Our new album The Mountain King
We are in the countdown and rehearsal stage towards our album release concert at the Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 7:30 PM through AMP concerts (get your tickets here)!
In this concert we will tell the legend of the Mountain King and perform all the songs of the album, plus a few new and old ones. We will be joined by Larry Otis (guitar, bass), Dain Forsythe (flute, bodhran) and Chris Carlson (violin).
This album has been in the making for a long time. Again we recorded at the fabulous Wall of Sound Studio here in Albuquerque, with the wizard Johan Wall.
We created the show that it is based on a few years ago, but the fist time I made a performance piece of this legend was actually back in 1995. This is one of those fundamental stories, that begs to be told over and over again.
This legend has a parallel in the Greek myth of Persephone. (Persephone was abducted by Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. After she disappeared her mother Demeter searched for her all around the world, and in her grief ceases to make things grow. Winter descended and all looked rather bleak, until Demeter found out what happened to her daughter. Hades and Demeter worked out a schedule where Persephone would visit her mother for part of the year and stay in the underworld part of the year, which thus created the seasons.
However in the Scandinavian version it is not a Goddess but an ordinary girl who ventures into the underworld. She is gone for many years and then returns to her home, and her mother who interrogates her about her whereabouts. Like Persephone, however, she has also created a life for herself in the mountain with the Mountain King and returns to him - and her children.
As late as the 19th century (and maybe still) there existed a belief in supernatural beings that you might encounter, and that these beings could bring you to another reality where you might forget all about who you were and spend the rest of your life. These stories became ballads, and the ballads spread the story to the point where it was not uncommon to have court cases involving these beings. It was not against the law to have relations with supernatural beings, as long as you did not profit economically from the relationship. If you did the punishment was severe ...
It is a compelling story of the conflict between the well known everyday life and the desire to venture out into the unknown, of family ties versus the desire to leave and create your own life, and the discovery of one's own hidden underground world.
Like with our first last album, The Wandering Ballad, I plan to write a blog entry about each of the songs and their lyrics.
This will serve as the entry about the first tune.
The instrumental piece was composed by Scott and serves as the entryway to this story and what lies beyond.
Scott performed on his beautiful acoustic martin SPD-16K, a rather unusual spruce topped guitar with Hawaiian Koa back and sides. Since the original vision included unavailable instruments in the arrangement, John Wall suggested that we create on the spot vocals! I followed Scott’s hand cues as to what pitch the harmony accompaniment should be... so Scott conducted and i sang.
This is one of those studio moments that came out really well! Thanks, john!
Hope to se many of you at The Outpost on August 27 to help us celebrate this album!