Muriel Anderson is back home, preparing for Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois concerts after touring recently through the United Kingdom, Ireland and Wales to support her latest release, the award-winning Nightlight/Daylight double CD, featuring guest artists Victor Wooten, Phil Keaggy, Danny & Beth Gottlieb, Stanley Jordan, Earl Klugh, Tommy Emmanuel and Tierra Negra, as well as three string orchestras.
A renowned fingerstyle guitarist and harp guitarist, Muriel put the CD together out of love and also incorporated elements of a long-time idea she envisioned for its artwork.
“Nightlight Daylight started out as a gift to my best friend who had a baby,” Anderson says. “A lot of love went into that album. I pressed only two copies. A year later he had a second child. So I recorded another album for that child. One CD was designed as music for a child to go to sleep by and the other, more or less, as music for the parents to wake up to!”
The CD is the first of its kind to use interactive lighting on the cover. “I had the idea in 2005 for LED lights on the cover and I wanted to make sure that the first CD to use this illumination was also a musical tour de force,” Anderson says. “I noticed every person who is on the album is a great musician and wonderful person, positive energy all over the CD. People can feel that.”
Muriel hired artist Bryan Allen to do the cover artwork after she encountered a work of his called, the Lightning Catchers.
“Brian captured every bit of the joy and energy of the music in his images,” she says. “I also worked with Paul Regen, an inventor in Silicon Valley, to make a prototype of the LED-lit CD. I consulted several CD manufacturers working in Canada, USA and China to put this together.” [A note to musicians: if you’re interested in artwork or Muriel’s patented Illuminated Media Packaging for your own project, contact info is at www.bryan-allen.com.]
Muriel has also been tinkering with the design of harp guitars.
It was her idea to have luthier Mike Doolin install half-step levers in the sub-basses of her harp guitar, to allow chromatic bass movement, which she uses in an intriguing way in her rendition of “Under Paris Skies.” Other harp guitar builders are following suit, and the Holloway Harp Guitar Company will be building the signature Muriel Anderson nylon string harp guitar, which will be released within a year.
“The nylon string harp guitar has a more lute-like character than the typical American harp guitar with steel strings, which were built only for a short time in the early 1900s,” she says. “My Doolin harp guitar, which I tour with, is smaller, so it’s pitched up a step higher. The new signature harp guitar will be standard scale.”
When not re-designing instruments, Muriel has been known to take up exploring. This past summer, she took ten days to sail to and from a house concert in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which is near Martha’s Vineyard. “It was the first time I ever did something like that,” she said. “There was only one storm and we were safely harbored. I was introduced as the first artist to arrive to a show by sea.
Below is a video with a demonstration of the LED lighted CD cover, along with sample sound clips from Nightlight/Daylight.
Click here for more details on Muriel’s touring schedule.
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