Since my first couple of concerts with Malaysian musicians in February of 2010, my collaboration with No Black Tie’s founder, Ms Evelyn Hii, has been of notable significance to my solo artist career and to my music. Over the last 5 years, I have been fortunate enough to visit Malaysia on a regular basis and count on a platform from which to experiment and create my newest work, which is now compiled on this album.
Asian music was always fascinated me as I could hear the purity, the grounded sounds and history behind the music and it´s makers. By being exposed to it, in its natural environment, my curiosity and intrigue prevailed and triggered a calling for me to take a closer look. The songs I found (or did they find me?) touched my heart and spoke to me in a profound way unlike any other music that I´ve heard. From that moment, the process of rephrasing these songs in a personal way was natural, and led to surprising results that brought out new aspects of my artistry that where never foreseen. At the same time my interactions with some of Kuala Lumpur’s best musicians impacted my music considerably and resulted in a cultural transcendence between The West and the Far East. It is a constant reminder that music is a universal language; that connects people regardless of their race and culture, and since no one really owns it, we are all free to contribute our own views and feelings about it.
I do believe in “Destiny’s Will”, and that all things happen for a reason. I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be working on this project 5 years ago, but I also believe in the power of manifesting what we want, and for me that is to play and share beautiful, uplifting and inspiring music that arouses the human’s essence. In that, I share and realise my joys, and my surrender, to see how we are one, and so I am humbled and blessed to share this music with you.
I would like to thank John Ashley Thomas, Daniel Foong, Michael Veerapen, Patrick Terbrack and Jasmine Chen for their excellent work and inspiring musicality. I thank Evelyn Hii for trusting me and supporting my work.
A special thank goes to the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Malaysia for their trust and contribution to this project.
- Michael Simon – trumpet, flugelhorn
- Patrick Terbrack – saxophones
- Michael Veerapen – piano
- John Ashley Thomas – drums
- Daniel Foong – bass
- Jasmine Chen – vocals