ISLANDS of THE HEART by PETER KEARNEY
RECORDING: Recorded at the Little Portion Studio, Welby, February- July 2001.
MUSICIANS: Kevin Hunt - piano accordion and keyboards. Bob McInnes and Gus Olding - violin. Simone Olding and Sherry Cuttle- flute. Lachlan McBean- drums. Mark Scotland- double bass. Carlos Villanueva - pan pipes, charanga. Wendy Upjohn- congas. Peter Kearney- guitar, recorders, autoharp, synthesiser. John Fisk- didgeridoo
SINGERS: Louise Cassidy, Clare Michael & Catherine Mahony, Helen Archer, Peter Kearney, Steve Cheers
NARRATORS in ‘Someone Knows My Name’: David Shapiro, Peter Lach-Newinsky
PRODUCED by Peter Kearney
COVER ARTWORK: Dorothy Woodward
TRACK LIST & NOTES ON THE SONGS
1. On a Day Like This - In 2000, hundreds of thousands of people walked across bridges in Australian capital cities. They did this as a sign of good will and a step along the way in the reconciliation process with the Aboriginal people who have suffered so much over the past 200 years. In Sydney, Madge and I were among the quarter-million who streamed across the Harbour Bridge from early morning to mid-afternoon. This song is a celebratory description of that day.
2. Islands of the Heart - On pilgrimage to a deeper home, woven together with a tribute to Ireland, the land of my ancestors (and of my wife). "Guided only by our longing, looking for a place to start- pilgrims are we all to the Islands of the Heart.
3. Rise and Shine Road - A light hearted song of life's journey and some encounters along the way, including "the lady so lovely to see".
4. Here's To You, Mum and Dad - "Nothing's old fashioned once you've found that it is true." An affectionate tribute to my parents... and yours perhaps, especially if they came from that generation who came through the 'lean times' of the 1930s depression and World War II.
5. Housewarming Song - "We have all come here tonight to make a house into a home, to bring the warmth of friendship to this new-built brick and stone." An upbeat song suitable for a party singalong.
6. Nothing More, Nothing Less - A song of love and fidelity, for Madge, my wife. Written during a painful time of transition as we moved home from England to Australia.
7. The Water of Life - Pere Thomas Phillipe of L'Arche was a contemplative. He was the hidden yet vital presence in the early days of the L'Arche Community in France where a special welcome was offered to people with intellectual disability by Jean Vanier and others. The third in a series of songs I've written on L'Arche; the others were 'All Aboard the Ark' and 'The L'Arche Prayer'.
8. Window on the Stars - A remarkable man, Lt. William Dawes arrived in Australia as part of the First Fleet. Dawes was an astronomer who built a simple observatory on the place where the south-west pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge now stands (Dawes Point). He was also a conscientious objector. Hear his story in this song.
9. Once a Shearer, Now a Shepherd - A song with a suitably country feel - commissioned by his friends as an ordination gift for Mark Croker, a late vocation, down-to-earth priest and reluctant prophet.
10. Someone Knows My Name - A song for Amnesty International, picturing the inner world of the political prisoner and the importance of the letters written to him and on his behalf. Incorporating a condensed statement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
11. Joy to the World, Jubilee - Protesting the 'murderous debt' carried by the world's poorest countries.
12. Bright Pearl Shining Path - A ballad telling of the life and death (1991) of Irene McCormack, an Australian Josephite sister who went to work in Huasahuasi, Peru.
13. Where to Now Edmund? A song commissioned by the Christian Brothers, conveying something the life and spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice, the Irish layman who worked for disadvantaged young people and founded the Christian Brothers. "We are called, we are gifted, we are learning to respond to the needs of the world we are living in today." This song has already been picked up by Christian Brothers in the USA.
14. The Harvest - An Offertory processional song. I have put music to words by Dawn Smith of Cowra..
15. My Name Is Love - "My name is love - and love is all I teach you. Believe me I can reach you if you only make my way."
COMMENTS by others on Peter Kearney and 'ISLANDS OF THE HEART'
"Peter Kearney has long been one of Australia’s best contemporary songwriters from a Christian perspective. Certainly it represents something far different from the puerile, facile pap that so often passes for contemporary Christian music. Peter Kearney’s songs are well structured lyrically and musically. Some could be used in a participatory manner in worship while others bear close listening. Peter is not afraid to raise the social and political dimensions of Christian faith. Thus devotional worship style songs which appeal to the heart, are well and truly matched by those that will have the brain stimulated to question just what does faith in our world mean today. In 'Islands of the Heart' everything from the ‘Bridge Song’ about the need to say sorry to the original inhabitants of Australia, through to the martyrdom of Sr Irene McCormack, shot by the Sendoro Luminoso in Peru, to a most moving evocation about Amnesty International are all touched by Peter. One could probably guess the writer’s heritage by his name, and certainly if you have a liking for music inspired by Irish folk you will enjoy these CDs. Peter Kearney has a way to weave a story and the stories woven here are sure to lift the human spirit". (John Queripel - ‘Insights’ Magazine)
"I always eagerly await to hear a new collection of music from Peter. There is something 'earthy' and 'human' about his approach to portraying the Christian story. Peter's songs are great in the classroom and provide much thought and inspiration around the staff room after staff prayer or meeting. 'My Name is Love' and 'The Bridge Song' have already become part of the collection here. I hope other schools and parishes will have 'Islands of the Heart' to speak to their communities". (Paul Skippen)