Sanctuary was originally released in 2004. It was my first venture into creating a recording of any kind, and came from a desire to explore the sounds I had known as a child whilst singing in church choirs - a world of purity and emotional connection.
I had been experimenting with the juxtaposition of saxophone and church organ since the mid 1990s, and later developed this with the addition of voices and percussion. Having accumulated enough material for a CD, I took a leap of faith and booked a producer, chapel and choir for a weekend of recording sessions, having no clue about what the end result might be.
Months of reworking, re-recording, re-mixing and re-editing followed these original sessions as the album’s identity began to emerge. This really was a labour of love - the entire project being self-initiated and self-financed, and all of the skills involved in this process were developed along the way through trial and error.
I honestly didn’t expect the recording to go anywhere at all - I simply viewed the process as something I wanted to do for my own satisfaction and nothing else. But in the months following the release, the disc received unprecedented air play and reached number1 chart positions both in the UK and abroad.
More striking to me than any of that was the connection the music seemed to make with the audience. I began receiving correspondance from people who had listened to the disc during profoundly personal times in their lives, saying that the music had in some way helped them. What greater encouragement could an artist receive than this?
I went on to form my own label, Integra Records, and am delighted to mark the re-release of Sanctuary on Integra with this newly mastered version which gives enhanced definition to the sound.
Christian Forshaw, July 2010