Dakota Suite

w/ David Darling, Quentin Sirjacq - Vallisa

Release Date: 10/10/2010 · Format: LP / CD · Catalog-No: GR 707

On the 20th of November 2009 Johanna and I arrived in Bari. I had agreed to play a one off show with my musical hero from the time I had first really ‘got’ music of real depth. That was when I was about 12 years old. The man, who touched a part of my soul I had before then not thought to have existed, was David Darling. I remember the first time I held his record called ‘Journal October’. What a neat title I thought, it moved me to a point of deep silence, this only intensified with the devastating releases in 1992/93 of ‘Cello’ and ‘Darkwood’. Although I was also listening to KISS and Townes Van Zandt heavily at the time I was broken to pieces by those two records. I never fully recovered.

When I was going through the darkest most self-destructive period of my life for quite a while in 2008 David’s music became an almost daily solemn hymnal to my life, almost a daily meditation against the sense of darkness I was ingesting. I had not played an instrument for over a year as I had found the experience of making my last record (Waiting for the Dawn to Crawl Through and Take Away Your Life) to be utterly damaging to my emotional health.

I began to play the piano just to expunge the pain, knowing that if I did not do so that I would most likely die. All the time I played I had David’s cello serenading me in my head. So when I had stopped to notice where I was and that the darkness had passed, I felt that I wanted to make the record for Johanna, to tell her that it was over and that she had once again saved me, that each step I had taken away from her represented a small death. I emailed David thinking he’d never respond, telling him that I had completed this project and that if he didn’t like the songs enough to play on, that I would never allow any other to play strings to them and that I would never listen to it again. I asked him if
he would help me finish this thing I had pulled from myself. David said yes. I now feel bad for putting him under that pressure.

There then followed many a difficult meeting where I acted like a giggling school child at how amazing it was that I was speaking to my musical mentor. E.g. “David it’s so amazing to speak with you, I can remember that when I was ten other’s would be rocking out to AC/DC with their tennis rackets for air guitars (me too, only on Tuesdays) I would be using that racket to pretend I was David! What David did for me on that recording I believed I would never match in my career.

So it was that on the evening of the 20th of November 2009 I met David for the first time (more child like silliness), it was like meeting someone who knew. I then asked Quentin Sirjacq to play with us in a trio, it was supposed to be my friend Sylvain Chauveau - but he was unable to do the show at the last minute so Quentin (now a dear dear friend) had 48 hours to prepare!

I can only tell you what you can hear for yourself on the record. It will remain the most moving, spiritual, nourishing, life changing evening of my life. What happened with those two men in Vallisa chapel in Bari will be something that moves me to my core each time I hear it. I know what it cost me, and I know that sharing a stage with David and Quentin was the best I think I can ever make of this small gift I have.

written by Chris Hooson


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Tracklist

01. Very Early One Morning On Old Road
02. The North Green Down
03. Falling Apart II
04. Things We Lost Along The Way
05. One Day Without Harming You
06. A Worn Out Life
07. Introduction
08. Des Êtres Disparus
09. Hands Swollen With Grace
10. Remember

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