I MIGHT BE DREAMING

All tracks composed, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), produced and mixed by Esbe.

We all dream, or have dreamt. Perhaps more when we were children, and as adults, often when under stress or just dealing with life. With near surreal imagery and a hyper-vividness, we're left with much to think about after waking.

There have been times when we've inhabited a scene that seems so familiar, and yet it's not somewhere we've ever been. Friends and memories from the very distant past merge with completely unrelated ideas to produce a capricious narrative that we'd never have thought of otherwise.

 

I've always been fascinated with the workings of the brain and our imagination, never better considered than in the dream-like state when our brain takes control and leads us down a path to mesmerising stories. When I was a child, I used to look forward to going to bed, as dreams were like watching television, but special just to me - and all night.

I Might Be Dreaming is a collection of songs written within dreams - but all so pertinent to us all. Each one unfolds - a beguiling story, a fear, a hope - in the still of the night, when we relinquish our hold on the day . . . and follow the dream.


 

UNDER COVER

All tracks performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), produced and mixed by Esbe.

 

​Covers, but not as you've ever heard them before!

Under Cover taps into Esbe’s classical training, disparate influences, and her visionary pop sensibilities to reimagine ten of her personal favourite classic pop songs, interpreted through a broader range of harmonies not typically considered to be part of the pop harmony-bank. By releasing this inspired collection of unexpected arrangements for a set of songs, already so globally familiar in one guise, Esbe shines a new light on these classic pop tracks.

 

Esbe didn’t contrive to work in a particular way, she just approached the arrangements as if she’d only ever heard the vocal, almost treating the song as a re-mix. In producing the album and choosing the construction and instrumentation, Esbe wanted to make use of both orchestral arrangements (most evident on the tracks “Summertime” and “Amazing Grace”) and her bank of atmospheric sampled sounds (showcased prominently on “Sound of Silence” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”).
 


SAQQARA

All tracks composed, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), and produced and mixed by Esbe.
 

Saqqara is the oldest necropolis pyramid in Egypt and its silhouette became the inspiration to record a collection of songs recollecting images of the art and artefacts Esbe saw en route down to Aswan. She travelled by road, following the Nile, pausing at the wonderful sites along the way, and each time falling more in love with the beauty and majesty of these ancient creations.

 

The hot dusty desert is a bleak but romantic setting for the looming pyramids and the sumptuous brightly painted wall art inside. As Esbe recorded each song, back in my north London studio, she was happily transported back to that glorious hot summer, with visions of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Tutankhamun, and earlier still, King Khufu.

Processions around the newly built pyramids, then clad in sun-gleaming limestone, became the location for Esbe's own personal film song sound-track.


 

DESERT SONGS - MEMORIES OF RUMI

All tracks composed, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), and produced and mixed by Esbe.


Esbe first became interested in the literary heritage of the Middle East when she read that the European troubadours shared a tradition with Bedouin poet travellers. she'd always been intrigued by the Troubadours – the freedom and romanticism. Reading more about the era and examples of poetry – in English translations –she was struck by the resonance of their themes and timeless connection with contemporary thought and life experience. With two day passes to the British Museum,sheI pored through various almost forgotten translations of Ibn Sa'id, Jamil of Udhra, and the most famous of all today, Jalaluddin Rumi – the most widely read poet in America.

 

The earliest date from around the 9th Century, whilst Rumi, the mystic Sufi poet from Afghanistan who lived most of his life in Turkey was born in the C13th. The Rumi poems are taken from 'Words of Paradise', a book of new interpretations of Rumi by Raficq Abdulla.


 

MYSTRA - SONGS FROM BYZANTIUM

​All tracks composed, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), and produced and mixed by Esbe.


Mystras, in the Peloponnese, is one of the most romantic places Esbe has ever visited, with its ancient churches and monasteries nestling on a lush, steep, sleepy hillside. Once inside the monumental stone structures, your eyes become accustomed to the dark as the walls reveal their sumptuous frescoes and gilded icons. These are some of what's left of the magnificent Byzantine Empire which reigned for 1500 years.


 

TEN SONGS

All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, guitar), and produced and mixed by Esbe.

Ten Songs utilises just Esbe's voice and a couple of guitars – the instrument commissioned by Esbe from the excellent luthier Alastair McNeill, plus a steel-string borrowed from a pal. Tracked vocals and lots of guitars.

 

Like the album, Far Away, as well as love songs, some of the poems are drawn from very personal subjects and can seem rather intense, in particular, (4) and (8) about homelessness, and 'Only You' (7), a reminder of distressing historical events – in this case Kristallnacht. There's also an unusual song about the brain (10).


 

FAR AWAY

All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, guitar, keyboard strings), and produced and mixed by Esbe.

Esbe's first love was the guitar, and this first album is Esbe, her beloved guitar, and the melancholy thoughts that drift, trying to settle as sad but necessary contemplations. The allusion to Stevie Smith's 'Not waving but drowning' hints at a little of what's going on inside 'Far Away'. As if by coincidence, water, and the sea in particular, is a recurrent theme.

 

The album was recorded very simply, no overdubs, edits, or sophisticated gizmos – one or two guitars, and one or two vocals, recorded in one take.

 

The lyrics are poems written from the heart and focus on some of the issues current at the time. Of course, love features - in many guises - but some of the other subjects make for slightly uncomfortable reading – a sense of separation (1), future grief (2), suicide (3), depression (4), my early divorce (6), and cruelty (9). But despite the topics, Esbe somehow feels the music itself is reflective, intense and gentle. Melody is what the ear is drawn to and she hopes that this is lyrical and positive regardless of the lyrics.