Four years past since "Madre, Protégenos", Duncan Patterson returns, leading the entity known as Íon. On “Immaculada”, the lone travelling musician has again collected instrumental and vocal souvenirs from his numerous destinations to illustrate the memoirs of his quest.
“Immaculada” was written in a period I was travelling back and forth between Ireland and Greece. The album documents personal experiences of that time, set to introspective and reflective ballads.
Hypnotic and alluring, the album balances both the freshness of Irish landscapes and the warmth of Mediterranean sunbathed seashores, as its haunting Celtic vibe thrives and builds upon tribal rhythmic patterns. Much like its predecessor, the straightforward and minimalistic overall tone of the album is misleading, as its layered complexity and resonant harmonies reveal themselves at each listen, one mystery at a time, and one step closer to the end of this spiritual quest.
Íon has gathered around it an enormous amount of talent, both in the many musicians that have taken part in “Immaculada” and in the group of singers that bring words to life, this time lead by the Irish Lisa Cuthbert. Her heartfelt performances are occasionally accompanied by her sister Aoife Cuthbert, with Mark Kelson (of The Eternal) and gothic/alternative muse Vic Anselmo, providing additional outstanding contributions to the album, among other voices from Argentina, Mexico, Romania or Brazil.
Mostly recorded in the Portuguese countryside and in Dublin city, the intricate instrumental backbone is mainly constructed out of traditional instruments. With the mandolin family taking center stage, the tracks have been arranged to incorporate ethnic instrumentation (flutes, uillean pipes) which contrast with the sparse orchestration supplied by cello, violin, acoustic guitars, keyboard pads and piano, supported by the earthbound pulse of the percussion.
“Immaculada” is a collection of slow motion mysterious ballads, balancing light and shade, salvation and loss, beautifully crafted by gifted artists scattered over the world. Available next May 2010 in deluxe Digipak CD on Equilibrium Music.