To relinquish is to take stock of what is now, and then to let it go. Here Jeremiah considers the fate of Israel, dry bones listen to wind, birds answer a calling, and time is measured. A Coyote finds that relinquishing grief does not mean forgetting. A song of sadness is offered to water and wind and they answer:: give it up, let it wash away. Relinquish. The birds in Wild Carbon and waves of Sea of Sadness are not overdubs.
1. Song for Jeremiah : This song could be simply a lament, for Jeremiah felt the brokenness of his people, its doom, coming exile and the fall of the temple. But woven in his stories are signs of hope and of future. Listen for grief, anger and response, but listen for a rising refrain, of joy, and the acceptance of joy in lament.
2. Dry Bones : Ezekiel 37:1-14 “ … set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. … 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
Breath tones speak, and here are guided by four winds into harmony. The alto flute is used as it allows for the most room in frequency dynamics. The bones do walk, and then fade away.
3. Wild Carbon : Ever sit in the tree tops and jam with the birds? It helps to have an instrument in their same frequency (a Clarke tinwhistle). Wild Carbon was recorded in Giant State Park, Illinois (south of Carbondale, thus the name).
4. Clockwork : To relinquish is to take stock of what is now, and then to let it go. Here it starts with a note on the flute, and then another… cherish it, add another still, then listen to it… build a line in time…and then build some more… letting go reverses the process until you are back where you started.
5. Sea of Sadness : With the surf literally sweeping around the rocks, a shaker tune cried out to be heard. “Oh Holy Angels, do protect me…. In sorrow I weep and in anguish I mourn…”
Why then? The California coast is beautiful, but the pounding of the surf is the relentless memory of loss. It has done so for millennia, and will continue to for those to come.
But the water and wind answer: give it up, let it wash away. Relinquish.
6. Requiem of Earth : Prepare to be taken away…
The earth growls, a flute soars above, and an alto sax yearns for light in darkness. An atmospheric dance of primeval essence, the seeking calls forth a new birth as it celebrates requiem of what came before.
7. Relinquished : Easy and free flowing, to me this feels like a state of being relinquished (with a light walking bass to mark time and transition).
8. Iberian Fire : The Iberian peninsula is a place of fusion, the interaction of seeming opposites in a dialectic tension that yields great energy. Here the Spanish guitar (by Judah Thornewill), meets Arab roots. They learn to echo themes, and then discover commonality in harmony and rhythm.
9. Coyote Evening Song : One evening at a campground in the Badlands of South Dakota, I began to play a Native American flute. Soon I was aware of rebounding strains lifted to the night. This went on for some time, until I realized that my playing had attracted the attention of quite a large group of coyotes. So I zipped up my tent and hoped they took it as a sign of submission. Unfortunately I did not have recording equipment, so I did the next best thing, and tried to regain the magic once back home. There is loneliness in the coyote song. A journey might relinquish grief and control, but it does not forget them.