Ocean: Songs for the Night Sea Journey (SunSign SCD2004, 2004)
Ocean is a collection of dreamy sea-inspired pieces by Anglo-Irish-American composer and band leader Jennifer Cutting. She’s had a longtime fascination with the intersection of music, mythology,
psychology and spirituality. The epic production took seven years and five transatlantic crossings to complete.
Ocean explores the rich symbolism of water and its themes of transition and transformation. It was recorded in England and the United States of America, with additional recording in Paris (France).The album features guest appearances by Maddy Prior, Peter Knight (Steeleye Span), Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, XTC, Paul McCartney), the late Tony Cuffe (Ossian), Gabriel Yacoub, Troy Donockley (Iona),
John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter band) and others.
Vocals, harps, pipes, fiddle, accordion and other Celtic instruments fuse with keyboards, bass, drums and electric guitar for a song cycle that moves from evocative atmospheres to forgotten melodies and new visions of old favorites.
Ocean’s electro-acoustic soundscapes feature four different female vocalists: Maddy Prior and Polly Bolton from England, and Grace Griffth and Lisa Moscatiello from the United States of America. Atmospheric sounds and the swirling interplay of voice and instruments characterize Cutting’s original tunes: “Call of the Siren,” “My Grief on the Sea,” “Dissolving” and “The Sands of Time.” In contrast, a more energizing pulse infuses Cutting’s revisioning of a set of Irish traditional jigs, “Out on the Ocean/Rolling Waves,” which feature her nimble button accordion playing.
Bulgarian diva Tatiana Sarbinska and women’s group Slaveya lend their Balkan vocals to Ocean’s finale “Neptune Reel/Woman of the House.”