

lost tribe sound

Links: Bandcamp | Yadyn (Tumblr)

Physical edition of Elders are offered as a glass mastered CD housed inside a hard cover book each containing 8 full color reverse print pages with a mix of artwork designed by label chief R. Keane and photography from Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Gowaart Van Den Bossche (limited to 100 copies). The album was mastered by James Plotkin.