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When Flowers Covered The Earth
SMMG 024 (2002)

01. Morning Prayer
02. Sunrise
03. Affection
04. Fawn And Deer
05. Jewel MP3
06. Prayer Wheel
07. When Flowers Covered The Earth
08. A Suicide Note
09. Blackout In The City
10. Sundown

Having spent the the early 2000s concentrating on His Name Is Alive (4AD) and producing (Ida, Godzuki, Saturday Looks Good To Me), and more recently recording two solo-singer-songwriter albums (I Want You To Live One Hundred Years and Warn Defever), Warn Defever decided to make an instrumental record that concentrated on the arrangements, the compositions, as well as collective improvisations.

"I was directly inspired by trips to Nepal and Japan: I had a dream where a white woman came to me and I asked her 'why is it so cold, when will the winter end?' when I awoke it was clear what I had to do."

He assembled a small ensemble to perform this tonal yet free flowing mystical sounding music. Clouds of droning strings give way to fiery saxophone and impressionistic piano, reminiscent of the spiritual free jazz produced by Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane in the 1970s. Plucked violins invoke Asian folk melodies and toy pianos imitate the bells of an Indonesian gamelon. Rich doublebass tones duet with washes of cymbals and gongs, soon to be enveloped again by layers of strings and saxophones. All of these sounds are subtly layered and edited, creating not the feeling of an album assembled in the studio, but of a cloudy dream of mystical traditions, both meditative and ecstatic, real and imagined. And like a memory of travel, the various textures that comprise the album's ten tracks rise and fall fleetingly, reappearing as echoes of themselves, and flowing together into one entrancing composition. The meditative-almost-chamber music is often subtle and sad. The themes establish emotional points of reference. The titles of the songs offer only small suggestions of meaning, half forgotten images, extremely personal information, elusive hopeful energy, past failures, and lost memories gradually resurfacing. As far as the process of melodic and harmonic interaction, Warn instructed the saxophonist and the string players, "the performer is not attempting to appeal to the listener nor ignoring him or her, but speaking from inside the listeners head. The voice is calm and superior, it knows you inside out. The listener is not the observer but the observed. I want you to become the recording angel."