Napfonat’s Égből, Fényből

cover, From the Sky, From the LightNapfonat is an energetic and enigmatic female a cappella band from Hungary whose debut album, Szól a világ released by Hangvető in May 2021, was shortlisted for the 2022 Fonogram-Award among the five Best Folk and World Music Albums of the Year. Their second LP, Harmatcseppben él a világ bennem 2023, released by Hungarian label Fonó, was ranked 11th on the December 2023 list of the World Music Charts Europe.

For the festive season, the band’s third album was released by “Fonó,” too. “Égből, Fényből…” can be translated as “From Heaven, From Light…” was released in December 2023 and is a unique festive album.

The band takes the ancient beauty of folk songs and Christmas carols and dresses them up in a new way, enriched with instruments as well, this time, which creates a truly unique atmosphere under the Christmas tree. Yeah, I know it’s a little bit late, but … Christmas carols and albums never get old. In an innovative spirit in keeping with their musical journey, the women of Napfonat focus on the intimate, breathtaking experience of the holiday while keeping the tradition alive and making room for the joy of freedom.

The special feature of the album is that the women – moving away from their previous a cappella concept – add instruments that enrich the folk songs and holiday songs on the album. Instruments include zither, Irish buzuki, guitar, flute, and piano in addition to the percussion from cajon, frame drum, and darbuka. You can hear a good example on “E mai nap.”

From the Sky, From the Light deals with fundamental themes for all, such as the revival of light, community, motherhood, family, and the fact that something new is always born out of the dark that can guide us as stars in this uncertain world. Hopefully, it will accompany the celebration of many people for many years, and, regardless of religion or denomination, it will remind us of what this period was originally about helping us to connect personally with these universal human values – thus, of course, making this record eternal.

The album was recorded at the Studio in Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary, with the help of sound engineer Oliver Lee, who is also responsible for mixing and mastering.

(Fonó, 2023)

Tatiana Naryshkina

Tatiana Naryshkina is a folk singer, musician, writer, and teacher. In 2005 she and her husband founded the Russian folk music ensemble Vedan Kolod, in which she plays many instruments and is lead singer. She is member of the Russian Folklore Union and the Russian Musical Union (Guild of Composers) as well as a panelist of the Russian World Music Chart and Transglobal World Music Chart, and a co-founder of the NarVal musical instrument workshop. She has written for Folk Galore magazine, World Music Central online magazine, and various folk music blogs. She enjoys "the outdoors, especially in the steppes and forests; foxes; exploring archaeological and natural monuments; studying national cuisine; and, of course, music!"

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