Label: Inner Islands
“This album was conceived immediately after I quit my job in August of 2020 and started playing acoustic guitar again. I hadn’t regularly played guitar in about two or three years. I started reading ‘Dazzling Stranger’ about Bert Jansch and the new wave of British folk musicians in the ‘60s and beyond and was incredibly inspired by the immediacy of that music. I think there is something magical, and perhaps even alchemical, about an expression being distilled to its most essential elements. I also wanted to make my new recordings as immediate and essentialized as possible. I think working with tape fosters that approach, because it’s quite difficult to overthink things or to do too much editing or mucking about after a take is laid down. Hence, there is an ‘as it is’ feel to every piece — warts and all.
These sounds are me trying to find my own personal devotional music. When writing and generating ideas for these pieces, I asked that my highest version of myself come through as much as possible. That’s perhaps the part of me that is connected to beauty, to the love that I have for myself and others, to the unknowable vastness, and to the interdependent nature of all things. I wanted to find expression for those kinds of abstract feelings and experiences. To me, those are the most potent parts of my lived experience and I want to honor them. The world is changing into someplace unrecognizable from what I grew up with and expressions of love are in even starker contrast against mounting chaos.
What became the album cover came to me as I was waking up from a dream one morning. I immediately got up and hammered it out. I didn’t initially see the connection between that image and the music, but the more I sat with the two I felt a potential through-line. There is a merging of the background and the foreground, as perhaps an entrance into the subconscious. I had a fair few pieces to choose from for the album and I ended up choosing the ones that felt like they most closely dialogued with the mood and narrative of that image.” –Sean Conrad
Instruments in order of appearance: piano, dulcimer, acoustic guitar, harmonium, mellotron, low Irish whistle, electric organ, and voice.
Recorded on a Tascam 488 MKII 8-track cassette machine.
This is Sean Conrad’s eleventh full-length release as Channelers after last year’s “Isles Beyond”.