Aimed to elevate the narrative power of sound, Tsarewitch’s endeavors with the album “Psalmantra” and a project of the other Keava member called Behekste were envisioned as odysseys traversing through the realms of time, space, and the mind’s eye. Released back on October 14, 2022, “Psalmantra” by Tsarewitch, a Russian dark ambient/folk project, embarked on an ethereal journey, harnessing the unique sounds of ethnic instruments like the Gusli, talharpa, and shamanic drum. This album was conceptualized as a voyage to the annals of history, from the perspective of a soul wandering through the ages, seeking comfort in the elemental yet profound act of musical creation.
Alexander Yordaki, the creative force behind Tsarewitch, described the endeavor as a personal pilgrimage toward healing, using “simple, deep, and soothing sounds, through lines of small confessions.”
This work was intended as a ritualistic tribute to Slavic antiquity, seeking enlightenment in the purity of sound. The album featured the guest voices of Water – Ayna, vheissu, and rouge foncée, each adding to its mystical allure. The fusion of Yordaki’s artistic vision, combined with Grindamere’s mixing and mastering, along with the artwork by Yordaki and N. Merkulov, was meant to weave a tapestry that resonated with both disquietude and restorative qualities.
In a stark contrast, yet maintaining the same depth, behekste has released its first EP called “Tales of the Midnight Lands”
It is an electronic project that straddles the line between dungeon synth and ambient, with an impending inclusion of black metal. Behekste is a reincarnation of another solo project, born out of the authors’s struggle to find like-minded musicians and the need to bring his musical ideas to life. The project connects with his design of a tabletop game, making the track a tribute to the game setting.
“The game is in progress and it will be totally open source,” Alex shares, connecting his musical and game designing endeavors. “The track is dedicated to the game setting.”
The opening track refers to the Island of Four Winds, a place of rugged survival and mythical intrigue. The narrative, woven into the fabric of the music, speaks of a captain’s fateful journey to the Sea Father’s Underwater realm, a tale of sacrifice and survival. This story is just one of the many layers in the game’s universe, which Alex meticulously crafts and embeds into his music.
The tracks of behekste represent different locations in the game’s setting, “Midnight Lands.” From the “Underwater Realm” to the “Streets of Branryn,” each piece is an auditory representation of the game’s diverse landscapes and legends. The project is a blend of Alex’s passion for music and gaming, a confluence of creativity that gives life to a world both fantastical and foreboding.
Tsarewitch’s “Psalmantra” and behekste are the artists’ endeavors to intertwine the threads of music, mythology, and gaming into a cohesive narrative. In these soundscapes, listeners find not just melodies and rhythms, but doorways to other worlds, where history, folklore, and imagination coalesce into something truly extraordinary.