Alan Stivell

Real Name:
Alan Cochevelou
Profile:
Getting famous for popularizing the Celtic harp, it would be simplistic to make him just a harpist. This multi-instrumentalist of Breton descent was born January 6, 1944 in Riom, Auvergne, France.

While growing up in Paris, his father Jord Cochevelou dreams on reintroducing the Celtic harp (Telenn in Breton) in its cradle: Brittany. But it has to be reinvented as the instrument is long time lost, nobody plays it anymore. also he doesn't have a clue on how to make it. During the 2nd World War, Jord met with a harp teacher named J-M Hamonic who gave him some ideas on how to transpose drawings into a concrete instrument. 1942 saw the making of the first preliminary tests, but it was only a decade later that a true harp could be created. Alan, then an early teen attracted with science-fiction novels, mights and magic starts to play with this new instrument built by his father, getting introduced to harp by his teacher Denise Mégevand. He starts to play in Paris and Brittany. Age 9 on the 28th of November 1953, he plays at the Maison de Bretagne in Paris on his father's first protype. In 1954, he integrates the Scout Movement, as well as the Bagad Bleimor as a bombarde player. In 1955, he gets to perform as the opening act of Line Renaud at L'Olympia. He'll then seriously start on learning the Breton language, including mythology and history in order to reconnect with his roots. In 1959, he'll put on record the first ever Celtic harp song on label Mouëz-Breiz, followed with the infamous Telenn Geltiek (Harpe Celtique) (then still under his birth name; Alan Cochevelou). In 1961, he'll become "penn-soner" (lead) of the Bagad Bleimor. Together with his friend Youenn Sicard, he'll win several bombarde and biniou (Breton bagpipe) championships in Gourin, years 1966 1968 and 1969. Those years are constitutive of the the classical path followed by Stivell, but this modernist is already willing to find a new sound and will finally turn towards Rock music.

Thrilled with English Pop music and the US Folk wave, he gets to play with a brand new Celtic harp with metal strings (called bardic harp), again developed by his father. From 1966 onwards, he starts playing in Youth Clubs and various festival, such as the "Hootenannies" (some kind of jams sessions), organized by Lionel Rocheman in the American Centre of Paris where he sings for the first time. The years 1966 1967 are decisive for his following career. He gets to air on France-Inter (one of France's main radio back then and today still), and soon sings on with Philips. He'll then play several times at José Arthur's Pop-Club, and during this era, he'll change his scene name to Alan Stivell "a Breton name standing for origin", as he says.

His first LP Reflets is released in 1970, Alan already lauds cultural diversity and speaks of Ethno-Modern Music, cites East Of Eden (2) and Donovan as references for Celtic Pop Music, he's the first to talk about Breton Folk-Song. He sells 10000 copies of his LP before releasing Renaissance De La Harpe Celtique the following year, getting the Grand Prix of Académie Charles-Cros. In the following months, he becomes more and more oriented towards electric music and on the historical day of the 28th of February 1972, he performs at L'Olympia together with Dan Ar Braz, Michel Santangeli, Gabriel Yacoub, René Werneer... Meanwhile, the concert is retransmitted live on French radio Europe 1, about 1.4 million copies of À L'Olympia were sold!

As of 2014, Stivell have released more than 25 LPs and his music is still alive, it has transposed into what is today known as World Music. He played with various artists such as Kate Bush, The Pogues, Doudou N'Diaye Rose...
Regarding his political views on Brittany, Stivell doesn't militate for its independence but for autonomy (it could be directly linked to Europe).

Married to Marie-Jo in 1973 (the song M.J. on Terre Des Vivants - Bed An Dud Vew is dedicated to his wife), they got 2 sons together, Ewan (born in 1976) and Gwenvael (born in 1979). Brother of Iffig Cochevelou. He released quite some records on his label Keltia III.
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Artist

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Albums

6312.011 Reflets — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Reflets (Album) Fontana 6312.011 France 1970 Sell This Version
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6414 406 Renaissance De La Harpe Celtique — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Renaissance De La Harpe Celtique (Album) Fontana 6414 406 UK & Ireland 1971 Sell This Version
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6325 321A À L'Olympia — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell À L'Olympia (Album) Fontana 6325 321A Italy 1972 Sell This Version
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9120 208 Chemins De Terre — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Chemins De Terre (Album) Fontana 9120 208 Australia 1973 Sell This Version
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6461 027 Les Chevaliers De La Table Ronde (2): Le Chevalier Lancelot — Alan Stivell Charles Charras - Natalie Nerval*, Alan Stivell Charles Charras - Natalie Nerval*, Alan Stivell - Les Chevaliers De La Table Ronde (2): Le Chevalier Lancelot(10", Album) Philips 6461 027 France 1973 Sell This Version
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6461 028 Les Chevaliers De La Table Ronde (1): L'Enchanteur Merlin — Alan Stivell Charles Charras, André Gille, Alan Stivell Charles Charras, André Gille, Alan Stivell - Les Chevaliers De La Table Ronde (1): L'Enchanteur Merlin(10", Album) Philips 6461 028 France 1973 Sell This Version
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CN 1849/S Stereo Pop Special-47 — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell / Harvey Andrews And Graham Cooper Alan Stivell / Harvey Andrews And Graham Cooper - Stereo Pop Special-47(LP, Transcription) BBC Transcription Services CN 1849/S UK 1973 Sell This Version
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6325 332 E Langonned = A Langonnet — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell E Langonned = A Langonnet (Album) Fontana 6325 332 France 1974 Sell This Version
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9101 850 In Dublin - Am Baile Atha Cliath Yn Nulyn — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell In Dublin - Am Baile Atha Cliath Yn Nulyn (Album) Fontana 9101 850 France 1975 Sell This Version
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2424 159 Trema'n Inis = Vers L'Île — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Trema'n Inis = Vers L'Île (Album) Keltia III 2424 159 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
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BS-32111 'Raok Dilestra = Avant D'accoster — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell 'Raok Dilestra = Avant D'accoster (Album) Keltia III BS-32111 Spain 1977 Sell This Version
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2424 178 Un Dewezh 'Barzh 'Gêr = Journée À La Maison — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Un Dewezh 'Barzh 'Gêr = Journée À La Maison (Album) CBS, Keltia III 2424 178 Canada 1978 Sell This Version
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Pld.A. 7013 3rd Live : International Tour Tro Ar Bed — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell 3rd Live : International Tour Tro Ar Bed (Album) CBS Pld.A. 7013 Italy 1979 Sell This Version
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DD 33004/33005 Symphonie Celtique — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Symphonie Celtique (Album) CBS DD 33004/33005 Spain 1980 Sell This Version
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AZ/3 C373 Terre Des Vivants - Bed An Dud Vew — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Terre Des Vivants - Bed An Dud Vew (Album) Disc'Az AZ/3 C373 France 1981 Sell This Version
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104754 Legend - Mojenn - Légende — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Legend - Mojenn - Légende (Album) Disc'Az 104754 France 1983 Sell This Version
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240 737-1 Harpes Du Nouvel Âge — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Harpes Du Nouvel Âge (Album) Keltia III, WEA Filipacchi Music 240 737-1 France 1985 Sell This Version
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191 010-4 The Mist Of Avalon — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell The Mist Of Avalon (Album) Disques Dreyfus, Keltia III 191 010-4 France 1991 Sell This Version
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FDM 36198-4 Again — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Again (Album) Disques Dreyfus, Une Musique FDM 36198-4 France 1993 Sell This Version
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FDM 36208-2 Brian Boru — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Brian Boru (Album) Disques Dreyfus FDM 36208-2 France 1995 Sell This Version
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RESCD069 1 Douar — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell 1 Douar (Album) Disques Dreyfus RESCD069 Spain 1998 Sell This Version
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FDM 36223 - 2 Back To Breizh — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Back To Breizh (Album) Disques Dreyfus FDM 36223 - 2 France 2000 Sell This Version
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FDM 36224-2 Au Delà Des Mots — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Au Delà Des Mots (Album) Disques Dreyfus FDM 36224-2 France 2002 Sell This Version
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none Explore — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Explore (Album) Keltia III none Europe 2006 Sell This Version
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233178 Emerald - Emrodez - Emeraude — Alan Stivell Alan Stivell Emerald - Emrodez - Emeraude (Album) Keltia III 233178 UK 2009 Sell This Version