A deeply personal musical statement from Bobby BeauSoleil, a 2-disk concept album featuring a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks mapping the meandering path of his journey to spiritual understanding. The vocal tracks performed by BeauSoleil include both covers and original songs, with guest performances by Annabel Lee Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Robert Ferbrache, and Mike Behrenhausen. A lavish triple gatefold cover integrates evocative photographs by Nicholas Syracuse with calligraphy by Timo Ketola. Jacket layout and design by Bobby BeauSoleil and Beth Hall. This album was recorded at Oregon State Penitentiary between 2008 and 2015.
Bobby BeauSoleil comments on this album release:
Over the course of my long imprisonment, the opportunities to make personal music recordings have been few and far between. Such rare blessings are not to be taken for granted. When in 2008 such an opportunity presented itself I was determined to make the most of it. Serendipitously, I had just acquired a new electric guitar. My friends at Schecter Guitar Research performed some custom modifications I wanted made to the instrument prior to shipping it to me. With a modest recording setup and a small assortment of guitar pedals at my disposal, I began to explore the unique character of the guitar’s voice and soon found myself in a world of dark blues and haunted droning spaces. These inspired me to compose some song lyrics and to add my vocalizations into the mix for the first time on any of my recordings.
Perhaps drawing on my ancestral connections to New Orleans, the music began to take on a personal story aspect combined with the mystical dimensionality that informed much of my earlier work. I took to calling this gumbo ‘voodoo shivaya’, and the name stuck as the album gradually began to take shape. Not since the recordings on the Lucifer Rising soundtrack project four decades earlier had I produced such a collection of guitar-driven compositions, without relying on synthesizer electronics to generate complex timbres. Instead I relied mostly on prepared guitar processes and playing techniques to create timbral variation and an overall organic sound. Assisting me to achieve this result, on two of the tracks, are guest performances by members of the ethereal folk band Blood Axis, and, on one track, I was joined by two fellow prisoners at Oregon State Penitentiary, where the foundational tracks for the album were recorded. In 2015, seven years after I broke ground on the project, I had finished the nine long tracks that comprise Voodoo Shivaya. By this time I had entered an agreement with :AJNA: for release of the album to the public. It took an additional two years, with the help of some very talented artistic collaborators, to finalize the visual presentation and package for the album. Now, the only remaining element required to complete this endeavor is the listener, to whom I hereby submit this document of my efforts.
Summer Solstice, 2018