"Blueprint For A Sunrise"
First new album for 5 years is released on 1 October 2001
Yoko Ono releases a brand new album "Blueprint For A Sunrise" on Capitol Records (through Parlophone) on 1 October. The album comes five years after the release of her highly-acclaimed studio album "Rising", an album which led Ono admirers like the Beastie Boys, Tricky and Thurston Moore to remix tracks, subsequently issued as a separate album "Rising Mixes".
The genesis of "Blueprint For A Sunrise" lies in three tracks which Yoko recorded for inclusion in the extensive book accompanying her major retrospective exhibition, which opened at the Japan Society in New York last year and is currently touring the world. These were the first fruits of recorded work from Yoko for four years and proved to be the start of a very powerful period for her, which saw the release of a DVD and an extraordinary concert at the Japan Society, tapes of which show an artist at the absolute peak of her powers. Yoko says:
"It was the weekend before my concert at the Japan Society and I was all ready for my performance. Then suddenly a song started to come into my mind. 'This is not the time to write a new song', I told myself. "Let me concentrate on the concert now with the programme I've put together'. I kept pushing away the words and music. Finally the urge became so strong I could hardly eat or sleep. So I finished writing the song that weekend and performed it 3 days later in the concert with the band. That's how the song "I Want You To Remember Me" was born."
The recording of this new album incorporates various elements, including new studio material and live material from the Japan Society, into a seamless collage.
At the age of 68, Ono is still very much pushing the boundaries, as ever refusing to be constrained by society's expectations, both in her groundbreaking art and in her music. Over the years, this once vilified person has become embraced by a new generation of admirers and supporters and has continued to carve her idiosyncratic path through out culture, influencing many - including the new generation of Brit artists, many of whom have gone on record admitting a huge debt to her.
"Blueprint For A Sunrise" opens with a powerful trilogy which, in many ways, encapsulates the mood of the album, expressing hurt, confusion, bemusement, loss and anger, largely at society's treatment of women. This is amplified in an extraordinary visceral live version of "Rising", sung partly in Japanese, and in the wistful, contemplative "I'm Not Getting Enough", although the questioning theme is apparent throughout the record.
Yoko, a fervent supporter of women's rights, expresses the sentiment of the album in the accompanying notes, some of which are quoted here:
"I recently did an art show - Herstory - in Berlin. A young woman journalist started an interview by saying that she thought it was interesting that I would bring back such an old theme in 2001. "Feminism is an old issue now, isn't it?" Women do not have to wave flags anymore. That was the sixties." but I know women who are intelligent, powerful members of their communities who still live in fear because of the position they are put in a women in our society. To some extent, all of us women are living in fear, quietly exercising a caution known only to us, all the time pretending to be sprightly and strong.
In the United States, so many women are subjected to domestic violence. A woman has to be careful even in defending herself. When a woman kills her spouse in self-defense, she can get life. When a man kills his spouse, claiming temporary insanity, he can get twenty years and may go free after ten years. Basically, that's the reality in this most progressive country in the world.
As for me, I wish you would read about the last Chinese Empress, who became the first "Dragon Lady", a name specifically coined for her by he British press at the time, fuelling Britain's then colonialism.
She died disgraced and broken-hearted.
Every day I tell myself. I'll survive. Yeah, I will. Art is a way of survival. With this album I present to you my metronome, my menu, my blueprint for a sunrise."
Musicians on the album include Yoko's son Sean Lennon who, amongst other things, creates an incredible interplay with Yoko in a live performance of "Mulberry". The album was produced by Yoko Ono and Rob Stevens.
Yoko Ono is a supporter of various charities offering assistance to abused women and children. To assist any of the charities, please contact:
Women's and Girls Network
London Women's Centre
Wesley House, 4 Wild Court
London WC" 5AU
Women's Aid Federation of England
6 West Grove. Montpelier
Bristol BS6 5LS
Walnut Tree House
Moor End, Holme on Spalding Moore
2-8 Maltravers St.
London WC2R 3EE
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