Conducting the Ocean
Cottage Industry Music is delighted to release nationwide Martha Schuyler Thompson's CD of eleven original songs entitled, Conducting The Ocean. This collection of work explores the distinctly human desire to control natural events as they occur in an attempt to master them. The album presents intriguing characters who tackle such universal themes as birth and death, lightness and dark, good and evil, joy and sorrow in the course of life as they learn what makes their respective experiences exquisitely human. This conceit reveals that some individuals are limited by the very thing that frees them while others are freed by the very thing that limits them. This paradox is endlessly entertaining for listeners of Conducting The Ocean. Says Thompson, 'It is only humans who have this desire to swim against the tide, fly in the face of storms, cheat death or walk on water. Why, you never hear stories of other creatures on the planet denying the very nature of their abilities nor of the world itself. When faced with natural elements or events, animals of the planet learn to adapt, roll with it, burrow in or ride the prevailing winds. It seems that as human beings we only distinguish ourselves from the other creatures of the earth when we are at our most, supremely delusional. This human impulse to deny the reality of nature and entertain the belief that we are somehow in charge of events is an exercise in futility. I wanted to write about characters who uphold this notion while reflecting the joys and sorrows inherent in the pursuit of mastery over the natural events of the world.' Ironically, in Conducting The Ocean, Thompson manages to reveal her mastery of numerous musical root influences spanning such diverse genres as Blues, Contemporary Folk, Americana, Jazz, Twang, Alternative Country, Gospel, Funk, R&B, and Bluegrass. Likewise she is a master of lyricism which, on this CD is both, skilled and experimental as she plumbs the depths of humor and heartbreak while rendering exquisitely drawn portraits of the human experience. Conducting The Ocean features the following stellar supporting musicians: Rob O'Hearn (Missing Persons) on keyboards, Gordon Rencher (Oregon Ballet Theatre, Third Angle New Music Ensemble) on drums & percussion, Brian 'Pope' Casey on fretless bass, and Martha Schuyler Thompson on guitar & vocals. CRITICAL ACCLAIM: 'Martha Schuyler Thompson's album, Conducting The Ocean is a solid and satisfying exploration of the dark, scary caverns of the human experience, as well as a celebration of the depths. Thompson possesses a rich, powerful voice, which she uses to showcase her insightful songwriting. In her songs 'Ghosts' and 'Interference,' she illuminates the interplay of love, fear, sadness and anger in relationships. Conducting The Ocean...is a strong debut from a promising artist.' -FolkWeb 'Martha Schuyler Thompson has a big, soulful voice that crosses folk and pop in a collection of original songs.' -Chicago Sun-Times 'She's a potent, driving, bluesy singer but witty at the same time.' -The Worcester Phoenix.