In March 2009, I gave a small acoustic concert at a church in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and in the audience was a young musician and sound engineer, Shaun Britton, who gave me a CD of his music to listen to. I liked what I heard, and some time later I asked Shaun to engineer and co-produce my next album. When that time came we agreed a start date, which was May 28th, 2010. I like to be precise about dates, so that future civilisations or aliens, who may discover this in a time capsule, can get an accurate sense of history about legendary rock icons and international sex symbols such as myself. Both my fans support me in this.
Much of this album was recorded between the end of May and the end of October, in a largely sunny, warm and dry summer… quite Mediterranean in fact (more information there, for aliens or future civilisations. I may eventually include a few temperature statistics for them). The early morning drive down to Shaun’s, usually on a Friday or a Sunday, was invariably summery and rather holiday-ish, climbing up to the sub-alpine Devil’s Punchbowl at Hindhead, and then freewheeling down through the Hampshire downs to catch a few glimpses of blue sea near Portsmouth. As October approached, the Devil’s Punchbowl’s treetops became shrouded in a gothic mist and the temperature plunged excitingly, but every day we recorded seemed to be a sunny day.
Very quickly the project gathered a spirit all of its own. I wrote three songs in ten days, or rather three songs wrote me… they were 'Visions', 'Falling through time' and 'Blessings on your soul'. At this point it became clear to me that the album itself wished to be called Falling Through Time, which seemed to be an appropriate concept, because it both covered the mystical sense that eternity somehow desires to communicate to our mortal souls, bringing tidings of comfort and joy, and also that some great traditional songs are timeless stories about the essential ingredients and dramas of human nature, just like myths, fairy tales or dreams, but set to music. Interwoven for me between composing, family and working life, and watching the world cup, were these quotes which I found very inspiring:
Some of these traditional songs seemed almost to whisper gently into my ear, just as insistently as my new songs did. For instance, I wanted to record the traditional ballad 'Shenandoah', and found in the studio that it had very definite ideas about how it wished to be conveyed. I researched the song and found that one of several possible native American meanings of the word 'shenandoah' is ‘beautiful daughter of the stars’. Legend has it that a protestant settler in West Virginia fell in love with the daughter of an Indian chief, and the song is about the impossibility of their love. The refrain 'away I’m bound to go' takes on an extra layer of meaning when one considers that the Algonquin word 'awae' means spirit. I added some lyrics of my own to 'Shenandoah', as I did later to 'Amazing grace'.
All through the recording period, a song kept popping into my mind as a constant anchor… and this was 'Magic' by Bruce Springsteen. I felt uplifted by the sentiment contained within it… of ordinary reality being like a conjurer’s illusion… of falling through time myself, somehow… This song also inspired me to play a guitar pick accompaniment on 'Song of the blue lotus', 'Raggle taggle gypsy' and 'Blessings on your soul'. Piano is my main instrument, but I plugged away at these picks until I became quite a flamenco hillbilly, (and not a moment too soon!) 'Raggle taggle gypsy' is over 200 years old, and is the forefather of the song 'Gypsy Davy' which I first heard sung by Woody Guthrie and then re-interpreted by his son Arlo.
Curiously, when I was about to complete this album, I toyed again with the idea of recording 'House of the rising sun', and pretty much the same thing happened at this end point as had happened at the beginning. I awoke with the impulse to compose a new song at the eleventh hour, and within two hours I had completed it. This became 'Song of the blue lotus', and 'House of the rising sun' never got recorded.
I have learned that the blue lotus is a sacred flower from Egyptian times, and that the oil is inhaled to enhance meditation. It is also considered to be an aphrodisiac, both bodily and spiritually. I inhaled some, found it utterly intoxicating in the subtlest way imaginable, promptly fell asleep and awoke with this song the following morning. As it turned out, this last-gasp song I came up with seemed like the most natural song to begin the whole album with, and so I went with that.
Album review by Annie Reuter
London born singer-songwriter Asher Quinn has been recording music for over two decades. His latest release, the 16-track Falling Through Time, is a medley of emotional ballads and polished musical accompaniment. With the original plan to compose and record eight new tracks and sing some of his favorite traditional songs, Quinn’s project became bigger than he had imagined. “On the morning of the first recording I awoke with a new song almost completed in my head, as if from a dream, and I completed it, mentally, on the drive down to Shaun’s [Britton] studio,” Quinn wrote in his liner notes.
Three additional songs were written during the recording process, one of which became the album’s title, Falling Through Time. The track, Quinn wrote, seemed to be appropriate because, “It both covered the mystical sense that eternity somehow desires to communicate to our mortal souls, bringing tidings of comfort and joy, and also that some great traditional songs are timeless stories about the essential ingredients and dramas of human nature, just like myths, fairy tales or dreams, but set to music.”
Rather ambitious, Quinn’s eight tracks quickly amounted to 16, where he found inspiration among legendary artists. These musicians include Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and even Bruce Springsteen, who inspired Quinn to play guitar pick accompaniment on 'Song of the Blue Lotus', 'Raggle Taggle Gypsy', and 'Blessings on Your Soul'.
'Song of the Blue Lotus' kicks things off with a delicate flute introduction before Quinn’s finger-picked guitar enters. Combined with his wavering vocals, the listener is quickly aware this is not an average album. Instead, Falling Through Time serves as an inviting introduction to a man of deep thoughts and reflections. Relaxed music and introspective lyrics take the listener on a journey of the supernatural. A descriptive track, the light guitar and Quinn’s soft vocals soothe on 'Song of the Blue Lotus'. Almost meditative, this calm state follows throughout the remainder of the album.
Light strokes of the piano combined with haunting singing follows suit on 'This Little Bird'. Quinn is clearly a prolific songwriter, but the album tends to be a bit top-heavy with ballads, for my liking. Fortunately, soaring guitar accompaniment on 'Visions' helps diversify the LP. The upbeat 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsies' switches gears and manages to liven things up. The fun track showcases a new sound for Quinn with an dynamic singing style and a prevalent foot stomp throughout. The beautifully emotional 'Falling Through Time' follows with soaring piano and string accompaniment before Quinn’s deep vocals enter. While his ballads are powerful, it is when he lightens the mood, like on 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsies', that he leaves the biggest mark.
Stand-out number, 'Shenandoah' features a heart pounding drum beat and light flute interludes that transform the listener into nature. With Quinn’s soft and wavering vocals, the track strikes a chord. Though Quinn slightly changed the lyrics, the song’s impact remains. With haunting background vocals and steady percussion, the song impresses.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Quinn also restructured the classic 'Amazing Grace' with new lyrics and a striking harmonica interlude. While 'Spanish is the Loving Tongue' was inspired by hearing the cover by Bob Dylan and 'Wayfaring Stranger' he first heard sung by Johnny Cash, Quinn put his own spin on each. With piano and acoustic guitar on the respective tracks, it is “Wayfaring Stranger” that leaves the greatest impression. With light electric and acoustic guitar accompaniment and his wavering vocals, the song intrigues.
Having recorded for the majority of the past two decades, Quinn’s talent for writing and singing spiritually-themed ballads is undeniable. However, it is on the more energetic 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsies' and stand-out track 'Shenandoah' that he leaves his biggest impression. Greater vocal variety could have helped transform the listener from relaxed state to an adamant listener.
Review from NewAgeMusicWorld.Com
author: John P. Olsen / Review Publicist
Asher Quinn is a singer songwriter from the United Kingdom who has devoted much of his adult life to writing music, and what passionate music he has created while securing a significant position in the genre! His Love Theme Ballads, Folk Melodies and Contemporary Instrumentals, united with romantic and poetic lyrics, placed him in a unique class in the field of New Age music years ago, just as his more Mainstream Progressive Ballads and Spiritual Love Songs continue to inspire today. Falling Through Time is the 2011 release which reintroduce his unique abilities as a splendid lyrical songwriter and vocalist without rival. Possessing the heart and mind of a true poet, Asher assimilates his rare abilities and divine lyrical aptitude directly into his melodic love songs, which often exemplify a spiritual atmosphere. To me, his lyrical ballads of praise and adoration, for which he has become famous, are highly prized by their gentle and forthright emotive charm. Asher Quinn, who released his first New Age chart-topping album Open Secret back in 1987, followed with other chart-topping releases Mystic Heart, Wings of Fire & Concert of Angels, under the name first of Denis Quinn, and then Asha.
Some of his compositions have been used in film soundtracks, and with over half a million album sales to his credit, Asher Quinn continues to be a popular and incomparable one of a kind artist in the New Age music genre. Falling Through Time features 9 original compositions, 6 traditional ballads and a cover version of 'This little bird' first made famous by Marianne Faithfull, and was recorded and co-produced with sound engineer Shaun Britton at his studio in Fareham, Hampshire, UK. On this album, Asher delivers lead vocals and contributing artists include Kristian Biddiss on lead and Spanish guitars, along with supporting female vocalists Jaba and Jimena Larraguivel. Asher Quinn’s music is released on his new independent Singing Stone Music record label. In addition, song lyrics for the CD album are printed in a handsome cover booklet, plus lyrics for every release by Asher Quinn are available on his website lyrics page. Two of my personal favorite songs from Asher are 'Free Yourself' & 'Love’s Philosophy'.
While love songs and folk ballads have been a source of creative inspiration for popular musicians in a variety of genres, this is a rarity concerning artists within the New Age music category. In every respect, Asher Quinn’s newest album continues his enduring legacy for producing top quality music in a wide variety of styles, which brings forth a newfound sense of admiration for his compositions you will indeed find glorious and inspiring.
Dear Asher, I'm sure I will love Falling Through Time. I have had some listening on YouTube and just as importantly, took the lyrics from your site. My opinion is that with this album you have touched the essence of things like never before. I know that you have this flow of energy in your voice that touches hearts and souls in a healing way. Not that you could help it or force it, it's just there (thank God!) But in reading the lyrics I see an Asher who has also become the teacher that was in you all the time, but just gave away glimpses of his knowledge of the being of things before. So now there is that extra dimension to it, people can not only be touched by you but they can learn from the words that you sing. It was never there in such a strong and direct way before, although there were these glimpses in 'Tomorrow's God', 'If you believed in love', 'Time of spiritual emergency' and 'Girl Jesus'.
~ Robin Bogaart, Netherlands (2011)
Beautiful album... I love it and listen to it every day!!
~ Erich Broech, newageradio.de, Germany (2011)
Fantastic!! truly magical and soul touching! Thank you Asher! BRAVO!!!
~ Janet Davoodzadeh, Netherlands (re the YouTube of 'Visions', 2011)
'The mystic garden' seems to remind me of a long forgotten time. Truly wonderful, thank you.
~ Eleandra FQ (YouTube), Netherlands (2011)
You know Asher, the more I watch and listen to 'Falling through time', the more I believe this is an iconic track. It moves the hairs on the back of my neck, and nearly moves me to tears of joy.
~ Noonoobaggins (YouTube), UK (2011)
It's been a very long time since I bought your music. Your early albums fed my soul at the beginning of my awakening in the early 90's. Now, 20 years later, I discover a new album from you that has some truly incredible words. Words that reflect so much deeper the depths of Soul. Thank you for being a shining light on this journey. Blessings, Gary.
~ Gary Cousins, South Africa (2011)
We love your music. It's deep and meaningful and touches the soul. It's uplifting.
~ Yvonne & Trevor, New Zealand (2011)
Thank you for this beautiful song 'Falling through time'. I have been touched by the images and the words, by the words and the music, by the music and the inexpressible beyond all that. There is also a kind of naive expression in the pictures that talk directly to my heart... to my inner child. I recognised something that was part of myself in this, and that was... good.
~ Olivier, of La Plume Bleue New Age Shop, Switzerland (2011)
I've watched your 'Visions', 'Falling through time' and 'Everything is in God' videos. I am moved and intrigued at the energy that you presence in your poetry and voice.
~ Shaina Noll, singer-songwriter, Washington state, USA (2011)
Since I have your new album I have listened many time. So I can say now that it's your best of all. All is in this album: wonderful ballads, some sounds of new age style, some faster songs, a lot of female vocals. A lot of masterpieces in this album.
~ Bruno, France (2011)
I'd like to express my deep gratitude to you for doing such a beautiful music. For me it is one of the purest music I have ever heard. And I promised to my 5-year-old niece that I would let you know that she calls it angel's music.
~ Sonja Jamnik, Slovenia (2011)
MANY THANKS for your new CD!!! I've listened it... it is magnificent... and talking about 'Falling through the time' this composition is unearthly I use this term in good sense! Blessings on your soul, and my best regards to your team for this CD! Mihaela xx
~ Mihaela Solcan, Bucharest, Romania (2011)
Many thanks! 3 days ago I received your new CD... and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! She is really wonderful... perfect!!!! So many wonderful words in your lyrics. My little baby son has also one song as his favourite... and this is 'Shenandoah'. When it is over he cries very loud until I play it once again! I also like it very much and also 'Song of the blue lotus' and 'Blessings on your soul' are really wonderful. My special favourite is 'Visions'... I love this song.
~ Christl Gramer, Austria (2011)
This brilliant new album Falling Through Time simply could not be better! It's fantastic! I just came back from my parents and you know what my father said? 'The old Denis Quinn is back' :) You really should take this as a big compliment, Asher. The tracks that have a lot of emotional impact are without doubt 'The mystic garden', 'Forgiveness', 'This little bird', 'Everything is in God', 'Love's philosophy' and 'Blessings on your soul', but also 'Raggle taggle gypsies' is a great track that reminds me of the middle ages. All the famous Quinn ingredients are there, especially your unique voice! All the best, Guy.
~ Guy Sweens, New Age composer, Netherlands (2011)
Your latest CD is just brilliant. I'm going through a very difficult time in my life at the moment and your music is helping me through my darkest hours.
~ Deborah, UK (2011)
Your music is heavenly! With your music I can catch the heaven to this world. I say thousand times thanks to you.
~ Daniel Meier, Switzerland (2011)
Hi Asher, I love your music. I too learned to play the guitar, banjo and piano (strings of the heart) by ear (Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Donovan, Bob Dylan) though not with the talent that you have. Not only do I love your music, but also your words.
~ Bob, USA (2011)
My dear Asher, you must know that you are my favourite man artist, and I feel you always as my soul friend :) I enjoyed so much to work with you and I'm so proud of this album we did High Planes Music. This new song 'Falling through time' is also beautiful. Through your songs all the people find peace, inner light and all our minds just finding the right position...
~ Lila Mayi, Budapest, Hungary, (2011; female vocalist on Asher's High Planes Music)
This beautiful title track of you 'Falling through time' from your new album is a great gift to us (the world). We did already know that God works through people, but now in these words of your song I hear Him saying that we (the world) are not alone in our process of transforming our fear into love.
~ Theo & Corry, Spiritual Lighthouse, Netherlands (2010)
Your music is so beautiful and it hits me up into my deepest soul. It puts me in a higher energy. So beautiful.
~ Christa, YouTube, Netherlands (2010)