Beyond Living: Finger-picked Ruminations on the Hereafter and Its Messengers has come from the pressing plant this week. It’s a collection of charming antique and antique-sounding songs from the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Hawaii and Denmark that focus on mortality, immortality, and a life that is mindful of spirit.
Along with my open-tuned guitar picking, singing and speaking, youÂ’ll hear musicians from Japan, Hawaii, Australia, and the LA folk and jazz scenes, including Joe Dolce, Moira Smiley, James Kimo West, Ried Kapo Ku, the band Amana, Auntie Nona Beamer, Steve McGee, Ray Armando, Vic Koler, Chris Conner, and Tim Jensen.
On this particular CD, I wrote only two of the eleven cuts, but I wrote new English lyrics from translations of two songs by Donto, a legendary Japanese new wave rock star turned spiritual singer/songwriter, and one 19th century hymn in Danish.
I also commissioned a long overdue Hawaiian translation of Dontos famous hula, Nami, by Auntie Nona Beamer’s adopted son Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, an instructor of Polynesian languages at University of Hawaii in Hilo, and an opening chant for it in the ancient Hawaiian style by recording artist and kumu hula, Ried Kapo Ku, which opens the CD.
I also had the gall to record a 12-minute guitar solo consisting of 15 different songs.
I had the liner notes and lyrics translated into Japanese so I could take it to Japan on my concert tours there. There are two different covers, but the CD itself is the same in both versions.
I painted the cover in watercolor pencils. My idea is that the Bardo looks like a quasar or a morning glory, which have the same mathematical shape.