Karen’s 7th studio album Solid Ground features authorized and as requested sacred songs from the Wirradjirri people and also songs composed by Karen and her collaborators Michael Kokinos and Rodney Freeman Smith. Karen is accompanied by musicians Michael Kokinos (guitars, harp), Caerwen Martin (cello), Rodney Freeman Smith (guitar), Justin Brady (harmonica), Kim Gyngell (piano) and Robert Dillon (drums). Authorised sacred songs from the Wirradjirri First Nations people of New South Wales are recorded here for the first time and by way of introduction and to ensure awareness of the listeners the album also features spoken word introductions by Wirradjirri elder Min Mia. With sacred intent, Min Mia is gifting her people’s songs so they can be stewarded by all Australian women and shared with the world to sing up country / Mother Earth.
This release has been brewing for a number of years and is built upon Karen’s work with Wiilpa (wiilpa.org) and her relationships with First Nations people throughout Australia going back to 1995. Some songs like Listen and Hit the drum were written in 1999 but seem most appropriate and relevant in today’s time. Others like The Birds, And I knew, Solid Ground, and The Shipwreck song (inspired by Karen’s experience at a Shipwreck site on the New South Wales coast) were all written in 2018. The melody for Belong was written by Karen in Tuscany in 2016 with lyrics written in 2018 at the time of the recording of the Solid Ground album.
“I have felt inspired to add this new direction to my music and open up a new audience for people that are aching for connection to our land and a true and deeper sense of “coming home”. Ever since I spent a lot of time in Europe in the 1990’s, when I was able to see the potential of Australia from afar, I felt that we need to earn our right to grow roots into the ground here by honouring the First Nations people and our history. I think many Australians have a hard time coming to terms with these complex issues and I don’t think we should be afraid of feeling uncomfortable. There is so much growth and a much deeper experience to be had living here connected to country by giving time to create a relationship with the land that we call home and to our brothers and sisters stories – truly honouring all people born here and deeply appreciating those that have come before us who have had a deep relationship and loved this ancient land and made it possible for us to have the privilege of living here.
The reason for choosing this selection of songs for the Solid Ground album is that they all feel aligned with the themes of listening, noticing, being truly and deeply connected to country so we have an embodied feeling of truly belonging. I feel so privileged to have been asked by Min Mia (Wirradjirri Indigenous elder and lore carrier) to record some of the sacred songs of the Wirradjirri people which I’ve grown to love over the past decade of spending time with her. The Solid Ground album is a dedication to our earth and to help the healing of the disconnection so many people are feeling at this time in history. May the resonance reach you all on all levels” – Karen Knowles
Solid Ground Album tracks
•Track 1: Listen (Knowles / Freeman-Smith)
•Track 2: Shipwreck (Knowles)
•Track 3: And I Knew (Knowles)
•Track 4: The Birds (Knowles)
•Track 5: Hit The Drum (Knowles / Freeman-Smith)
•Track 6: Belong (Knowles)
•Track 7: Solid Ground (Knowles / Kokinos)
•Track 8: Min Mia Speaks
•Track 9: Dtharn Dtharn Yang
•Track 10: Mirrah
•Track 11: Nungeena-Tya
Tracks 9, 10 and 11 compositions copyright Min Mia on behalf of and as steward for the Wirradjirri people of New South Wales, Australia
SOLID GROUND REVIEWS:
“I’d like to congratulate you Karen for your new release Solid Ground. It is a terrific piece of art”
– Therese Virtue, OAM, The Boîte World Music Cafe, Melbourne, Australia
“I would like to congratulate you on your new CD Solid Ground. I ordered my copy a few weeks ago and it arrived just in time for our Australia Day celebrations, which I found most appropriate. We used it as the soundtrack for our day, which consisted of a family and friends BBQ. I first listened to it in my car and immediately felt a connection to it. The words are deeply meaningful and I feel your connection to Mother Earth which also makes me feel a connection too. I already love nature as I do a lot of bushwalking and hiking for fitness reasons but your CD has bought it to another level. I can’t decide which song is my favourite as I hear something else in each song every time I listen to it which is everyday as it stays in my car but ‘The Birds’ and the title track are pretty special. I just felt like letting you know that you’ve done an astounding job on this CD.”
– M Rasheed
JOIN KAREN’S PERSONAL COMMUNITY AT PATREON
If you’d like to join Karen’s personal community and become a patron of her work further details are available at: patreon.com/karenknowles
There are three levels of support offering different levels of engagement, including behind the scenes exclusive content and regular updates on new online and concert events. The “New Way” Patron is a response to this time and offers a way to engage with Karen via email weekly and have her synthesize her community’s feedback / feelings into themes – she will then create a new piece of work each month based on what needs to be expressed.
We’d love you to be a part of Karen’s circle. It is Karen’s dream to collaborate with others to bring forth a New Way that honours our history and the unique role each of us has in evolving a way to re-connect while honouring Life, respect and freedom.
Music is a universal language and speaks into the unseen. Karen sees it has an integral role now to help us at this time to give form to possibilities – a soft place to be together to Imagine…..
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The House that Breathes – a new series of online gatherings & webinars
Honouring experience, honouring how we are and who we, honouring what we know to be true….a Circle of Care for Today’s world
Together we can heal, grieve and then over time start to imagine the birth of a new dream for humanity and all of Creation……
……it’s a large bold intention……all becomes possible in small steps……….it all starts with the first step…..
Further details and registrations for the House that Breathes series of events are here