Stellamara blends European folk music with a variety of Near and Middle Eastern genres. All of these influences are in solution, as it were, so it's hard to define this group's style by using pat labels or idiomatic catch phrases. Their music is a delightful stew: a rich and flavorful mixture of exotic sounds culled from both the East and the West.
Stellamara's interest in ancient dissonances and celestial mysticism is apparent on all nine tracks. Whether it's singer Sonja Drakulich's plaintive long tones on "Del Mar Rojo" or the throbbing Egyptian percussion on the opening track "Maris," this group embodies the spirit of old-world humankind as succinctly as any modern ensemble could. One of Stellamara's key players is Gari Hegedus, whose skill on the oud, violin and other ethnic instruments complements Drakulich's intense modal singing; the stark "Taqsim" and the eerie closing track "Oj Jabuko" best epitomize the rapport between these two artists. Overall, STAR OF THE SEA comprises a variety of sonic tapestries. Some of which are cinematic in scope; others are more introspective and searching.