Dhani Harrison Talks About His New Album In The Forest
via Dhani Harrison / Youtube
Dhani Harrison’s tranquil forest home outside London, characterized as a “Sleepy Hollow Ichabod Crane kind of terrifying forest,” has become the ideal backdrop for his creative pursuits, resulting in his recently-released second solo album, INNERSTANDING.
INNERSTANDING, a cinematic and dissonant venture, introduces a unique blend of industrial trip-hop, or as Harrison labels it, “grunge ‘n’ bass”. Despite a seven-year gap since his first solo release, IN///PARALLEL, Harrison’s Grammy-winning journey included extensive touring and scoring for documentaries like Obey Giant and Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, temporarily distancing him from soundtracks.
Collaborating with musicians such as Blur’s Graham Coxon, Liela Moss, and Mereki, Harrison approaches his albums akin to soundtracks, narrating his life experiences. His social circle, rich with diverse creatives, brings a dynamic overlap of activities.
Visual collaborator Josh Giroux, also a band member, documented a symbolic “pilgrimage” across the UK for INNERSTANDING. The resulting photo series, capturing Harrison in Celtic rainforests and ancient castles, will accompany the physical release on February 9, 2024, promising a visually captivating addition to the sonic journey.
Collaborative alchemy: musicians, visual artists, and healing
Collaboration is at the heart of Harrison’s creative process. INNERSTANDING features a diverse ensemble of musicians as the avant-garde musician’s approach to album creation mirrors his work in soundtracks, emphasizing a narrative derived from personal experiences.
The cross-pollination of talent extends beyond music, with visual collaborator Josh Giroux contributing a photo series that intertwines with the album’s essence. The collaborative spirit extends beyond the studio, as evidenced by the communal healing event organized by Harrison.
Amid the backdrop of a world grappling with COVID anxiety, artists from Radiohead, Supergrass, Gorillaz, UNKLE, and others came together.
In this shared experience of forest walks, Chi Gong, and sound baths, not only did INNERSTANDING take shape, but a sense of community and healing emerged, leaving an indelible mark on the album and the artists involved.
“Innerstanding” nature and overcoming fear
INNERSTANDING‘s genesis was in pieces like “La Sirena” and “Ghost Garden”, initially conceived as movie themes but gaining new life during the pandemic. Harrison’s creative flow was catalyzed during a stint in New Zealand, trapped by border closures.
The album’s thematic core, however, transcends the immediate pandemic context. It speaks to a broader realization – that in moments of crisis, the essence of freedom of thought becomes profoundly apparent.
Harrison’s exploration delves into the idea that fear, the “mind killer,” can be transformed through a connection with nature, resulting in courage and love.
He shared: “Standing in your love and being a brave person is what the record is about. It’s a united record, rather than what was happening in the world—which is still happening, which is massive amounts of division.”
The inner journey continues
As INNERSTANDING prepares for release on February 9, 2024, it promises more than just auditory delight. With the physical version featuring Giroux’s evocative photo series, the album becomes a multisensory experience.
Dhani Harrison’s creative odyssey, deeply rooted in nature, collaboration, and introspection, invites listeners to embark on a journey of inner understanding and artistic exploration.
The album stands as a testament to the transformative power of music, communal creativity, and the boundless inspiration found within the depths of a terrifying forest.
“If you concentrate on one thing, and that thing is powerful, like nature, it blows the cobwebs out of everything,” Dhani expressed.