Lusitanian Ghosts


Lusitanian Ghosts features ancient Portuguese chordophones and other European string instruments, promoting ancient sounds in the 21st Century.

Re-casting these heritage folk violas into rock n roll songs, the artist collective writes from a socio-political perspective on building a better world, creating songs from and for the heart and the mind.

Their second album, “Exotic Quixotic”, was recorded on analogue tape at Clouds Hill Studios in Hamburg and was released digitally at the end of 2021, however due to vinyl manufacturing delays the LP is due to arrive in October 2022.

Lusitanian Ghosts are Neil Leyton, Micke Ghost, João Sousa, Vasco Ribeiro Casais aka Omiri, Abel Beja, Janne Olson, ToZé Bexiga (Raia) and other artists that come and go within the collective.

It is a musical project that mixes indie songwriting with traditional Portuguese instruments like the Beiroa, Campaniça, Braguesa, Terceirense and Amarantina guitars – or violas as they are called in Portugal: each with its own string arrangements and tunings.

Lusitanian Ghosts was founded by Neil Leyton and Micke Ghost, when Leyton took a viola Amarantina from Lisbon to Stockholm; Leyton then decided to make an experimental album mixing the various regional Lusitanian (Portuguese) chordophones with their usual brand of singer-songwriter rock n roll.

The collective gathered at Canoa Studios in Portugal, with producer Ricardo Ferreira, and recorded ten songs, featuring Leyton on bass as well as the viola Beiroa; Micke Ghost on the Amarantina; Vasco Ribeiro Casais aka OMIRI on the Braguesa and Nyckelharpa; O Gajo on the viola Campaniça; and Primitive Reason’s Abel Beja on the viola Terceira. In the absence of Lil’ Ghost, who would join later, Ricardo also played the viola Toeira: making it 6 regional chordophones on this unique record.

Along with the debut album there is a feature documentary film that also interviews several chordophone experts who explain why most of these Portuguese ancient instruments became forgotten – almost extinct – over time.

These historic instruments… they are the real Lusitanian Ghosts.