Music Born Of Serendipity:
This album came about via one of those unplannable serendipitous internet chains of events that you look back on and wonder if someone had planned them after all...
Lobelia and I had two house concerts booked in the Milwaukee and Madison, WI. Jason Bush - a musician from Minneapolis who had found us on Twitter, was considering the long drive down to Madison to see us play. However, this was right in the middle of the Union struggles in Madison, and our host was very involved, and quite rightly chose to focus on that rather than our show. So we had a free night. Jason putting his entrepreneurial hat on, invites us to play at an art exhibition of work by his dad, Geoff Bush. There’s an open studio weekend (Art-A-Whirl) and Geoff was exhibiting. We chatted on the phone, liked the sound of each other and booked it.
Intending to play a ‘normal’ Steve and Lo house concert-type set, I found on first seeing Geoff’s art that I was moved to want to react to it musically in some way. His art is all based on the I Ching - the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, used by some for divination, but by others just as a source of deep inspiration. Geoff’s work featured the various hexagram symbols heavily, contextualising them in mixed media works. My favourite was a granite carved cube, with one of four hexagrams on each vertical face. These are where the four track titles come from.
So Lobelia and I split our set in two. The first half, me solo, is what you hear here. A series of four improvisations, played while those in attendance were encouraged to continue walking around looking at the art, seeing how the soundtrack and the visual work interacted, informed or complimented each other. We then did a more typical duo show in the second half.
I feel a great affinity for Geoff’s work - his focus on the iconography of the I Ching Hexagrams roots his work in wisdom, in words, in ideas, in a quest for deeper inspiration and meaning. And his overall theme is also the title of this album: Believe In Peace. Geoff’s quest for peace has caused him to explore the themes as expressed in the I Ching, and I feel enriched by his journey and art. I hope some of that comes across in the music.
And that’s why I wanted to be able to do something practical with the sale of the album - I'm going to donate 1/3rd of the profits to the Human Rights Charity, Reprieve, to further their quest for peace through justice, through a respect for human rights and legal challenges to those who would deny those rights. Please go and read a bit more about Reprieve: www.reprieve.org.uk
I’d love to be able to make a donation of *at least* £3 per album sold - if you set your price higher, I can give more. :)
At some point in the future, Geoff may have CDs of the album available. We’ll let you know if and when that happens.
released 02 January 2012
played, recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Lawson
Inspired by the art of Geoff Bush : www.ichingarts.com
Cover art by Jason Bush - twitter.com/ainahainas
All played on a Modulus 6 string fretless bass, through a Lexicon MPX-G2, Looperlative LP1, Korg Kaoss Pad KP3, MOTU Ultralite Mk III, recorded, mixed and mastered in Reaper.
Big thanks to
Geoff Bush for the art
Jason Bush for the connection
Lobelia for being amazing and making all the music possible.
Nancy for taking care of Flapjack on the road.