O Great Spirit consists of six brand new Asher compositions, three cover versions and a traditional, spiritual ballad. Also, there are two bonus tracks... re-mixes of two very popular tracks from 2010's Falling Through Time. Though each track is vocal, there are also lengthy, sublime instrumental passages, and O Great Spirit is a vintage Asher recording, full of melody, emotion, passion, joy and hypnotic, other-worldly rhythms and mystical lyricism.
'Half past ten' is a spellbinding, visionary, exalted folk song that opens the album, set the pace and establishes the spiritual intensity of the whole work; the title track 'O great spirit' is a Sufi chant Asher composed over 30 years ago, set to a thrilling and powerful shamanic drum rhythm; 'People get ready'... an anthem written by Curtis Mayfield back in the 60's... is given a one-world makeover here, which develops into a mantra combining sacred words from different spiritual traditions. Then there is the profound and mesmerising 'We are one', which has a swirling Celtic, Breton feel, and a spiritually unifying message, followed by a deeply touching, piano-based rendition of Snowy White's 80's classic 'Bird of paradise'. 'God's perfect circle' is a gentle and yet dramatic essay in spiritual awareness and awakening, followed by a spirited, intimately sung acoustic guitar-pick version of the traditional 'Angels watching over you. Shaina Noll's powerful, pure and innocent 'Each holy child' is interpreted vigorously and plaintively by Asher, and leads into the delicately rhythmic and catchy 'Thanksgiving', with the piano melody being the foundation stone of this humble offering. The new collection closes with a new, joyous, 'live' in-concert, love and peace anthem entitled 'All over the world', introduced briefly with a whimsical, gently barmy Elvis drawl.
The hugely popular title track from Falling Through Time is re-created as a bonus track... simplified, and with a soaring lead guitar solo from Kristian Biddiss, and the equally popular 'Blessings on your soul' is also simplified and offered as a bonus track, now including a Mariachi-style trumpet refrain.
The whole album also contains overtones of the Solfeggio tuning forks, designed to promote balance and healing with their pure and ancient sound frequencies, and they contribute profoundly to the loving, joyous, spiritually uplifting, passionate, emotional and positive nature of the recording.
A word about the songs
I have composed six new songs for this album, all of them songs of gratitude and thanksgiving for the miraculous abundance of life energy I experience through spirit and nature.
Personally, I feel I’m waking up to this kind of exalted feeling more and more each day, except for everyday things like murderous road rage and utter bewilderment at the complexity of modern life, of course, and something seems to be happening in the collective consciousness too… a kind of gathering ascension towards a more intelligent form of kindness, tolerance, humility and gratitude, where the baddies get vaporised.
It’s as if England have won the World Cup!
This 2012 business, seems clearly true… there IS a great change happening in consciousness as a photon belt approaches. Time is speeding up; there IS a blue sun beyond our own; we will not be able to tolerate inequality and injustice the way we have for centuries… largely due to Twitter and Blackberries (I have always thought it was an enlightened fruit).
Several dates for the apocalypse have come and gone without so much as a plague of locusts, however, and I’m beginning to suspect that the end of the world may be much more peaceful and loving than we had at first feared. It will not be literal, but poetic. Our old world will end in terms of how we do things, and the new order will be a magnificent ascension of consciousness in the collective… a rapture… an opening of the global heart chakra… whereby we will be able to live with the Gods more readily, and still notice that we need to eat, make love and get on with each other. Kindness and tolerance will become obvious from this perspective… a kind of ‘why didn’t we think of that before?’ sort of thing.
There will still be dissenters, no doubt, who will not wish to, or be ready to board the train bound for glory, and they must be punished and eliminated of course, but broadly speaking compassion and love will prevail. I feel sure of it.
Here’s the low-down on my new compositions: I came up with the music for the opening track ‘Half-past ten’ as I Skyped some friends from the studio… I serenaded them with the guitar. Later that week, the title came to mind, and at 10.30am on the following saturday morning, I channeled the lyrics. By 11.45 it was written. I say channeled because it contained a vision of Elijah, ascension and higher love.
The title track ‘O great Spirit’ is a Sufi chant I originally formulated more than thirty years ago, dramatised here to honour the immensity of Spirit, and the intoxicating path to the heart of the Sufi mystical tradition. The chant is in Arabic, and I apologise in advance for my accent. I do not wish to have a fatwa visited upon me, and I hope those clerics of a fundamentalist persuasion will show mercy.
‘We are one’ was the first track I wrote for this album, and I was originally going to call the whole project ‘We Are One’… because we are, frankly. But ‘O Great Spirit’ trumped it. This song also feels visionary to me, and warmly loving and embracing of humanity. I have tried in vain to be more like Elvis, but it always comes out more like Jesus. I don’t make the rules, however… I just channel the visions and higher love. I am God’s postman.
‘God’s perfect circle’ is a great title, nest pas? Alas, it is not my own. On this album I used Solfeggio tuning forks on several tracks (www.solfeggiotones.com). The Solfeggio system is an ancient method of re-aligning one’s personal vibration to the cosmic order, a healing conducted through tuning forks. There are nine forks plus a master holy harmony fork, and they are sometimes referred to as ‘God’s perfect circle’. This song is about the incredible journey we make into consciousness… believer and non-believer alike. This journey takes longer than, say, a trip to the local supermarket, and yet not as long as trying to enter or exit London using our orbital M25 motorway. For reference, self-awareness probably lies somewhere in between one’s local supermarket and the ring road that circles one’s nearest town.
‘Thanksgiving’ does what it says on the tin, I hope. I find that thanksgiving helps me to stay sane. Churches, Mosques, Synagogues and Temples are worth their weight in gold for this simple truth alone… I need a dedicated place to offer thanks and gratitude. The loo is also good… and the park, and the car. Anywhere, really.
With ‘All over the world’ I get to realise my dream, finally, by introducing the song in concert in an Elvis drawl. This is a happy and cheerful mega ‘summer of love’ anthem, which I’m quietly confident will take the world by storm, and usher in the new age of compassion effortlessly, without recourse to using the military or even terrorism. Make love not war… and better still, make cake. Let love be the glue that binds us together. For myself, I’ve made my decision about the glue, and I’m sticking to it.
The remaining four tracks include the traditional ‘Angels watching over you’ which I heard sung on an album called ‘Songs for the Inner Child’ by Shaina Noll. I have struck up a friendship now with Shaina, and am greatly honoured to also cover her own composition ‘Each holy child’ on this album. Shaina’s voice and spirit is incredibly pure, and this album of hers I find amazingly direct and healing… healing for the heart and any wounding going way back. Her site is www.shainanoll.com.
I sing two more cover versions here: Snowy White’s wistfully magical ‘Bird of paradise’ which I loved back in the 1980’s when I lived in the old black and white polarised consciousness (how quaint… like old money, flared trousers, the Tory party and Cartesian dualism), and Curtis Mayfield’s ‘People get ready’. With the latter, I have added a heart-felt one-world mantra at the end, and changed the lyric slightly. Curtis sang that on the great train to righteousness, there was no room for the hopeless sinner, but I have changed the time-table to accommodate the sinner, as long as they don’t riot. If they cause trouble they’ll get spanked, but if they behave then I’m prepared to let them on board. This is the new politics… the politics of lurve.
Finally, I have included two bonus tracks as well, both from my last album Falling Through Time (2010), but with different mixes. The title track I call the Time-Lord mix, because some Dr. Who fans used the song in a Dr. Who tribute YouTube that’s getting lots of views. ‘Blessings on your soul’ now has Mexican trumpets in the solo part and I call it the Mariachi mix.
Here are the Solfeggio tunings I have used:
Half past ten & People get ready: 396Hz ~ turning grief to joy.
Bird of paradise: 417Hz ~ re-connecting to source
Angels watching over you: 963Hz ~ turning matter into spirit
Each holy child: 528Hz ~ miracles & DNA repair
Thanksgiving & We are one: 741Hz ~ solving difficult situations
I would like to thank Shaun Britton who so expertly sound engineered, mastered and co-produced this album with me, kind of agrees with me about the ascension situation, and who more than holds his own in the surreal, blokey, dodgy accent banter, so necessary in the workplace today; Kristian Biddiss, for his sublime lead guitar contributions before double surgery on both wrists for carpel-tunnel syndrome (respect due, mate); Jenny for cake and scones; Molly the dog (Mrs. Dogsley) for necessary petting opportunities during breaks, and Emoke Labancz in Budapest who designed the artwork for this album and also my lovely new website, and who is completely on board about this whole ascension thing.
Shaun has many old vinyl LP’s at his studio… used mostly to prevent the microphone from toppling over… amongst them one by Vangelis, where I read the following in the sleeve notes:
‘The dervish dancer
By his whirling
Realises the spiralling
Of the universe.’
I was introduced to the spiritual power of the dervish dance when I was a young man, and I have followed that Sufi path faithfully ever since. Now, I am a biblical prophet with white hair and a silver beard. I say to you youngsters, I say: ‘Don’t riot… don’t riot, but dance instead. You know it makes sense! You too can have white hair and a silver beard… girls as well. There is equality for all.’