Dear Friends, Supporters, Music lovers, Transcendentalists, Neo-realists…
Although we are well into January 2020, this is my first newsletter of the year, and so, before getting into the actual music news, I feel to share this New Year greeting:
Happy New Year to all friends wherever you are. So many beautiful, challenging, unexpected and wonderful moments we shared in 2019. As we cross the threshold into a new year and a new decade the processes of transformation continue and we are given more opportunities to come together in sound and silence, learning to appreciate, take care and nurture the profound and subtle truths of our existence – above all opening and strengthening in the heart. The road is not easy, but it’s a lot easier when we have companions on the way. Precious and authentic opportunities to be together and to continue to keep transforming in ways that definitely benefit us and those around us, and definitely increase our capacity for joy and for peace in this world full of shadows and light. Arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart. I wish you all a wonderful year and hope to see you somewhere in a circle of light.
Much love and blessings for all.
Here is a round up of some music news
The main thing happening for me at the moment, is the Lotus Rising project. This project is expanding by the moment with many wonderful musicians becoming involved. This is a recording of my songbook of the same name – a collection of 50 new songs, hinos and chants. I’ve been trying to get decent recordings of these songs for many years now, and slowly its come together to the point where all 50 songs are recorded in basic format and I’m in the process of overdubbing other instruments and getting into the mixing stage.
I’m currently in Brazil to do some recording for the album with Chandra Lacombe, Tuchawa Shawandawa, Txai Fernando, Antonio Arvind, Andréa Catalá, Pierre Stocker, Carlos Gomes and others.
Back in the UK I’m being assisted with the recordings by some wonderful friends and great musicians including Ayla Schafer, Susie Ro, Mike Stanton, Sam Lee, Ravi Ji, Arjun Magee, Misha Mullov- Abbado, Carrie Tree, Helen Knight, and others.
One exciting development is that the project is now being produced in collaboration with Nixi Music, a new record label for medicine music run by Nils Noa and Txai Fernando in Oslo, Norway. We are also connecting with Cipó Records – Música Espiritual Brasileira, the musical networking project of Marcelo Shama (aka The Reality Scientist).
The plan is to release the Lotus Rising collection of 50 songs in a series of four albums, with Part I released in May 2020 and Part II later in the year. Many layers of musical collaborations in the works, and many joyful hours of musical production ahead.
Here’s a link to a page about the project, and a preview track from the album that you can listen to and also download.
Some other news:
In September last year I spent some time with the amazing young Czech handpan player Pavel Sedlacek in Velvet Sound studio in Prague. Out of that session came two beautiful films that were recorded and produced by Pavel and his father Ivo.
I’ve played shakuhachi solos on quite a few albums being made by other friends over the past few months, including Sam Lee, Ayla Shafer, Chandra Lacombe, Zoe Pollock, James Frost and Luca Tanfoglio. These new albums are still in production, and I’ll post links to them when they become available.
Last September I played a series of solo shakuhachi recitals in Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Norway and Dartington, sharing the subtlest vibrations of deep stillness with those kindred souls that love the presence of silence. The concert in Baden Baden was recorded for the radio and will be broadcast later in February. In Prague I played in a Zen concert alongside Japanese shakuhachi masters Kuniyoshi Sgawara, Akihito Obama and Kenji Seizan.
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Songs and Chants
I’ve been receiving more invitations to share my songs and chants outside of my usual program of shakuhachi concerts and instrumental collaborations. Last Autumn there was a beautiful concert and retreat at Rootspring Acoustic Music Venue in Cape Town with Elahn Keshava, and also a series of musical adventures in Brazil.
2020 kicked off with my first musical event of the year, the Virada Musical Xamânica, an amazing festival of some the best medicine music groups in Brazil. That took place at Lua Cheia in São Paulo January 10-12, and where I playeda concert with my new group Serendipitas, full of wonderful Brazilain musicians – Carlos Gomes, Paula Siqueira, Livia Luz, Adriano Machado, Antonio Arvind and Luiz Vanzato.
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