Buy from
Celestial Harmonies
US $15
Shakuhachi-Flötist Lee Riley, Perkussionist Michael Askill und Mulitinstrumentalist Michael Atherton fokussieren ihre gemeinsame Kreativität auf zwei Kreuzigungsbilder des Malers Arthur Boyd. Melodiöse Flöten, magische Didjeridu, weiche Keyboards und Gitarren, antreibende Schlaginstrumente.

the project

A rare blend of composers, musicians, musical instruments, and recording circumstances, Riley Lee, Michael Askill and Michael Atherton bring the world a beautiful new music recording, Shoalhaven Rise.

Lee first suggested in 1994 that Askill and Atherton collaborate to produce a recording with him. In 1995, Lee was awarded an Artist in Residency by the Bundanon Trust at its Riversdale property on the Shoalhaven River. Lee subsequently invited the two Michaels to compose and record the project with him on location there.

Spending several days together and in the company of internationally reknown painter Arthur Boyd and surrounded by Boyd's paintings, many of which deal with Australia's isolation from European culture and religion, and the tranquility of the surroundings, a magical musical journey evolved. The music room alone seemed an enchanted heaven, not only full of Boyd's paintings, but also books and ceramics, with windows overlooking the Shoalhaven River and an unspoiled countryside, vibrantly alive.

The musicians were especially fascinated by Boyd's expressionistic crucifixion paintings. On the track Voices and Rituals, Boyd is answering questions concerning those paintings and makes his musical debut playing the boned waterphone.

While some of the titles do allude to Boyd's paintings and ideas, most are fantastical—Zenzerro is Italian for ginger, but contains Zen and Zero (0); Golden Mean refers to the ratio 5-8-13, etc., found in nature and architecture; and Flametree is a native Australian tree with blazing flowers. The cover illustration (painted after meeting the musicians and listening to the music) reflects Boyd's translation of the project.

the artists

Riley Lee, Arthur Boyd, Michael Atherton, Michael Askill

Riley Lee, Ph.D., began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in 1970. He was the first non-Japanese ever to attain the rank of Grand Master (dai shihan) in the shakuhachi tradition and is the only full-time professional shakuhachi performer in the world who is also a trained scholar. To date, Lee has released over twenty recordings worldwide, largely of his own compositions.

World acclaimed painter and 1995 Australian of the Year, Arthur Boyd, makes his musical debut, and Askill's son, Daniel Askill, co-composer on many tracks, plays bass guitar.

Michael Atherton, with special interests in early music and ethno-musicology, plays many diverse musical instruments from around the world. He is an accomplished composer for screen, radio and theatre, a successful solo artist, and author.

After nearly three decades, Michael Askill continues to be one of Australia's leading percussionists. On this recording alone, Askill delights us with his talent and expertise on twenty instruments.

biography - askill

discography - askill

biography - atherton

discography - atherton


1 Looking South 8'02"
2 Shoalhaven Rise 6'36"
3 Metamorphic 4'05"
4 Summer Rain 2'16"
5 Flametree 3'46"
6 Golden Mean 5'31"
7 The Gathering 4'15"
8 Illumination 4'32"
9 Mangrove Hockett 4'00"
10 Zenzerro 5'15"
11 Voices & Rituals 6'52"
  Total Time: 55'28"