Sephyra is a bit of rounding up the troops, clearing the cobwebs and emptying the closets. An ending and a beginning. The album was a few years in the making, but the songs span a greater distance. Some are new, others were conceived in the last millenium, when I first began my journey as a songwriter. Some I wrote on my own, some are the fruits of collaborations with various genius composers and musicians. Most were brewed on a slow simmer, gathering spices and colors from several thoughtful pairs of hands and ears on the way to their final form. It takes a village.
All the songs on Sephyra are facets of a journey. One of rising up, falling down, getting up again. Over and over. As humans do. Taking apart and putting back together. A few parts left over in the process, a few new squeaks and rattles, but hell, the thing still flies. And maybe, just maybe, through examination we begin to grok the machine.
Final production on Sephyra took place over the past year in the homey bat-cave studio of David Earl (SFLogicninja). A few songs, like Begin Again, took an utter left turn at his hand to transcend themselves and become something completely new. A couple needed just a bit of fine tuning and spit polish. Most enjoyed some sort of major overhaul, including new vocals, since many of the originals were recorded whilst standing next to a burbling aquarium. I have *no* idea who would make an engineering faux pas like that. Ahem.
I like pretty fish. And shrimp. Especially the blue ones.
All the songs got a whole lot of love rubbed into them. And there are some extraordinary players sitting in throughout the album, including Daniel Berkman, Steve Lawson, Michel Jordan, Bobby Cochran, Abram Katz and Tom Lattanand. Keith Crusher, as always, had a big hand in the development of several tracks, and provided key bits of feedback and guidance in the final production. We have Keith to thank for that lovely side stick on So Long. Brilliant choice.
We also have Keith to thank for the beautiful graphic design and photography on the cover image, and Juliana Medina for her stunning makeup artistry. Sarika Dagar, LP Ponor and Anastasia Lattanand also provided invaluable artistic feedback.
Ian Shepherd mastered the album, and did an exquisite job on that last, somewhat mysterious and alchemical step of an album’s journey into the world. He stayed faithful to the music and the production, brought out the very best of what was already there, kept it warm and made it sparkle. Ian was a true pleasure to work with, as was every single person on this project.
To everyone who participated in the Kickstarter and helped bring this album and the forthcoming music video for Down By the River to life, you have my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude, love and respect. Same goes to those of you who cheered us on, and those of you who’ve just now turned up here. Our conversation takes this music to a whole new place. Let’s keep talking.
Official liner notes and bonus-y bits coming shortly…watch this space.
released October 18, 2012
All tracks produced and mixed by David Earl
All lyrics and melodies by Artemis Robison
Mastered by Ian Shepherd
Artwork, graphic design and photography by Keith Crusher
Makeup by Juliana Medina