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9 years later, back like we'd never been away. A step through the wardrobe and the memory that 'once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen'.
Recorded in Point Arena at The Community Center at St Paul's, at a show that would never have happened without the guidance, kindness and generosity of Kevin and Susan. It was organised in a very small space of time, and resulted in an absolutely beautiful day including the music you're now listening to.
I've been blessed to collaborate with some truly extraordinary musicians throughout my career, all of whom have unique qualities and gifts that elevate the music we make far beyond what I could've written or devised. But I don't think anything has ever felt as telepathic, as much like we were conduits for music that HAD to exist than playing with Daniel. That almost every show we've ever played has been released (and the rest are on the way, it just takes a while!) is a testament to how consistently we both get to 'show up' and do what we do. We definitely bring out the very best in each other, and the meeting in the middle produces something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
And when Artemis is added into that, it lifts even higher. There's something hugely special about being able to bring Artemis into that space, something almost sacramental about inviting someone who would never demand to be there, who is always genuinely amazed when we say 'no! stay there! sing more!' - that genuine humility is audible in every note, the desire to bring something magical to what's going on. We would never have met and played without her and the music wouldn't be what it is without her extraordinary contribution...
...this time what you're hearing is actually further from the gig than it's ever been, but only because the channel that the mic was plugged into was broken, unbeknownst to me, so reconstructing the vocal sound to 'fit' took some work, to find a sound that was worthy of what Artemis brought. I think I've done it, and I hope we can actually create an effects chain that sounds like this for future gigs!
The title of the third track, Musicking, is taken from a book by Christopher Small of the same name. It's a hugely influential book that repositioned music not as a product or a 'thing' but as a collective act. Small suggested that music was the sum total of everything that went into making the music possible. And this time that very much included Kevin and Susan, our hosts, encouragers, promoters, friends and creative midwives. This music is as much theirs as ours. The musicking was done by all of us.
released September 26, 2023
Steve Lawson - bass (Elrick SLC 6 string and Nordstrand Acinonyx 4 string (track 4) ), loops and processing, mixing and mastering, artwork and sleevenotes.
Daniel Berkman - kora, handsonic, ondomo, mellotron and telepathy.
Artemis - voice and words.
Huge thanks to Kevin and Susan, Carisa, and everyone who came to the show.