From Pandemonium to a View of Eidolons
This recording was made a few days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Any perspectives that I may have had about this recording prior to that event have changed deeply. For a long time we didn't even know whether the tracks from the session had even survived. Many of the musicians had left town. The whole town had had to leave town! We are now a few years past the August 2005 date of the recording. This is the second studio recording of the Naked Orchestra and five years after the first. There have been many personnel changes since that first recording though many of those first members are still with the band. The players and the ideas have changed over time, as have our cultural environment, music scene and music industry. There are many new economic and artistic pressures around us. A group of this size is certainly very vulnerable to all of these forces and yet what seems the factor that kept the Naked Orchestra together is the remarkable generosity of everyone involved. That is to say that from their belief in the art form of music, the musicians and the studio personnel gave freely of time and resources to make this happen. So we seem to be surviving on the fumes and fragrances of luck, love, and belief in the art form. Some of us are not surviving. Over the years we have lost a few members but most recently was our flautist and friend, Hart McNee (earlier on Frederick Sheppard, and Richard Theodore). In a lot of ways this record is a simple dedication to Hart. He wanted to see this out before he died and because of various financial difficulties it wasn't possible. However, Hart's strength, support and spirit buoyed us all through times that might have smashed this Ark-estra against the rocks. He was also one of the greatest flute players I heard because the marks of great originality and freedom were always evident in his playing and those personality and musical trademarks well reflected the striving nature of the group. Music and musical gesture are symbolic of ideas. Like all art from as far back as Paleolithic times music is a way that those with advanced vision can show the society what is possible to see while also refining the auditory sense. If we are lucky we have 5 sense portals into the universe that we inhabit. The greatness of music is that it hones one of these and gives us greater sensitivity to what might be the only life we have. Therefore music is good--and important. The record you are holding has the ideas of over 20 players who care on this level. There is an elated light and heightened sensitivity that comes from attention to music. We can share the dreams, visions, and energy of our fellow humans by listening. These players gave their best under the circumstances to communicate with you. We hope you enjoy it.