Discover the transformation of Oliver Wakeman’s Anam Cara – a journey of rewriting and refining since 2002! Don’t miss out on this captivating evolution.

Oliver Wakeman, in collaboration with vocalist Hayley Griffiths and Nightwish’s Troy Donockley, has released his first solo album in nearly 20 years. Titled “Anam Cara,” this Celtic-inspired LP marks a significant return for the keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist. The album, released on May 10 via Spirit Of Unicorn Music, showcases Wakeman’s musical evolution since his last solo effort, “Mother’s Ruin,” in 2005.

Following successful collaborations with artists like Gordon Giltrap, Rodney Matthews, and Clive Nolan, as well as a notable stint with Yes between 2008 and 2011, Wakeman’s “Anam Cara” holds a special place in his discography. Drawing inspiration from Celtic themes, the album’s title translates to ‘soul friend,’ reflecting the essence of human interactions explored throughout the record.

Wakeman shares, “Anam Cara” serves as a spiritual sequel to “The Three Ages Of Magick,” his 2001 project with Yes guitarist Steve Howe. While the albums differ in style, both incorporate unique instrumental elements that provide a distinctive musical experience. The Celtic influences in “Anam Cara” are evident, with songs reflecting themes of distance, lost love, and interpersonal connections.

From the opening track, “The View From Here,” which dates back to 2002, to the eight-minute centerpiece “Marble Arch,” Wakeman weaves a narrative that delves into complex human emotions and relationships. Collaborating with Hayley Griffiths on vocals, along with a talented lineup of musicians including guitarist Dave Mark Pearce, guitarist Oliver Day, and drummer Scott Higham, the album comes to life.

Notable contributions from Troy Donockley on pipes and whistles add a rich layer to the album’s sound, further enhancing the Celtic ambiance Wakeman aimed to convey. Reflecting on the album’s creation process, Wakeman admits to revisiting older compositions that fit the thematic context he envisioned for “Anam Cara.”

Debuting songs from the album at the Winter’s End festival in April, Wakeman expresses his desire to perform live shows centered around “Anam Cara.” With plans for a potential sequel to “Mother’s Ruin” in the works, Wakeman looks forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of his previous record with new music and potentially, live performances.

As fans await the opportunity to experience the enchanting Celtic melodies of “Anam Cara” in a live setting, Wakeman’s return to solo work after two decades proves to be a remarkable journey of musical exploration and self-expression.

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