Above the Clouds
So who is this Mosher guy anyway? Born in Iowa, James "Jim" Mosher is the son of a Christian minister who has always been an advocate for diversity and the common good. Currently working full time at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (Kansas) in the Red Carpet Services area which provides library service to homebound and persons with special needs, he is a professional musician whose performing groups include: the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, the Topeka Woodwind Quintet and the Castle & Cross Consort, as well as performing on solo harp. He strongly believes in the healing power of music and includes this intent in all his music. Jim is very fortunate in that he is able to play the harp at the bedside of people under hospice care as part of his job at the library. Jim has received Master's and Doctoral degrees in Metaphysics as well as ordination from the International Metaphysical Ministry. He first touched a harp while in college and bought is first harp in 1982. He attends a number of Renaissance Festivals as "Chiron the Bard" where people have been asking for CDs for years. Up to this time he has pointed to the CDs produced by Pamela Bruner and said "I play wind instruments for her, but nothing of me solo." That is now passed. Pamela and her husband, David Woodworth, built the 38-string instrument he plays (the DragonHeart model from Heartland Harps, North Carolina), and the 22-string instrument is an Eve from Stoney End Harps (Minnesota). Finally tired with telling people 'no' to a solo CD and after getting the idea from another harper who was doing some home recording for Christmas presents, Jim started playing around with recording on his computer and discovered that the quality wasn't half bad. He set up a 'studio' in sacred space and proceeded to record. "Above the Clouds" is the result. It is his hope that you enjoy his music and experience that special, magickal place that is "Annwvyn" above the clouds. Notes on 'Above the Clouds' I have selected some of my favorite pieces to play to help create that special place, the mystical otherworld that lies 'Above the Clouds.' I often begin with this first sprightly music box waltz written by my friend, RoJean Loucks, for her granddaughter. Olivia's Song helps us remember to let the child within each of us some time and room to play and dance in the sunlight. 'Planxty Merlin' was written in memory of Merlin the sheltie, who was a helper-dog and long time companion for Cyndee (who died herself unexpectedly in February of 2011). It gently eases his passage to the Rainbow Bridge. Slightly melancholy, 'Mary, Young and Fair' is a traditional love song from Scotland. While other traditional pieces 'Harper's Frolic' and 'Kemp's Jig' make a wonderful pairing. Of 'Annwvyn' composer Christina Tourin says: "This tune came to me after going to King Arthur's Labyrinth while visiting Wales. Tina, like many of us, plays for the dying and chronically ill. She captures an amazing serenity and other-worldliness in this piece. 'Fairy Danse' is the one original work of my own on this album. While improvising music one night beside a lily pond, eerie lights were seen dancing over the water, and they weren't reflections from the candles. We were visited by denizens of the Faerie world that night, drawn by the music. One of my all time favorite pieces is 'Forest Stroll', written by my friend, Pamela Bruner. Designed for relaxation and meditation purposes, I find this reminiscent of a stroll through the pine forests of Colorado. I am a member of the Castle & Cross Consort (our two CDs are available here too). Steve Clark serves as a major composer for us and often brings new pieces for us to try. It was a hard decision as to which of his pieces would be included here. In 2010 he brought 'Mouse Pye' to us, describing the aftermath of a party where someone forgot to put away the left over pies (and not that the pies were made of mice). This delightful piece would make a great dance or cartoon depicting the mice as they discover the pies, investigate to make sure it was safe, and then scurrying away after eating their fill. 'Royal Dream' is another traditional piece which I have used a number of times for weddings. I came across 'Twilight' by Meg Robinson while searching for calming music to play at the bedside. It is a sublime piece which translated from harp solo into harp and recorder ensemble very nicely. Joanna Mell is also the originator for 'Emma's Lullaby'. This piece is also for a sheltie and is the human caregiver's final goodbye. Lyrics begin with 'Go to sleep Miss Emma, rest your weary head.' It is a delightfully gentle farewell. The last piece, 'Above the Clouds' by Frank Voltz, is in my opinion a epitome of the CD. I played this for my father's memorial service and it never fails to transport me past the mundane and into the magical other-realm. I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I did producing it.