An innovative, all-acoustic ensemble from the French Basque Country offers a unique and creative vision for both their local roots and the greater world beyond. It's a highly modal experience, driven primarily by traditional Basque instruments - alboka, ttun-ttun (an instrument similar to a zither, but played with a stick as a percussive effect), combined with acoustic guitar, hurdy-gurdy, bamboo clarinet & the bendir. The almost surreal vocals of Caroline Phillips are a central, if not solely defining, part of the sound, as her soaring voice is merged into a wall-of-sound created by the instruments in a sharp and stunning series of arrangements.
Of Greek and Persian origin, Caroline Phillips was born in Northern California's Bay Area, a hothouse of a rich and varied artistic culture. Passionate for singing, she studied classical voice in Paris and regularly performed in jazz clubs and private parties for the ex-patriot American community. She began composing in the 90's in her home studio and a year later met and worked with Mixel for the first time in a Parisian recording studio. Two years later she moved to the Basque Country, learned the Basque language, took up the hurdy-gurdy and formed the group, then the duo Bidaia with Mixel.
Mixel Ducau is a native of Bayonne in the northern part of the Basque Country (France), founder of the very successful Basque contemporary rock group Errobi (more than 30,000 albums sold). A multi-talented instrumentalist, Mixel is an accomplished saxophonist and a composer and arranger for many groups throughout southern Europe. In 1990 he created the group Zaldibobo with Joseba Tapia (diatonic accordeon), a mix of rock & folklore. In 1995 he formed a duo with Caroline, and together they formed the group Bidaia.