Struggle. Why is it that in places that seem to be struggling the most, hope, is often in abundance and sometimes relentless. This is the case, in my experience in places such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Mozambique. Why is it also common that in 'socially developed' countries such as Finland, Switzerland, South Korea and Japan, suicide rates are among the highest in the world? Could it be, that we need a certain level of struggle to identify with who we are? Struggle brings hope, hope inspires dreams, and dreams inspires future.
The first track, Saving Face was a tricky one to put together. The main feature of this track is the North Korean Military Orchestra and Choir, singing a Praise song for their Leader Kim Jong Il. The other voices are Martin Luther King and Dwight Eisenhower. I think I learned more about the world we live in during the 2 weeks spent in North Korea, than I have in any other country in the world. Different Worlds was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. The contrast between the times spent with the Afghan Musicians and students of Kabul University, and then the British Council Compound at night, was surreal. Afghanistan and Afghans found their way to my heart and I cannot wait to get back there. I became infected with relentless hope. Falling is a tricky track to explain, but sometimes we need to fall in order to rise again. Pühajärve, or 'Holy Lake' was born one quiet sunny morning in Estonia whilst on tour. It is named after the very same place, 'Pühajärve'. I begin this piece by playing the Harp Guitar with a pencil in the same manner as the Hammered Dulcimer or Indian Santoor. You Shine was the first track composed with the 18 string Brunner Harp Guitar, using the 6 high 'super treble' strings. This piece is for Eva, because you
shine! 1, 2, 3… YAY! Lament has been a work in progress for about 4 years. Whilst living in Finland I discovered the tradition of the ‘Crying Women’. These women used to go to funerals to sing 'crying songs' to help people in the mourning process. The female vocal sample here is recorded by Pertti Virtaranta in 1977. It is a ‘Dirge to the mother’, written by Vasilisa Yegorovna Shiskova in 1914. Special thanks to the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) for allowing me to use this sample. Guten Morgen is a piece that has stayed with me for some years. Here it is on the Harp Guitar, with the wonderful Hanna Featherstone on vocals. Thanks Hannah for coming in at the last minute to do this for me! Just For a Day came about on the train from Paris to Nîmes late one night. I had a childhood packed with sunny memories. Now and again I wish I could be a child again playing innocently in the sea in Cornwall, in awe of the amazing world unfolding around me, just for a day. Abide With Me has been with me for years. A somewhat reassuring song. Written by Henry Francis Lyte in the last days of his life, looking over the ocean with his wife
released December 1, 2010
I recorded this album over a week in June 2010, at home in Nîmes, France. Thanks to Pierre and Esther at Trappe à Sons Studio Caveirac for the mixing and referencing sessions! Thanks to Dan Weeks and Eva Sestan for listening to the mixes along the way. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by me. I used a Lukas Brunner Harp Guitar on tracks 1,2,3,5,7,8 & 9, and the Stephen Sedgwick Harp Guitar on tracks 4 & 6.
Thanks to the usual sponsor suspects, D'Addario, Apogee, Fireye Preamps, Seymour Duncan, Wittman Tuners, Sonuus, Tech 21, X-Tempo and Naim Audio. All Harp Guitars recorded with a stereo pair of Neumann KM184 mics, through an Apogee Ensemble, plus the stereo LR Baggs Ribbon pickup going through Fireye Acoustic Preamps and a Seymour Duncan D-Tar. 18 string Harp Guitar by Lukas Brunner. 12 String Harp Guitar by Stephen Sedgwick. CD Cover design and track photos by me. Photos of me by Jeppe Sørensen, tusind tak Jeppe.
Special thanks to Jo Bork, Pete and Linda Waine.
This CD is dedicated to my Mum. Sitting under the piano listening to you play, as a child, filled my world with music..
Jason CarterLanguedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyréné, France
i have played in some incredible venues with some extraordinary musicians - from the ghettos of maputo, to the south bank
centre in london - from the dusty streets of kabul, to the grand opera houses of north korea and uzbekistan - with taliban teenagers in pakistan, to the likes of nigel kennedy & sting's guitarist dominic miller - over 90 countries in all and 16 albums to date...more