Brian Boothby – Firegazing

Our featured musician for the New Year is our very own Brian Boothby. Those of you who are Earth Pathways devotees will already be familiar with Brian’s stunning photography and poetry as he is a regular contributor to our wonderful diary as well as being a member of the Earth Pathways clan.

Brian’s musical prowess may not be so familiar to all. As he says himself, he is at present a largely unrecognised UK artist who awaits discovery by his own home audience.
I personally feel honoured to have had the opportunity to hear Brian perform live on many occasions over the past 20 years. His evocative low whistle and lively and intricate celtic harp playing, delicate, expressive vocals and song writing prowess are all showcased to perfection on this, his latest album. His musical career has matured over that period in the best possible sense; like a fine wine or whisky, which has gained depth and richness and layers of beauty beyond imagining, the resulting musical offering is intoxicating indeed.

‘Firegazing’ requires your full undivided attention, should be sipped slowly, preferably in front of a roaring fire. It is a rare treat and balm for the soul. In these days when the usual format for musical purchases is digital download I would highly recommend treating yourself to a hard copy of this exquisite work as there is even more to ‘Firegazing’ than its stunning musical content. Should you act on this recommendation you will receive an exquisitely beautifully packaged CD. The CD booklet is a miniature version of ‘The Great Book of Firegazing’ which was lovingly made by Brian to accompany the project. The covers of the A3 sized original book are made of English yew, laminated with birch ply, hand bound and laser-engraved. The front cover has an electro-luminescent panel which glows through ink-painted tissue and illuminates the fire design. Brian says ‘It is impossible to say why the Great Book was created. I just really wanted to do it. For me it was hugely satisfying to make and gave me the chance to fill out the Firegazing project with other relevant writing, poems and photography’. ‘Firegazing’ was launched to a rapt, entranced audience at the Wirksworth Arts Festival in Brian’s home town last September. Look out for details of future Firegazing gigs for the opportunity to experience the wonderful warmth of live performance of Brian’s unique music for yourself and to see the Great Book ‘in the flesh’.

Album review by Sue Bolshaw. January 2018.

The following are some initial reactions to this stunning album…

‘An absolute gem of a masterpiece’
‘I don’t think I’ve been so moved by a gathering of thoughts and sound stories for a very long time.’
‘The musicianship and sounds are exceptionally clear and pure, I can’t get over how beautiful Firegazing is.’
‘An extraordinary piece of work. I like the fact that nothing is over-arranged: simplicity being the key.’
‘It invokes a wilder and kinder world which is good to inhabit. Just the kind of project our world needs more of.’
‘Thank you for bringing such a beautiful album into the world.’
‘Beautiful and very moving. It will get listened to a lot.’


Five years in the making, (at least!), Brian’s Sept 2017 CD Firegazing brims with 11 lyrical songs of omen, observation, inspiration, loss, travel and valediction, cunningly presented with a supporting cast of his art-photos, poems and other writings in a tasty 52 page booklet. Brian’s musical history spans English Country Dance (Bampton Band) to Celtic Harp (Pencerdd), through folk-rock (Loscoe State Opera and Tomorrows Ancestor), theatre (Oxford School of Drama), and previous solo albums Concerning the Waves and Honour. Despite infrequent touring, his work enjoys excellent supporting collaboration here from award winning musician Chris Ellis on guitars and piano, Dave Sturt of Gong on fretless bass and virtuoso violinist Adam Summerhayes. In genre neither trad, psy, country, acid or blues, elements of all are Celtic-tinged, (notably in Brian’s low whistle and harp playing), with a strong strap line of ‘local roots-global thought’ in the lyric content, and evocative natural samples filling out the picture. This wonderful album is already enjoying radio play across Europe and North and South America.

The album can be heard and purchased by visiting www.brianboothby.co.uk/songs/firegazing.html

The songs can also be bought as digital downloads from
brianboothby.bandcamp.com

For those who want to order with a cheque in the post or online
transfer, or just send feedback and make contact please email intouch@brianboothby.co.uk

Top