Transcendental and ancient were two words that consistently came to mind as I was listening to Cosmic Mansions’ Flight of the Starbird. An album of pure beauty and grace that’s inspired by nature and Amazonian medicinal ceremonies, full of chirping charangos, twittering songbirds, and touching melodies.
A group that’s based in Vancouver, Canada, Cosmic Mansions is composed of a set of brothers, Andrei and Mike Diaconu. 6 years apart, Andrei is a music composer and producer, and his brother Mike is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who plays a Native American flute as well as charango.
Described as “immediate calm”, Flight of the Starbird is an album that’s inspired by, as mentioned earlier, Amazonian medicinal ceremonies, which Andrei has been attending for 10 years, and Mike has also recently attended alongside his brother. The album is also about -in the group’s own words- the transcendence of everything that would block the experience of our true nature.
It doesn’t need a practitioner of an ancient, Amazonian, ethnic art to appreciate the sublime beauty in Flight of the Starbird. From its ethnic instrumentation that’s driven by layers of flutes and traditional stringed instruments, the album features modern and pristine production methods that help this sound get represented in a truly exceptional quality that I’ve rarely been exposed to in my life. Instrumental in nature, the album’s pieces feature simplistic compositions that are built around layering and an impressive range of dynamics during each song, and the title track is a testament to the group’s ability to let the flow dynamics control the pace of composition.
Sirenita, the first song with voice, features Mike’s soothing voice, singing a peaceful hymn in a non-English language that’s immediately soothing and inspiring, as the layers of stringed instruments weave a tapestry of color and melody behind this healing chant. The group’s ability to write a hypnotizing melody is in full swing on Dreamweaver. Composed of two simple chords, the piece uses the flute to create soaring, dream-like atmospheres that defy musical norms. It’s genuinely rare to find something that’s so minimal on the surface, yet features this level of detail.
The album’s hypnotic tunes are peaceful, serene, and endlessly inspired by nature. The brothers Diaconu, aka Cosmic Mansions have presented us with something truly beautiful and rare, and while it is -in theory- rare in the audience too, we trust that this album’s particular, magical ethos will very easily find an audience of devotees.