We wrote this album over two years, during which travels in unfamliar lands, meetings with new people and intense experiences previously unknown to us, all contributed to the shifting dimensions of how to understand the meaning of exile and how that might be expressed in these songs. Exile from people and from the piece of earth that is home, by land clearances and conflict, by poverty and powerlessness, in past centuries and during present chaos, in lands distant to these islands and within our own country. Here are delicate laments and complex, full-bodied, multi-instrumental, drum-driven tribal chants. Here are hopeful songs that dance, fierce songs that mourn and songs that are glad for the very soil beneath our feet.
We turned to a broad range of ancient, traditional and contemporary instruments to create these recordings: flute, whistle, smallpipes, fujara, koncovka, darabuka, riq, djembe, cahon, rattles, frame drums (reindeer, stag and horse), dulcimer, piano and singing bowls.
We were joined for this project by a warm and highly talented collective of musicans: Shelok Tsering (voice), Paul Sax (violin), Shaun Farrenden (didge), Scott Jasper (drums) plus Brian Abbott, Adrian Utley, Tim Gill and Pat Orchard on guitars.
Exile is departure, separation and loss. Exile is enforced, chosen or the outcome of strange circumstance. Exile is painfully physical, coldly political and deeply personal. Exile is the shadow of war, the grip of despair, the emptiness of grieving arms. Exile is a heavy wind that crashes through cultures, tears at relationships and rips apart the soul. Exile is the impossible abyss, the deadly trail and the churning hungry ocean. Exile is the overwhelming pull towards home, yearning for familiar people, longing for ancestral lands. Exile is crossing mountains into loneliness, walking dusty roads amidst confusion, wandering lost inside a world of death. Exile is a song of mourning, a dance of remembrance and a promise of return. Exile is a brave cry that echoes through generations and a faithful flame that feeds the tribal hearth. Exile is the search for a beloved, for completion, for peace. Exile is a root deepened by loyalty, a spirit grown stronger through adversity, determination honed by belief in a just & balanced future. Exile is eyes widened by vast horizons and hope kindled by the smallest possibilities. We will find a road to take us home. Ancient spirits watch for our return…
TRACKS: Exile, Longsho, After the Battle, Bring on the Storm, Kate’s Song, The Red Coats, Amber Road, Dreams Restored, Dust, Protecting Veil, People of Home, Nightlands, Heathen Day.
Album length: 70 minutes. Released in 2007.