Of Abyssinia

by Jim Ghedi & Neal Heppleston

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about

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Spiritually and audibly Of Abyssinia was to be a journey and a celebration of the prosperity of human kind, when we started planning the Of Abyssinia album we wanted the sound to encompass everything, every emotion, every sound. It was to be a spectrum of joy, sorrow, confusion, peace and unrest.

Even as we were recording our first EP “Archipelago” we were already planning Of Abyssinia, Serve the Wind was already written and we had a faint idea that we wanted to record it in G2 Studios. With Archipelago we had a lot of freedom to come and go recording different parts in different sessions, but with this we wanted to completely immerse ourselves in the music and work. We were to live or die by this recording, there was no compromising on scale as we wanted to expand and push our sound out from the folk jazz of Archipelago.

Musically I wanted this album to be a portrait of music in its beginning stages in many different ways. The roots of African rhythms, Eastern and Western music blended in a way that made something that is recognisable yet new, the Blues of a new beginning and the strains of Classical compositions trying to cling to relevance in an age where it is largely ignored. There was an undercurrent of a shared vision throughout the writing and recording of the album, that of creating something beyond what we would normal strive for, something bigger and more at ease with itself than what others may think of it.

From the very beginning it was always going to be an inclusive album and we made a conscious effort not to write or finalise everything before we went into the studio, we wanted things to develop on the spot and we wanted others to be involved in the creation. Those who were there with us really have made a huge impact on the music and without them this would be nothing, so thank you to John, Paul, Dev, Mena, Roo, Chris, Ben, Julie and Lizzie for putting up with our crazy way of working I know it wasn’t easy.

So, this is a piece of art that we give to you to listen to and share; I hope that you will find something worthwhile within it.

Neal Heppleston

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I began this album out of a revelation I discovered and I wanted to express it through a song, I meditated on a concept of eternal love which I heard Ornette Coleman discuss. The idea is that of a universal energy or spirit which is formed from love, this energy never dies, it is a continuous force which cradles the human soul through eternity, in harmony as one spiritual life form passed on to another continually.

After deep contemplation on this topic I started realising I am transparent as a being, I am empty, I am another component of nature which passes. I thought from this nothing really matters except what you provide for others within your physical existence in life, further more I must do as much as I can to bring love, peace and prosperity to humanity and all living things in the lifetime that I have been given in this physical form.

The connection and emphasis of Africa was also an original concept which I had, I was at that point heavily engrossed in Pan-Africanism studying books from such activists as Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey and Fela Kuti, Africa was indeed at this point a massive influence and inspiration, a driving force in the way I was thinking.

I wanted to echo the philosophy of many Pan-Africanists that our human creation was originally born in Africa, mankind’s origin and roots lay in Africa.

Subconsciously and coincidentally during the writing and recording of this album I was in the middle of reading a lengthy book on Human rights and poverty wrote by Irene Khan, a book that described from experience the history and coherent human indecencies occurring nationally.

It really all was triggered by the simple question of ‘what can I do about this’? The most effective way was picking up a guitar and trying to convey it through song, not necessarily through words either I believe through the feeling of sound you can express emotion, truth and meaning.

I wanted to bring to light the universal consciousness of our own eternity and that it is placed within love, within a spiritual connection. I feel the truly beautiful thing about that concept is the fact if we all recognise eternal love we surely can understand that we are all one force/energy passing yet totally empty as one single physical being.

With that in mind, it brought up questions of our human condition why is there still an unequal balance in the world, injustice, suffering, pain, discrimination, poverty and abuse in all measures.

So in short this message was connecting the universal understanding of our eternal spiritual connection with the harsh realities of the world we live in, never forgetting either and the simple fact being we can do nothing more than cradle that unified understanding as a collective and do as much good to the world we live in.

I want humanity to tap into spirits and souls, I want my brothers and sisters to realise they have a voice within and not fear of expressing themselves.

I want humanity to connect with each other, come together as one, in unity, in love, in peace with empathy and with truth.

To enlighten and liberate each other,

I want to see an end to human suffering, the pains of abusing human rights and the hardships and strains that beautiful people suffer from all around the world.

Every day I feel it deeply, it hurts me incisively and human suffering and the condition of our creation is rooted in my soul.

I feel I must do what I can to bring positivity, love and goodness for humankind; I want my music to take humanity on a journey to break out of these conditions and voyage to a more peaceful place.

I play for you, nothing less.

I feel my time is limited; no longer do I look upon my physical being as anything but a means to express this spiritual message within the time I have in this life.

This physical existence is only existent because of the need of what I must give,

What I must express for the people through my music.

I do not care for vanity, materialism or any form of profit, everything I have, earn, gain, all my energy, everything I have to my name will be put into my message and my music.

My aim is to push all boundaries and make music that’s never been done before but also combine the music with my message for humanity, as when we share we share in a peaceful place.

Delivering my message with the power of my music, that is it. This album is the landmark for the start of it, I hope someone down the line will benefit from this.

Jim Ghedi

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Jim's Note

I believe in humanity and the future of the world,
I believe in the universal spirit,
I accept the signs and I shall follow my dreams.
we are accountable and responsible for what happens in this world.
I shall sacrifice my life for the prosperity of the human race,
and those who disagree may well be right, but my love will always be stronger.
as with love we will grow.
and as there is no use talking of peace when a man's heart is always at war.
I shall hold nothing but love inside and offer nothing but love for the world.
I live in hope,
I dream of love to set us free.

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credits

released October 30, 2012

Of Abyssinia

Composed by Jim Ghedi & Neal Heppleston

Produced, mixed and mastered by Paul Harris and John Sephton

Recorded 24/05/12-28/05/12 and 14/07/12 at G2 Studios, Sheffield

Artwork by Monica Sagar

Videos by Neal Heppleston

Photos by Jim Ghedi, Neal Heppleston, John Sephton

© 2012 LMRC

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Nubian Grove

Jim Ghedi – Guitar, Voice

Neal Heppleston – Double Bass, Guitar

Mena Brisa – Voice

Devon Francis – Voice

Lizzie May Palmer – Flute

John Sephton – Drums, Percussion

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Love Eternity

Jim Ghedi – Guitar, Voice, Saxophone

Neal Heppleston – Double Bass, Piano, Xylophone

Julie Ann Horan – Trumpet

Lizzie May Palmer – Flute

John Sephton – Drums, Percussion, Piano

Contains interview samples of Ornette Coleman

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Africa’s Lament

Jim Ghedi – Guitar

Neal Heppleston – Double Bass

Devon Francis – Voice

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Serve The Wind

Jim Ghedi – Guitars, Voice, Saxophone

Neal Heppleston – Double Bass

Chris Brain – Violin

Ben Eckersley – Cello

Paul Harris - Harmonica

John Sephton – Drums

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Afar

Jim Ghedi – Guitar, Mandolin

Neal Heppleston – Double Bass, String Arrangement

Chris Brain – Violins

Ben Eckersley – Cello

Roo O’Hare - Viola

John Sephton – Drums

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Track Name: Nubian Grove
Nubian Grove

Jim Ghedi

Prodigal sun

Brother your soul has a voice

So nest your thoughts through time

And you will see tomorrow holds the sun

Throw your wings on the shore, moonchild whose footprints lay in the sand.

With your heart in the sky,

And your tears on your land.

The bird song moans,

On this plain time has told,

Flourished dreams, from within still holds,

The oneness of eternity’s soul

Brother carry my weary bones

Blood stained son of man, carry my body home,

The flesh grows thin, on this road,

But the spirit lives alone,

Oh humanity

Oh sweet creation
Track Name: Love Eternity
Love Eternity

Jim Ghedi

Love eternity I believe

Love is placed in eternity

(Repeated)

Love your brothers.

Love your sisters too.

In this time.

Hearts and minds in unity

The spirit of one shall set us free

(Repeated)

The rhythm of humanity

Reflects the love of eternity
Track Name: Serve The Wind
Serve The Wind

Jim Ghedi

Verse 1

Lover of the mountains

Lover of the trees, I will be free, I will be free.

With love must come sorrow

So they said to me.

Oh but river child can you see how, we must feel to grow.

The only fear that I hold is if time will erode the fruits of my soul.

So i pick up my feet and i hit the road.

Don’t know why but i got to go,

The leaving blues.

Chorus

Though I may fall,

Withered I crawl

I carry a voice.

Lay me down and I’ll serve the wind

(Repeat)

Verse 2

Cradle the spring for a mad song of mine.

Awake your sight as I claim nothing,

Nothing but the shadow that I left behind.

Oh but river child can you see how, we must feel to grow.

The artist who starves to translate the world,

To sketch on a sun,

To sing to a sky,

To love with pain is the acceptance of life.

So I pick up my feet and i hit the road.

Don’t know why but i got to go,

It’s the leaving blues.

Coda

Though I may fall to the world’s knees

Though I may beg and plead

I know one day I will be free

One day I will be free

I will be free

I will be free