Jef Stott, Michael Emenau and Irina Mikhailova
LUMIN Ketri (Dakini Records, Japan)
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.