Heather Nova's newest album reveals ocean inspiration
Bermudian recording artist Heather Nova spent most of her formative years living on a yacht and the experience was an inspiration for her latest album, '300 Days at Sea'.
Last year she was approached by a man who said he had the compass off the boat she grew up on, and that he wanted to give it to her.
“The boat, built by my father, sank ten years ago,” she said.
“I was surprised by the emotions this brought up, and I was thrown back into memories and a new appreciation for what that experience had meant to me.
She added: “'Turn the Compass Round' and 'The Good Ship Moon' are two songs that came directly from those reflections. So there are songs about the past, but there are also songs about the future such as 'Save a Little Piece of Tomorrow'.
“It is a song which I wrote for my son, in which I imagine a time in the future when the sea has risen due to global warming.
“The song [suggests he is] swimming over our home [as if he is] looking down through the water at a shipwreck. It's kind of a promise that I will do what I can to prevent that from happening.”
She added: “Many of the songs are inspired in one way or another by my relationship with the ocean. It has always been an inspiration to me and it makes its way into my songs both as experience and metaphor.”
The song entitled 'Higher Ground' was inspired by an American friend, Matt George.
“He wanted to go out to Indonesia and help [after the tsunami there in 2004], as that had been his favourite place to surf. So he and some friends hired a boat and took supplies and a doctor to the outer islands that weren't being reached by the large aid organisations.
“This was the beginning of his humanitarian organisation,
humanitourism.org, which specialises in getting help to those not being reached.
“I was so moved and inspired by his selfless work and wrote the song for him.”
Another tune, 'Stop the Fire', was inspired by some of the social problems now affecting Bermuda.
“My feeling is that if we can find true empathy, understanding and respect for each other on a deep level, we will begin to heal the rifts that have formed in our community,” she said.
“It is very much a song of hope.”
The album, which has hit the top 40 charts in Europe, was recorded here.
“We made the album at home here in Bermuda, which was wonderful but also a challenge to find the balance between being a mother, a home-schooler and an artist recording an album.
“My husband, Felix, engineered and produced it so we were constantly juggling everything. It's a nice problem to have but it takes some organising.”
The album is a return to Heather Nova's full-band pop/rock sound.
“It was released at the end of May in Europe and I hope to release it in the US sometime this fall,” she said. “I am proud of these songs; they feel like some of my best, and I just feel very thankful to still be making music that connects with people in a positive way.
“The album has charted in several countries and is getting a lot of airplay.”
Bermudian vocalist Joy Barnum and violinist Taylor Rankin joined the artist on her 2010 European tour.
“This year I am taking my Canadian cousin, Sara Johnston, as my support act,” she said. “But I always have my ear to the ground here in Bermuda as I am keen to give young Bermudian artists a chance to have their music heard by a wider audience.
“It's a great time for music in Bermuda right now, thanks in most part to the vibrant music scene that Chewstick has created.”
The album is available on Amazon.com and at The Music Box and Sail On.
Useful website: www.heathernova.com.