The global Night Siren - March 2017
Mr Steve Hackett
Photo © Tina Korhonen
Rob Townsend on bass clarinet
The Night Siren is released today!
This album involves many different sounds and styles. There are also musicians, singers and instruments from several countries around the world.
With its message of tolerance and compassion, it involves Mira Awad and Kobi Farhi, respectively from Palestine and Israel, who sing together on the peace song, West to East. American drummer Nick D'Virgilio plays on this album as well as Malik Mansurov on tar from the Middle East. The album also includes, Icelandic drummer and percussionist Gulli Briem, Hungarian trumpeter Feri Kovaks and didgeridoo player Sara Kovaks.
Along with Swede vocalist Nad Sylvan are regular UK band members, Roger King (keyboards and programming), Rob Townsend (all things wind), Gary O'Toole (drums) as well as Amanda Lehmann (vocals) and John Hackett (flute).
In keeping with all the influences from travels to different countries are various instruments, including Iraqi oud, Peruvian Chirango and quena, Australian didgeridoo, Troy Donockley's Celtic Uilleann pipes and my guitar sitar combined with Indian sitar samples. I love the atmosphere of these instruments, which immediately transport you to the most exotic places, replete with their myths and cultures.
As well as the exotica of music from around the world, I have included a whole slew of orchestral sounds. Christine Townsend's beautifully played violin and viola along with Dick Driver's incredible double bass give a quality and special authenticity to the orchestral textures.
Last but never least, as always I've enjoyed playing both electric and acoustic guitar (both six and twelve string) on this album, exploring the range from the very delicate to the all out wall of sound! I've particularly enjoyed letting rip with several electric guitar riffs, exploring many progressive sounds as well as that sense of allowing the guitar to fly with passion and melody. I also enjoyed going for flamenco again on 'Anything But Love', where I employed some new percussive techniques.
Overall, it's as ever a rock album with orchestral textures, but this time including many more elements from around the world, celebrating the fabulous diversity from all those cultures whilst giving a sense of universal unity. That's what drives and excites me at this time...
Steve playing the oud
Roger King hard at work
Christine Townsend on violin
Amanda Lehmann on vocals with Roger King recording
Malik Mansurov on tar
Gary O'Toole on drums
Steve with Peruvian Charango
Nad Sylvan on vocals
Photo © Lee Millward
John Hackett on flute
Sara Kovacs on didgeridoo
Dick Driver on double bass