SUNDAY 19 MARCH
An Evening With Damien Jurado: Acoustic Travels Through Maraqopa
Providing the ideal entry point for neophytes and an intoxicating aural high for the faithful, Damien Jurado’s new opus extends the hot streak ignited by 2012’s Maraqopa and its 2014 follow-up Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. Cut once again with label mate and super producer Richard Swift at the latter’s National Freedom recording facility in rural Oregon, Visions of Us On The Land was released this past March on Secretly Canadian, completing the tale of an individual who has had to disappear from society in order to discover some universal truths.
There was no grand scheme to make a trilogy at the outset. Exuberantly prolific, its creator simply wanted the first record to be “a quick snapshot. But it’s become something that lives in a huge way in my conscience. Maraqopa is this peaceful place I can go to in my mind. A little bit psychedelic, but you’re not using substances. The brain is such a powerful thing. In that uncharted territory I was able to tap in and find this place. Which was called Maraqopa. Similar to the fictional towns in television or books.”
Maraqopa the album introduced a character — deliberately unnamed, intended to represent anyone feeling that way — who stumbles upon the titular locale then gets into a car crash… which only frees him further. Jurado notes parallels between his wilderness avatar and Syd Barrett’s exit from public life. Plus a classic episode of The Twilight Zone which ends with the previously active protagonist’s still body, eyes closed, on a hospital table. “Because he’s living out what he thinks is a reality in his unconscious state. But the guy doesn’t even know he’s in a coma! Wouldn’t that be strange, if your death was really you waking up? This is what Maraqopa embodies. But trying to do that musically is really hard. In some ways it’s creating a soundtrack.”
Focusing on this Maraqopa trilogy in particular for the show, Damien Jurado plays the legendary Cecil Sharp House in March after a triumphant performance at Islington Assembly Hall earlier in 2016.
Tickets £19.50 +bf adv. available from http://birdonthewire.seetickets.com/go/damienjuradocecilsharphouse
Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent's Park Rd, London, NW1 7AY