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Paul McLaney

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Joined: 01/01/02
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Paul McLaney: Diamond Side
Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:32 pm

A Word From Paul...

The world connects when like-minded souls speak honestly to one another, without pretension or false modesty.

The fundamental aspect of music that I have always shared the greatest affinity with is the human voice and acoustic guitar. Be it Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, Robert Johnson or Bob Dylan, the essential purity of one person alone, creating a vivid musical canvas on which to detail their observations and emotional responses is the music I always come back to. While this has always stirred the deepest empathy for me personally, I've never been entirely sure why. I've considered it might be something akin to the fact that I can't deny the way Celtic melodies move me.

I've been fortunate enough to have collaborated in a wide variety of musical disciplines with some very talented friends: as part of Gramsci, SJD, Concord Dawn, Anika Moa, Jakob, Module, Rhian Sheehan, Graeme Downes, Victoria Kelly. The value of each experience has been to contextually reveal to me a greater understanding of my true musical self. As a musician I have always strived to improve. In the course of this application I have come to understand that to "improve" is to move closer to my own personal truths; to be a pioneer is not, in my opinion, to be confused with riding the vanguard of popular fashion and thought but to live at the edge of your unique place as an individual.

"EDIN" the album I recorded last year in Dunedin was the major catalyst for realising this understanding. To have it nominated for a Tui this year in the Best Male category is one of my proudest achievements as a creative artist working in New Zealand. During the course of promoting and touring the "EDIN" songs, a new collection of material arrived steadily as if invited by the sensibilities my solo performances were establishing. I relished the challenge of painstakingly working on the songs as complete entities unto themselves. The guitar was my studio, my band, my entire framework outside of the lyric.

Lyrics collide with music, they float in music, they pull meaning out of melodies and recognise in them their divine essence. All of the 12 songs on "Diamond Side" are love songs of one form or another.

To me the love song is the most perfect form of the songwriting discipline. Love exists in the space between people's words and love songs yearn for the want of another heart to hear them. The space between lyric and melody makes each of them richer and that space between is a metaphor for how love is realised amongst us all. Love songs seek to shorten the distance between love and longing.

Recording the album in Los Angeles took me out of my comfort zone and made me knuckle down to the task at hand. Added to that the experience and wisdom that producer/engineer Michael Frondelli (Crowded House, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones) provided, I felt completely energised to capture performances of these songs that would merit my own investment into them. Everything was captured as live performances over 2 sessions on August 15th and 17th, 2007.

I hope you enjoy the album.

Paul McLaney

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