Cappadocia is a region in the heartland of Turkey; a place known for its incredible beauty and spirituality. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the largest province in the Roman Empire in 314BC, with lands trodden by Alexander the Great, Croesus, and Xenophon of Athens, amongst the many.
Zoroastrianism was the major religion practiced and is also considered that the Cappadocian Fathers of the 4th Century, were integral to much of early Christian philosophy.
With this mind and an invitation to visit this amazing and ancient area, Jeff Johnston and his wife journeyed to Cappadocia, spending time absorbing and being in the beauty and intense spirituality which is an embedded element in the stunning scenery, the glorious churches and fascinating history of the people and the area.
Returning to America he was inspired to create music in tribute to this extraordinary place. Contacting Phil Keaggy, long-time friend and collaborator, between them they have created a complex, spiritual and magical work in Cappadocia; a work that really should be listened to as a complete album experience to allow and appreciate the many, many sophisticated layers to each of the songs. To do less, especially in the first instance, is to undervalue the perfect synchronicity that has evolved.
Each of the tracks has its own vibe, ranging from acoustic guitar to the lovely sound of the Turkish Chumbus, the ukulele, which makes you smile as it seems to be so incongruous, and E-bow, amongst the many instruments used in an extremely pleasing fusion of Eastern European, Western Pop and Spanish styles, synonymous of the area and the influences of multitude of civilisations, religions and cultures that have left behind that which is Cappadocia.
Inside the cover of the album is a homily from Gregory of Nyssa, Cappadocia 335 -394AD.
‘Let us suppose that someone is standing up close to a wellspring… he will admire that endless gush of water that is always rising from within and spilling out. He will never say, though, that he has seen the water entirely. For how could he see that which is still hidden in the bosom of the earth?… The same applies to one who looks to this divine and infinite beauty. Since what he finds at each moment is always newer and more paradoxical that what his sight has already grasped….’
Such is the very essence of Cappadocia; such is the majestic, spiritual, timeless and elegant beauty of this music.
|Artists||Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy|