Album Song Samples
The Potter's Wheel
In 2015, I wrote an album called “Awakenings”- the first of its kind for me in the sense I began to explore my relationship with spirituality on a deeper level musically. Many things had changed during that year. I was still getting over the end of a nine year relationship, as well as closing my business, and dealing with the loss of my father who was also my best friend. It was a tough year.
One evening, many months later, around ten thirty at night the phone rang. It was my friend Noel, driving home from a concert. He had chanced upon three demo recordings from “Awakenings”. “They’re so simple, so straight-forward – so essential,” he said. “We HAVE to do something with these.” “But, they’ve already been recorded!” I responded. “I understand, “ he replied, “but let’s give them a new setting. Keep the simplicity of the dulcimer and use a synthesizer to broaden the aural landscape.”
And so REAWAKENING was conceived; and with it came the arrival of many additional songs. I was simply amazed at the amount of new material that flowed out of me and the nuanced shadings that Noel and Michael McInnis (a talented synthesizer-electronics whiz kid) created for them. I always wondered why I had such an obsession with Peter, Noel Paul and Mary starting at the age of five. My generation listened more to rock, but I had a special connection with the trio. Nearly fifty years later, it has all come around full circle, and I am beginning to understand what consciousness had in mind…
This music has emerged from deep reflection, meditation and a new awareness that quite honestly I didn’t think I was prepared for. But as the saying goes, “…when the student is ready, the teacher shows up!” In a world where the awareness of who we are and what our hearts are longing for continues to evolve, I hope these songs will re-awaken the answer that is within each of us.
Kansas City, Missouri
July 26, 2016
INSIGHTS & LYRICS
I come from the land of radio. From a time and technology where drama took place in the theater of the mind. Even to this day, I hear the subtle background of crickets and I am in a field. Any dialogue then spoken in that context becomes shaded by the rural experience. Is that a river in the background? Are there cars passing in the distance? Are we in a forest…in a field? Have we been here before? These are questions which are answered from our memories and in most personal terms. Similarly, music has the capacity to alter our private reality; placing us in an abstract existence bound only by the immediate and invisible realities of tone, scale and moving line.
Case in point: I was in a car late at night on a twisty two lane road in southern maine, listening to a collection of songs: simple single instrument / single voice demo’s that i’d received from a variety of musicians over the span of several years and frankly, un-listened to since their initial arrival when Kevin Roth’s early version of METAMORPHOSIS began to play. GONE, AURORA BOREALIS and SHE BELIEVES followed. Simple, subtle, timeless, the songs became a soundtrack for my headlights searching through the drifting mist, the subtle drone of the tires…and I was transported (while being transported if you know what I mean).
As the last tune completed, I pulled over to the side of the road and called Kevin immediately. It was approaching midnight but I was counting on my enthusiasm to outweigh my inconsideration of the hour. He was gracious, surprised to hear from me and naturally curious about where my new advocacy for his music might lead. The four demo’s had ‘grown up’ so to speak and were featured tracks on an album he had recorded called AWAKENING which he promised to send me the next day.
Over the span of the next few months, I had the opportunity to meet with Kevin and share with him my vision of how his musical message might best be presented. I suggested that, in the spirit of simplicity, he should keep the dulcimer and voice ‘front and center’ but at the same time to give each song a unique musical setting that would not only support the melodic and lyrical content but would suggest a particular space and ambience in which the concept could be more fully experienced.
REAWAKENING then, is that space. Nine new songs plus a new aural life for four of the AWAKENED tracks
Noel Paul Stookey
August 28, 2016