New EP on the way: “Desert Songs” by Dawn Landes & Piers Faccini

I’m really pleased to let you know that my collaborative EP “Desert Songs” with the American songwriter Dawn Landes will be out on January 15th.
We wrote and recorded the five songs that make up the EP over two sessions in my studio in the Cevennes. I first met Dawn when she and Sylvie Lewis sang on a track we recorded for my Songs I Love series.
I’m pretty solitary when I write songs but from time to time, collaborations are a great way to share and tread new ground. I love Dawn’s music, her last album Bluebird is a gem and I’m very happy our collaboration will see the light!

J’ai le grand plaisir de vous annoncer la sortie, le 15 janvier prochain, de mon nouvel EP “Desert Songs”, en collaboration avec la songwriter Américaine Dawn Landes.
Nous avons écrit et enregistré les 5 chansons de cet EP en deux sessions dans mon studio des Cévennes. J’ai rencontré Dawn la première fois lorsqu’elle a chanté avec Sylvie Lewis sur un titre enregistré pour le volume 2 de ma série ‘Songs I Love’.
Je suis plutôt solitaire lorsqu’il s’agit d’écrire mes chansons, mais de temps à autre la collaboration permet de partager et d’ouvrir de nouveaux horizons. J’aime beaucoup la musique de Dawn; son dernier album ‘Bluebird’ est une pépite. Je suis très heureux que notre petite collaboration voie le jour!

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Tracklist:
01 Heaven’s Gate
02 We Come and Go
03 Book of Dreams
04 Crying Out Loud
05 I Hear a Calling

Official bio:

The two songwriters, Dawn Landes (US) and Piers Faccini (UK) met in 2013 when they recorded a Lead Belly song for Faccini’s cover project, Songs I Love. Later that year, Piers invited Dawn to France to perform in a 12th Century Romanesque Chapel in the remote Cevennes region of the south of France near Piers’ home and studio. Inspired by their first experience of performing together, they met up a few months later to write and record the intimate suite of songs that would become the EP, “Desert Songs”.
The bare autumnal skies and rugged mountainous landscapes provided the perfect backdrop for their collaboration. In between sessions, they walked the footpaths in the hills around the studio, swopping tales of the mystics and seekers that inspired the stories and lyrics in Desert Songs. Where Dawn would quote the Desert Fathers or Thomas Merton, Piers would would cite Sufi poets Rumi and Hafez or the poems of St John of the Cross. Dawn and Piers wove the arrangements together using the rich collection of instruments in Piers’s studio, a Malian Kora, a 1930’s National resonator guitar, West African percussion and an Indian dulcimer and tampura. Back in her Brooklyn studio a month later, Dawn recorded drum parts with Ray Rizzo. Desert Songs was then mixed in NYC by Pat Dillet.

Desert Songs will be released by Beating Drum on January 15th 2016 in Europe and in North and South America by Six Degrees. It will be released digitally as well as on limited edition 10” vinyl.

6668_© 2015 Dimitri Djuric_web

SONGS I LOVE #22: LITTLE GREEN (Joni Mitchell cover)

Click here to download the track for free

Given my love of her writing, I really should have already covered a Joni Mitchell song in the series by now. As a lyricist she’s in a hallowed place all of her own and I can’t think of anyone else who writes with such invention and grace. Little Green almost hurts to sing. It tells the story of the daughter Joni Mitchell gave up for adoption. One can only imagine the torment of a young mother having to give up her child and it’s tempting too as the verses unfold to question her for doing so. Perhaps that’s what makes it such a moving piece, taking us as listeners, deep into complex and ambiguous emotional waters where compassion, sorrow and forgiveness can mingle?
I wonder how Joni’s biological daughter feels about the song, would she have preferred it to have remain unwritten, unsung? It makes me think that writers are inevitably selfish beings as nothing is ever off limits for them. Shining a light on events that others might rather hide is hard for the people that inspire the stories. But despite the sorrow Little Green calls up, I have no doubt the rest us are better off for hearing it. 
The beautiful guitar part here was played by my friend the South African Guy Buttery. We met when I toured South Africa in 2008 with Nibs van der Spuy, I’ve collaborated on a few songs of Guy’s over the years, including one on his next album, I encourage you to discover his amazing music, he has a crowdfunding thing going on for his next album, I hear guitar buffs can even bid for one of his guitars! http://igg.me/at/guybuttery/x

Click here for more Songs I Love to download


Franchement, vu comme j’adore ses compositions, il y a longtemps que j’aurais pu inclure une chanson de Joni Mitchell dans la série! Comme parolière, elle évolue dans une sorte de sanctuaire qui n’appartient qu’à elle – je cherche en vain quelqu’un qui écrive avec autant de grâce et de sincérité. ‘Little Green’ est une chanson très sensible, poignante. Elle raconte l’histoire de la fille que Joni Mitchell a dû abandonner et confier à l’adoption. On peut imaginer les tourments d’une jeune mère acculée à laisser son enfant ; mais au fil de l’histoire, on a aussi envie de l’interpeller sur son geste… C’est sans doute ce qui rend ce récit si touchant, et qui plonge ceux qui écoutent dans les hauts fonds des émotions complexes et profondes, là où peuvent se fondre la compassion, la tristesse, et le pardon… Je me demande ce que ressent la fille biologique de Joni à l’écoute de cette chanson : aurait-elle préféré qu’elle demeure non-écrite, jamais chantée ? Je réalise que les auteurs sont en fait des êtres assez égoïstes, qui ne se posent aucune limite. Porter au jour des événements que d’autres préfèreraient cacher n’est pas sans conséquences douloureuses pour les personnes qui inspirent ces récits. Malgré la tristesse que ‘Little Green’ éveille, je suis convaincu qu’une autre part de nous est heureuse de l’écouter.
Sur cette reprise, la superbe partition de guitare est jouée par mon ami Sud-Africain Guy Buttery. Nous nous sommes rencontrés lors de ma tournée là-bas en 2008 avec Nibs van der Spuy. Je vous invite à découvrir son incroyable univers musical. J’ai contribué à quelques chansons de Guy ces dernières années, y compris pour son prochain album. Il y a une campagne de financement participatif en cours sur ce projet, et je crois même qu’il y a des enchères possibles pour une de ses guitares. Avis aux amateurs ! http://igg.me/at/guybuttery/x

Cliquez ici pour télécharger d’autres chansons de la série ‘Songs I Love’

Mexico

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Horsedreamer​ (Roger Robinson & me) the story of two renegade cowboys wandering the desert and its badlands atmosphere is a great project to animate.
I had a lot of fun working on it, I’m not a professional animator, I have no gear and I’m very limited technically in terms of cameras or software. In fact, I pushed the whole ‘poverty of means’ thing to the max as my only tools were watercolours, A4 paper and a standard Canon scanner. The video was even edited on imovie, a more hand made film than this would be hard to find!

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For the ep Bolder, we have also produced a special 20 page comic book with illustrations by me and a text by Roger Robinson. Telling the enigmatic story of two renegade wanderers in the badlands of an imaginary central american wasteland, the beautifully printed and poetic comic book provides the perfect backdrop for Horsedreamer’s haunting tales. The object is available on the Beating Drum shop only and sold together with a download of the four tracks from the ep.

Check out the photos by Mr. Cup:

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Get it here: http://shop.beatingdrumrecords.com/