New album - Welcome to an odyssey - October 11
The horizon beckons
Stairway of dreams
I'm thrilled by the reaction to "Beyond the Shrouded Horizon". Many people have shown interest in the ideas behind the songs, so I'll take you on a brief journey through the album's inner universe...
In the beginning was a log cabin. It was mid-winter and Jo and I had briefly escaped London during a difficult period. As winds moaned and snow drifts built outside I thought of several isolated female souls I had once known years back who had sought a kind of paradise, but they were somehow knocking on the wrong door. Life had passed them by and they'd ended up just holding on to dreams and fantasies. Looking for Fantasy was born at this moment, and Roger joined me in that cold outpost to record the song.
I'm a romantic rocker! One of the lines in Looking for Fantasy is "Women in love", alluding to the film of that title which I always enjoyed. There's a lot in the album referring to women and love. If Looking for Fantasy explores an older woman's inner world of lost love and years of searching, Waking to Life celebrates a girl's discovery of love and a new world, where mountains hold the wonder of potential and the dream of a Shangri-La. A Place Called Freedom expresses the sense of freedom and joy of new love in the wild land of the old West, and even Til These Eyes that realises the passing of an old world, finally recognises the rejuvenating power of real love. This was how I felt when I began to emerge from a dark time in my life...
From the lonesome log cabin that in some ways acted like the wardrobe in CS Lewis' famous novel, a whole new sense of adventure emerged, and a world of magic was opening up! I travelled to Egypt, where the Sphinx inspired Two Faces of Cairo, which reflects the majestic ancient world contrasting with the ghostly shadows of the poverty stricken tomb dwellers in Cairo's city of the dead. The life in death dual nature of the Sphinx was somehow expressing all this to me in music. Tropical Malaysia, the exotica of Penang Island and Tokyo temples along with Jo's recollections of India and Nepal gave me ideas for much of Waking to Life... new dreams and discoveries...
From the depiction of refugees across troubled waters expressed in Between the Sunset and the Coconut Palms (check out Peter Sellers' hilarious sketch So Little Time) to the wonder of gliding on ocean waves, sea imagery appeared. Waves crash over rocks of broken relationships whilst the cold light of truth sweeps over the illusion's confusion through Loch Lomond. Renewed life soars in The Phoenix Flown as new vistas open up in a universe of possibilities.
And so we finally celebrate the great 'ocean in the sky' through a journey around the universe in Turn This Island Earth like a carnival of sorrows and joys blasting through the airwaves into deep space.
From small beginnings of dream-like cosy magic to a dangerous voyage through rocky peninsulas and exotic vistas, I've been touched by all the places and every special soul encountered on the way in the creation of "Beyond the Shrouded Horizon".
Deep winter snow
The wake of ideas
Oceans of deep sky