Title - 'The Woman Astronaut'
Artist - Penka Kouneva
For those wondering, and you actually should be, The Woman Astronaut, by composer Penka Kouneva, is an original concept album, presented in a cinematic orchestral-electronica style, telling the story of the life journey of an astronaut: adolescence-homeland, young adult, and maturity.
Created, as it seems a lot of new albums are these days, via an online Kickstarter campaign, where she rewarded all monetary backers with various personal items at the end of said campaign, as a really nice bonus (and something that I've never seen done en mass like this before), she ensured that ALL the names of those Kickstarter backers (without any mention of level or monetary figures) got typed up in one long alphabetical list and printed inside the deluxe 16-page color CD booklet that comes with this release here today! That's how much Kouneva cherishes the love, support and devotion of her fans re: giving them all a permanent legacy position on this wonderful new album.
As for this album itself, well, The Woman Astronaut is a genuine contender for album of the year - it's just that damn good! A musical masterpiece, once you have finished listening to it all the way through, you just have to hit repeat and have another session with it. Broken up into three distinct chapters - ORIGINS, FLIGHT SCHOOL and SPACE - just listening to the ethereal strings of the opening track 'Earth' will have you instantly knowing you spent your money wisely. Featuring the uber talented, and totally underrated Lili Haydn, the track dips and soars like a winged birds eye view of a musical landscape beneath it.
The 70 piece orchestra is what makes this album the rich, warm, exciting work of art that it is though, of that have no doubt. Kouneva and her orchestrations may well be genius combined, but this orchestra is phenomenal. Truly amazing. Indeed, you can feel the energy, the passion, the dedication of the orchestra coming through the speakers throughout every single track. So much so that closing your eyes enables you to be transported so vividly, so quickly, it will amaze you to wake up by the musical journey's end and find yourself still sat in your chair!
Together with this orchestra, and other star helpers along the way, Kouneva has created an entire world with her music and I, for one, have never heard anything quite like it before. Well renowned, well respected behind the scenes as an orchestrator for huge Hollywood films, she has now stepped out of the darkness into the light - and with this new album, she should realize that this is where she belonged all along.
'The Woman Astronaut' CD Purchase Link