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

 

 
 


In the impetus to blend all these vocal styles, my voice has always been the guiding presence. The fascinating thing for me is that these connections really are waiting to be discovered on an almost organic level. It’s as though we have a kind of library of knowledge built into us cellularly, and if you keep playing around with these musics you discover crossing points, gateways, nexus points and these sorts of connections resurface. In a way, it means that none of this knowledge can be lost.

I set out to write these solo voice albums as a vision of the unchallenged power and beauty of the voice. It’s strange but, as one solo voice, they exist physically on the minimum amount of tape — they’re almost not in this world. However, you do need a greater density of ideas for this kind of album, because you can’t rely on the string section or gospel choir coming in on the second chorus to keep up your interest.

The fineness of the creative world I enter is enthralling to me. Less can be more. There is a large vocal palette available too the singer, for instance, variations of vibrato, ornamentation, tone, volume, etc. I notice that what is called ‘good’ singing weaves combinations of these colours faster than the audience can follow and with greater imagination! My own extensive writing periods have involved me getting out these fine brushes to decide which tone, texture or harmonic is needed on a certain note or phrase to deepen the emotion.

I love the final mixing — it is such an abundant process — one voice, a million pounds worth of equipment… I just sit back and enjoy watching the specialists at work. In any performance, the voice and the acoustic environment become one, just as on a record the studio is the hidden instrument. Steve Coe (writer and producer) and Stuart Bruce (mix engineer) go into the same intricate detail of sound enhancement in the studio that I go through vocally in preparing these pieces. When you’ve only got one voice to concentrate on, any subtle changes of vocal tone or studio enhancement are much more noticeable. There is nowhere to hide, but you are free to play around with the physics and psychology of silence and sound. The same writing, recording and mixing team have worked on this trilogy — including the two new recordings — over an eight year period. This continuity and technical evolution has been integral to my own process as a writer and singer.

In an age where we are constantly being bombarded by very accessible musics constructed to grab your attention immediately, it is gratifying to know that people do leave space for music which requires them to move towards it and that calls out for their active participation. You have to be ready for my music and decide to let it in. In my experience, it doesn’t work too well at cocktail parties!

Monsoon’s work was an evolutionary leap. From Monsoon to Moonsung feels like another to me, and yet there are many common underlying threads. Journalists have often asked me throughout the trilogy if I could see myself returning to pop music… One reaction is that in many ways I feel I’ve never left pop music. Steve and I were brought up on it, and contained in the small worlds of these albums are every pop trick in the book! Of course, another answer is "I can make a classic pop album anytime I damn well choose to!"

The last eight years have been a period of immensely exciting growth for me as an artist. In that time a trilogy of albums for Real World has emerged as a cohesive entity. This ‘Moonsung’ compilation features some of the best of that work.

Sheila chandra 1999