Luka Bloom » Press Information
LUKA BLOOM - Between The Mountain And The Moon
By 1998, I had made 3 cds for Warners in the US, and
one for Sony in the UK (Salty Heaven). While the Warner
years were good ones, the Sony experience was one that would make you either crawl into
bed to hide from the world; or fight back. I'm Irish, so here we are. I had to find a way to make
music, and present it to the world, without feeling I had no control over my
working life. I was aware that people like Ani di Franco were making cds for themselves and
operating in an independent world of music. It was time for a change. So I made
'Keeper of the Flame' in 2000. This was an experiment
for me. Musically, it allowed me into the world of other singers. And it also gave me an insight
into the independent music world. I licensed it to different labels in the world, and really enjoyed
the whole experience. This gave me the confidence to release a cd of my own songs in the same way.
'Between The Mountain And The Moon' is a very
special cd in my life. It is the first cd of my songs which I own. I took my time. I wrote and recorded
over a two year period. No deadline, no pressure. In the 24 visits to Windmill Studios, there was
not one bad day. Windmill Lane, and its main engineer, Brian Masterson, provide me with the
best possible atmosphere to record songs. Every musician who came into the studio brought
real magic to the songs. I really feel that these songs were given the time and space to fully
realise their potential. It was a joy to work with Mohamed Bouhanna, a wonderful Derbouka
and Bindir player. He was born in Oman, lived in Algeria, before moving to Holland, where
he now lives in Groningen. I met him in a Moroccan restaurant in Groningen in 1999; and we
played together that evening. Mohamed was the first player to record on this cd with me.
Two years later, Sinéad O'Connor became the last person to perform the songs
with me. Having the opportunity to sing with Sinéad was a great privilege to me
and an indication that this cd is somehow blessed. But I really have to thank all the great
musicians who surprised me with their ideas and creativity on this record.
Here are some song notes:
Love Is A Place I Dream Of
This song is dedicated to Christina Noble, a great
Dublin woman, who has devoted much of her life to giving shelter and love, to children who often have
nothing. There are times in your life when you are privileged to be in the presence of greatness, and this
was my experience of meeting Christina.
This song is dedicated to Maura O'Halloran. Maura
was born on the evening of 24th of May, 1955, in Boston, America; to Irish and American parents. I was
born the previous day in Ireland. We were in Trinity College Dublin at the same time, but never met.
In the late 70s Maura went to Japan to study Zen Buddhism. She studied in a monastery in Morioka, in
Northern Japan, where she was the only woman and only foreigner. The name given to Maura in the
monastery was Soshin, meaning "pure heart, enlightened mind". In 1982 Maura decided
to return to Ireland with great plans, and dreams. Sadly she died in a bus crash in Thailand. Maura's
family created a beautiful book called "Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind", which presented
Maura's diaries, and journals during her time in Japan. The book is a wonderful tribute to Maura.
I felt a bond with Maura reading the book, and wrote this song. Beth O'Halloran contributed the
lovely sketches accompanying some of the songs on my sleeve package.
As I Waved Goodbye
There is a moment in Heinrich Harrer's book,
"Seven Years in Tibet", when he describes saying farewell to his friends in Lhasa.
It's 1950, the Chinese have invaded, and he has to flee. He is in his boat, waving to his friends,
looking up to the Potala, where the young Dalai Lama is looking down at him. It is a sad and
beautiful moment in a sad, ongoing struggle. I tried tocapture the sense of this moment in this song.
Hands Of A Farmer
Ireland seems to have a rich supply of heroes in the world of music and song. Some are
greatly celebrated, others virtually unsung. One of the great Irish legends of my time, was
a man from Clare called Micho Russell.
A farmer who sowed his oats in Clare, who in his fifties realised that there were people
outside Ireland who longed for the music and song he had in his rich veins. Micho sang,
played and told stories all over the world for many many people. His greatest gift was
the gift of simply being Micho. He loved people, and people surely loved him. I still do.
- Luka Bloom