Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid
November 5, 2020
“I’ve always identified with mermaids”, says Tara Minton, “because they change their fate. They grow legs, come onto land and lead rich emotional lives. But in mastering their destiny, they have to forsake where they come from. The soul of the ocean is forever beating in their hearts, but nothing comes without a price”.
On November 6th, Tara’s Please Do Not Ignore the Mermaid is released on Lateralize Records. A concept album, its 7 different iterations of the mermaid myth form a commentary: on identity, self realisation, and also climate change through an oceanic lens. “In Australia, where I come from, the effects of climate change are strongly visible, with the bush fires and rising sea levels”, Tara continues. “I wanted to speak about it through the eyes of the mermaids.”
Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid is also something that is – no longer a mythic creature, but still a rare one: an ensemble album where the harp is neither only a textural instrument, nor a piano substitute. To get there, Tara did a masters in the famous jazz department of the Guildhall School in London. “There’s a kind of paradox here, because to find out where my beloved harp belonged, I had to go back and study from a jazz perspective, not a harp perspective”, Tara explains. “I could hear where I wanted to be, and it took some time to explore the sounds I wanted to make, and to find the harp’s space in the band. I respect everyone who wants to do the Alice Coltrane thing and use the harp for texture, but I spent a year studying bebop, so I wanted to play! I asked a lot of questions. I booked the album when I felt just about ready, because that’s the best time to do it. Yeah, and I booked the studio before I wrote the record, because then it’ll happen. As it was, we recorded the last note on the first day of lockdown in March 2020.”
The UK, France and other parts of the world are now in second lockdowns in one way or another: Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid is therefore having a YouTube Premier tomorrow, Friday November 6, in these time zones: UK 21:00, Paris 22:00 (we’ll be there!), Vilnius 23:00, LA 13:00, NYC 16:00. Saturday the 7th of Nov: Melbourne 08:00, Auckland 10:00. During the premier everyone can interact with Tara and the entire creative team “in a manner reminiscent of MSN in the 1990s” (Tara) – thereafter, it’s back to Facebook live for some further exchange.
For the album out on CD, digital and limited-edition vinyl, see Bandcamp.