LUMIN Ketri (Dakini Records, Japan)-Produced by Jef Stott and Michael Emenau with additional production support by Irina Mikhailova.
This album, although long in coming, is the group at its best. Again featuring a great collection of vocal tracks from Irina, the production values have really come up to a high level. We played a lot of really great events in between Hadra and this album and the material was developed over that period. The songs are more uplifting and in some way more open than the previous album. I was sitting with Irina on the beach on the Napali Coast of Kauai and we were talking about the role of the artist in the post 911 era. I felt that it was important as an artist to present a sense of hope, trust and openness. I feel this is especially true of people working with musicians from the Middle East, as that region of the world is often not represented well, which is very unfortunate. I feel this album contains that sentiment, that we can have hope and light in this world.
I have also felt that my album projects are in some way rising up through the energy centers of the body with each release. I feel this one is at the level of the throat chakra and has a lot to say about communication and expression.
HADRA- Produced by Jef Stott and Michael Emenau.
Released on Hearts of Space/ Valley Entertainment label.
This is the first collaboration with MNO and I with Irina Mikhailova and she delivered some amazing performances. She shines particularly on Stiga and Zamak which is a fully realized jungle track with live Arabic percussion and a full Balkan choir with all parts sung and arranged by Irina. It is a dark brooding blend that for me is reflective of the post Stellamara era. It carries with it a sense of loss, rage and a primal desire to rise up again. I feel this is the album where I really began to find my voice as a producer and overall it is a fine record with many great tracks.
This CD has become quite popular with the Urban Tribal Belly Dance companies in the U.S. and I have had the honor of seeing material from the album used in conjunction with many captivating performances. Also some earlier versions of the material from the album has been used in the motion picture “High Ambitions” a documentary about the perils of mountain climbing in the Himalayas directed by Curt Dowdy. I am hopefully collaborating with this director again for a major motion picture release exploring the history of climbing on Mt. Everest.
LUMIN DATURA- Produced by Jef Stott and Michael Emenau.
This album was written and produced soon after the completion of the Stellamara album. Initially released on the City of Tribes label. It is a reflection of my friendship with MNO and our desire after the Star of the Sea project to do something comtemporary and slightly less reverential. We did the album fairly quickly in MNO’s studio using an old laptop and one digital sampler- the mighty K2000. Sonja Draukulich sang on a couple of tracks. There are some downtempo gems on this CD particularly Dianthia and Allium.
We named all of the songs after different types of flowers as the cover art was produced by my friend Jocelyn Konarski- Barnett who makes amazingly beautiful photographs of flowers that have the quality of being erotic and otherworldly at the same time (a great combination if you can find it).