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Eve CD Cover
Image © GFT-Cyclops 2001 

(12 October 2001) The latest album from Richard Wileman, Ileesha Bailey and others performing as Karda Estra is a magnificient seven track epic entitled Even (Cyclops (UK) CYCL 104, 2001). A complete work, similar in some respects to their earlier works Thirteen From The Twenty First and A Winter In Summertime (review), the project is very soundtrack-oriented; vocals drift in and out introducing or echoing melodies. We remained impressed with the songwriting and vocal skills of these talented artists.

Writes composer, Richard Wileman, "Eve is inspired by the short novel The Future Eve, written in 1886 by Villiers de L'Isle Adam. It tells the story of the 'world-famed inventor and master electrician Professor X', who creates a 'perfect' mate for his disturbed friend Lord Ewald. The story is full of fantastical descriptions and images - the android ('Andraiad'), the not yet fully formed human potential or spectre that would become her soul and the quasi-scientific apparatus of Professor X."

He continues, "The Future Eve also fondly brought back to mind films like Bride Of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Created Woman which also played a large part in helping me set the scene. I find these kind of 'morality' plays just as relevant and chilling today with the ever-increasing developments in genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Also, when the creation is female, an added dimension of cruel Pygmalion-like manipulation appears."

Richard Wileman and Ileesha Bailey are joined by Helen Dearnley (violin), Caron Hansford (oboe, cor anglais), Zoe King (flute, alto saxophone, clarinet) and Rachel Larken (viola, violin). Recorded at the Twenty First and well produced like the earlier Karda Estra albums, the project is highly orchestral, extremely moody and has the soundtrack quality required to capture the composer's desired theme.

A continued departure from Richard Wileman's earlier vocally-oriented progressive rock work with Lives and Times, the music is as relaxing as it is insightful. Ileesha's vocals are sweet and melodic—we only wish she had an opportunity to contribute further. Instrumentally complex and of epic proportions the album is clearly worth a journey, a very nice listen!

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