The members of Dayazell play original music, freely inspired by ancient
and traditional repertories. From Andalusian Spain to Persia, through Italy,
Armenia or Mongolia, Dayazell takes you on a trip toward unrecognized landscapes
of world music.
Yann Righetti (cistre, oud)
Isao Bredel (nyckelharpa, voice)
Yann Voegel (flutes, ney,chalumeau, voice)
Guilhem Puech (darbouka, tar, drum)
Can you describe your music in a few words?
Isao : To put it in a nutshell we play ancient and traditional world music..
Guilhem : ..with a small preference for the mediterranean sea, for now.
Yann : It's a "travelling" music. A music that is good to listen with your eyes closed.
Nnay : It sounds funny but the music we play is mainly a music we like to play. It takes its roots in tradition as much as in our imaginations.
Where does the repertory comes from? What are your sources, your inspirations?
Yann : As Guilhem said, the repertory mainly comes from the mediterranean
area. Some songs we play come from old manuscripts (European medieval ones, like
the "Cantigas de Santa Maria", or the "Llibre Vermell de Montserrat"), but
most of them come from oral transmission.
Nnay : We always seek songs that create an emotion whitin us..
Yann : ..and then we rearange them, with our own sensibility, with our own musical culture.
Isao : Some artists are also great inspirations, sometimes even direct sources. I'm thinking of bands like "Oni Wytars" or "Accentus"
Guilhem : To emphasize what Yann was saying about our musical culture: we
do listen to lots of different things, individually, but also together. When
we're on tour, the car radio will play jazz, hip hop, post rock, electro. Obvisously, it does influence our music, in a subtil way.
Actually how do you create? How do you choose your themes, how do you do the arrangements?
Guilhem : When we are in a creative process, eveyone proposes themes that they
found during their own research. Then we only keep the songs the four of us love.
If we work on a theme that has already been recorded by another band, we try to
take distance from the existing version. We keep the melody, and force ourselves
(when it's possible) to forget about the structural, melodical and rythmical
Isao : We save lot of space for the improvisation, that's often how we appropriate the songs, how we create music "around" the original theme..
Yann : ..and our songs do evolve a lot. They are never set in stone. They
change, every year, we always look for the more sensitive and the more pertinent
version we can offer.
What about your musical backgrounds?
Guilhem : except Nnay we are all autodidacts. So Nnay, you go first!
Nnay : I began the flute in 1994, in a MJC, for four years. Then I continued
in an "Ecole de Musique" for 7 years. In the same time I experienced jazz
music, playing the saxophone. Later on, moving in the south of France, I
discovered jazz manouche, Irish music, and traditional French music. I learnt to
play the thin whistle with Jacob Fournel, and recently I took some ney lessons
with Hristos Barbas.
Yann : As an autodidact, I've played all kinds of stuff; flamenca, country,
Irish, medieval. I've been involved in different projects, such as "Kassla
Datcha" (klezmer music) or "Noon" (australian folk music). I also worked with
other kinds of artists, African story tellers, jugglers. Now I'm taking lessons
with Lakdar Hanou, a great oud player from Algeria.
Isao : Autodidact as well ! I learnt the hindoustani singing with a master
in India in 2005 and now I take some lessons with a French teacher,
Michèle Zini. As far as the nyckelharpa is concerned , I learnt all by
myself, playing with other musicians, like Dayazell! And now I may take some
lessons with Didier François, an amazing nyckelharpa player. He lives in
Belgium and is famous, among other things, for his collaboration with Marco
Guilhem : Well, as Yann and Isao, I'm mainly autodidact. I've been working
on different kind of drums : djembe, cajon, drumset and been involved in
different kinds of bands : medieval, post rock, Irish, psychedelic. As far as the
Arabic drums are concerned, I've had the chance to take 3 years of lessons with
Ali Alaoui, an amazing darbouka player from Morroco. He's been, among other
things, solist and arranger for the National Orchestra of Morocco.
Tell us about the origins of Dayazell? How did you met? For how long have you been playing together?
Yann : The initial project was a trio, with Baptiste Couget (former flutist
of the band), Guilhem and I. At the time I was playing with Baptiste within a
musical/theatre company called "Alchymère", Baptiste was playing with
Guilhem in a post rock band, and Guilhem and I were playing together in an Irish
band. We were actually all playing together, but only "in twos". The idea came
to form a trio.
Guilhem : Then we met Isao. She had two interesting cards to play : a really
perticular way of singing, her own way, really sensitive and an atypical
instrument : the nyckelharpa. It "worked" really fast, everything was pretty
Nnay : Guilhem and Yann were looking for a flutist, but for their Irish
band. That's how they found me. Then Baptiste left Dayazell to focus on another
project. I began to play with them within Dayazell, and the feeling was good!
Isao : It was the end of the year 2009. We've been playing together since then.
A strong feeling of unity and complicity radiates when you're on stage?
Yann : Yeah, we are really lucky we found each other. We have the same
expectations, the same desire to seek for a better sound, always. And we do
listen to each other a lot. We come frome different musical backgrounds, but, in
the end, it creates unity and balance.
Guilhem : The idea of energy is something that does make sense for us,
rather we are rehearsaling, recording, or performing. The energies that
circulate within us, and with the audience are essential data in the equation,
but it happens naturally, we do not try to identify or rationalize it.
Nnay : We've been playing together a lot. So now, when we're on stage, we feel "like home"..
Guilhem : ..and also we are good friends, in "real" life! I think that helps the music a lot.
You also work with a theatre company called "Armutan" Can you tell us more about this project?
Isao : It's a company that works on historical themes. It gathers comedians, musicians, sword fighters, jugglers, dancers..
Yann : ..and one of those themes is "Al Andalus", the medieval Arabic Spain. We participate to this show as musicians.
Nnay : It's a lot different from the usual gigs, but we love it : we wear
medieval costumes, and play underneath this really big berber tent. The audience
seats on carpets and pillows. The proximity with the audience creates
Guilhem : Indeed, the collaboration with Armutan leads us to play in
different kinds of places : in the street, under a tent, in castles and
churches. The great part is that, in those festivals, we reach a much larger
audience, a more popular audience : people who would never come to a World music
festival or an ancient music festival and they love it!
To conclude would you tell us a few words about your projects?
Nnay : We've been working lately on 6 or 7 new songs. We try to find new colors, while keeping the existing spirit.
Isao : We want to "visit" new areas, to push the frontiers a little bit farther.
Yann : We've ben talking a lot about a side project, with some electro music..
Guilhem : ..but it's top secret ! For now we're focusing on the next tour, we have some really nice concerts coming!