Viki Steiri – Balm (LP)




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Viki Steiri – Balm (LP)
Balm is an album by Greek/ UK based artist Viki Steiri, a powerful debut, anchored by ritualistic, monolithic cello layers. Steiri combines Badalamentian soundscapes with electronic dance rhythms, synth-tinged folk songs from Istanbul, alongside reworked cello and santur improvisations.

Written and recorded between Athens and London between 2017- 2023, Balm is a distinctly personal documentation. Moving from the suffering caused by rootlessness, loss and changes of identity to immersion in imagination and a search for beauty and intensity, as ‘balm to the soul.’

From the outset, Balm makes a commanding and powerful presence, with thunderous cello seamlessly melting into more gentle, serene soundscapes. Eerily delicate and patient, Steiri maneuvers through tranquil and slightly unhinged juxtapositions, reaching a pinnacle in the captivating and otherworldly triptych that closes the album’s first half. Lucid cello and synth are meticulously woven, often with a feeling of effortlessness. Balm soon picks up a throbbing and propulsive pace, all the while holding onto a sense of looseness and experimentation. The album culminates in a mesmerizing union of cello and santur, a compelling last trip into the unknown, before dissipating into the ether. 

Written, recorded and performed by Viki Steiri in Athens and London, 2020-2023 (cello, synths, electronics).

Except for:
axRI (‘Aksaray’dan geçer iken’, traditional), performed and recorded by Viki Steiri.
Balm, improvisation performed by Dario Papavassiliou (santur) and Viki Steiri (cello); recorded in London, 2017, with further processing by Viki Steiri in 2022.

Artwork by Thalia Raftopoulou
Mastering by James Plotkin

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