Moonsung

Moonsung


1. EVER SO LONELY / EYES / OCEAN 3.26
2. DHYANA AND DONALOGUE 4.40
3. SHEHNAI SONG 2.03
4. THE ENCHANTMENT 4.49
5.   SPEAKING IN TONGUES III 2.14
6.   ABONECRONEDRONE 3 (EXCERPT) 3.57
7.   NANA 2.45
8.   WAITING 6.01
9.   SACRED STONES 4.32
10.   ABONECRONEDRONE 1 (EXCERPT) 3.10
11.   LAGAN LOVE / NADA BRAHMA 4.07
12.   BLACKSMITH 3.01

 

 
 


I think of my albums as living entities — as personalities in their own right. So I’m not about to sit back and let something in a way as innocent and defenceless as my recordings come through and be manipulated away from their full potential for the sake of simply making money. Instead, I protect them through my publishing and production companies, and by working very closely with Real World. I am able to do this because I’ve never taken on a manager, I negotiate my own recording contracts, I own my own recordings and currently lease them for a limited period only. Each of the trilogy albums has been signed to Real World as a one-off, and only once I’d completed the final mixes and was satisfied with the result.

Throughout this period Real World have been very brave about letting me get on with and supporting me in my own musical vision. I chose them because they were, and have continued to be, willing to let me maintain my previously found creative and business control. But they have also enhanced and expanded all aspects of quality control and helped my music find new audiences worldwide.

The have let me become part of the family at Real World and WOMAD and this, certainly for me, is not a factor to be underestimated, coming as I had done from the tiny and isolated Indipop label (God bless ‘em!) and very much ‘in from out of the cold.’ My move in 1991 to live in Glastonbury, only a short drive from Real World, has helped me find a new sense of spiritual and musical home that has given me the confidence to attempt more and more.

So, why voice and drone? There is something arresting about the power of the single voice and something magical about the power of a drone which almost all musical cultures have honoured at some point in their history, and which many of the most compelling musics keep alive as a central and fundamental part of their structure.

A drone will at once both support and form a contrast or harmony with the note of the lead vocal over it. Following this changing relationship, or counterpoint of intervals between these two notes, is often where the interest lies. At the same time, whilst it will offer an instant atmosphere, the drone will not colour the melody in emotional terms, as chords do. It throws the responsibility back on the singer to create enough interest and emotion to engage the listener. The drone empowers the singer even though its harmonics contain seeds of melody. The tracks on ‘ABoneCroneDrone’ take this fact even further and attempt to make these seeds of melody within the bones of the drone the main focus, and visible even to an unskilled ear.

Musical structures are easier to mix when they are stripped down to their bare bones. Many of the cultures which take the voice seriously use fixed note scales of as few as five notes, which immediately create a ‘personality’ for the melody. I have often contrasted and segued these. Key vocal ornaments — ie trills, turns and arpeggios — remain the same through many traditions, although they are used with differing psychologies. Add to that the unaccompanied singing that incorporates the use of an implied (or unsounded) drone and you have very similar structures which can be weaved together without any of them losing their individual identity.