After the release of two albums, “The Painted Caravan” and “Tempus Fugitives”; “Final Reflections” is the third final album in the well-received Painted Caravan Trilogy. Like the two albums before it, it is full of colorful yarns returning to themes of love as in the tale of a man who falls in love with a woman in a painting, “Lessons of Love”, and “Nightwalker and Love Witch”; the story of a desperate love-hungry man under the spell of an enchantress. As was the case with the first two albums, Final Reflections has a dark side as well— such as the tale of an angry android in a dystopian world, “Artificial Man”, and the story of a man reluctantly rising from the dead in “Severely Blessed”.
The Peter Ulrich Collaboration is a collaboration helmed by Peter Ulrich, former percussionist for the iconic Dead Can Dance, the brilliantly innovative band that music historian Ian McFarlane described as world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerizing grandeur and solemn beauty... with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle-Eastern mantras and art-rock". Ulrich met Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, the founders and cornerstones of Dead Can Dance, in London in 1982 and joined the band on drums and percussion. After leaving DCD and after releasing a string of critically acclaimed releases as a solo artist, Peter's next big step was The Peter Ulrich Collaboration.
The Collaboration is the brainchild of Ulrich and Trebor “Big T” Lloyd of City Canyons Productions as producer and a principal collaborator. The Collaboration mixes folk rock, world rock, art rock and psychedelic music with a world view that encompasses alternative history, fictional universes, Steampunk, and Goth, and recalls the exquisitely crafted soundscapes of Dead Can Dance.The group features songwriting by Ulrich, Lloyd, and New York songwriters Anne Husick, Sara Wendt and Kathy Sheppard among others with vocals by David Steele, Wendt, Ulrich, Jen Elliott, Shane Chapman, Stephanie Linn, Timothy Dark, Sharon Hochman-Hawk and other bright American and English talents.
The vocalists are backed by a crackerjack band playing rock, post-rock, world and folk influenced music. After the release of two albums, The Painted Caravan and Tempus Fugitives, New York Collaboration fans were thrilled by a live performance by The Peter Ulrich Collaboration at Manhattan's famous Webster Hall in 2015. Final Reflections, the third final album in the well received Painted Caravan Trilogy will be released December 3rd, 2019. A little more history of the Trilogy: The Painted Caravan Trilogy began with the 2014 release of The Painted Caravan album.
The Painted Caravan was not intended to be merely a collection of tracks. The album took listeners on a musical journey.—a magic caravan exploring mysterious lands, making various stops along the way, visiting exalted cathedrals, dark castles with sometimes terrifying dungeons, cities, towns and villages populated with strange and wonderful folk. Some of the scope of the Painted Caravan can be indicated by a brief description of the tracks including Hanging Man, a tale of jealous love and eternal retribution, Love's Skeleton, a story of love that never dies, Starship(Golden Eye), a recounting of a trip through the universe to find a long-lost love, "Drug of War," a tale of a former soldier's addiction to the adrenalin rush of warfare and "Pureland," a mystic chant that carries one to a place of perfect peace and perfect understanding. As these titles amply reflect, The Painted Caravan was in part, a portrait of love, in all of its protean manifestations. Love’s Skeleton and Hanging Man, two of the favorites from The Painted Caravan, are further explored in remixed and remastered versions in Final Reflections. 2015’s Tempus Fugitives continued the journey, taking perhaps an even darker look at more twisted versions of love such as the love/hate/murder relationship between a mysterious couple in Dark Daddy or a look into the psyche of the infamous lover Don Juan in Don Juan’s Lament.
The final stop in the journey, Final Reflections, completes this magical mystery tour of an entirely different kind. Like the two albums before it, it is full of colorful yarns returning to themes of love as in the tale of a man who falls in love with a woman in a painting, Lessons of Love, and Nightwalker and Love Witch, the story of a desperate love-hungry man under the spell of an enchantress, Nightwalker and Love Witch. As was the case with the first two albums, Final Reflections has a dark side as well— such as the tale of an angry android in a dystopian world, Artificial Man, and the story of a man reluctantly rising from the dead in Severely Blessed. Critical reception to The Painted Caravan Trilogy has been little short of spectacular for the most part:
“A rich and song-filled showcase”—RollingStone. com
“Grand mix of folk and world music”—Modern Drummer
“Riveting and intriguing”—Popdose
“A collaboration to be cherished”—The Independent (UK)
The Peter Ulrich Collaboration: "Tempus Fugitives"
The Peter Ulrich Collaboration "Tempus Fugitives"
Drum the River
King of Fools (The Prisoner)
Big Iron Gun
Song of All The Prophets
Zanzibar (Song of Nijwa)
"Tempus Fugitives" is the second album in the trilogy which brilliantly follows up "The Painted Caravan", an album RollingStone.com praised as "an unexpectedly rich and song–filled showcase" and a record which Popdose lauded as a "riveting and intriguing album". Collaboration leader and renowned percussionist Peter Ulrich performed with the iconic Dead Can Dance and contributed to the legendary UK supergroup collaboration This Mortal Coil.
CD description: Peter Ulrich, celebrated singer/songwriter/percussionist, has already achieved success as a member of iconic British band Dead Can Dance, the brilliantly innovative band that utilized African polyrhythm, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle Eastern mantras and art-rock to spellbinding effect. Now he has formed The Peter Ulrich Collaboration, joining with a number of talented master musicians to release the new album “The Painted Caravan.” Embarking on his newest musical journey, Peter Ulrich helms this joint project which features a stellar cast of artists including among others Sara Wendt, David Steele, Jen Elliott and I.V. Webb. Originally a concept developed by Ulrich and Trebor Lloyd (CEO of City Canyons, LLC), principal contributors include Ulrich, Lloyd (producer and principal songwriter), Wendt (songwriter, lead and background vocals), Steele (lead and background vocals, guitar) and Anne Husick (principal songwriter, guitar). Rob Steen of UK’s national newspaper, “The Independent” has described The “Painted Caravan” in Music Week as "a smorgasbord of music past, present and future, and a bona fide contender. A collaboration to be cherished.” Online reviewer Simon Smith of Higher Plains Music says “Quite simply ‘The Painted Caravan’ is utterly phenomenal from start to finish. Peter Ulrich and his collaborators (mainly Trebor Lloyd, Sara Wendt, David Steele and Anne Husick) have pulled out all the stops, said goodbye to any conformity and became trailblazers and pioneers of musical art. Easily a contender for album of the year.”
The Peter Ulrich Collaboration: The Painted Caravan (AIS Records) An unexpectedly rich and song-filled showcase here from Peter Ulrich--whom you’d be excused for not knowing was the drummer of cult Aussie/UK band Dead Can Dance, since said group was not renowned for putting their picture on their album covers. There are a lot of players here, most relatively unsung, but as the “collaboration” of the band name implies, the sonics here are focused, decidedly non-Dead Can Dancelike, and more impressive than you might expect.
Best known for his work as the percussionist for global-goth purveyors Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil, Peter Ulrich launched his own solo career in 1999 with the release of Pathways and Dawns. Much of that album was a collaboration with former bandmate Brendan Perry and followed a path very similar to Dead Can Dance's lush, dark worldbeat textures. Released in 2005, Enter the Mysterium was a bit less dense, but still combined dark, brooding dream pop with ancient medieval sounds for a resoundingly heavy feel. For his third solo effort, 2013's The Painted Caravan, Ulrich has enlisted a new group of musicians working under the project name the Peter Ulrich Collaboration. While his affections for dark, ancient music remain, his sound has expanded in a number of ways. From the Celtic folk opening ballad "In This or Other Skin" to the more straightforward rock of "The Secret Gardener," Ulrich's sound has opened up considerably, using a wider range of colors than before. The Painted Caravan sounds less like a studio project and more like a big, unruly band full of personality. In addition to his own lead vocals, the album features multiple female vocalists and a variety of instruments ranging from horns to electric guitars to bagpipes. Fans of Ulrich's earlier work won't be disappointed, but this colorful and enjoyable record is a bold step forward for the artist.
Modern Drummer -
Peter Ulrich is concerned with the song first on The Painted Caravan (City Canyons/AIS), a grand mix of folk and world music, though each track boasts an interesting array of percussion, including djembe, Turkish cymbals, and temple blocks, which sets the music apart from your typical bare-bones acoustic coffeehouse fare. Guest vocalists dominate throughout, and there’s a ton going on, though it never feels cluttered. The sparse percussion parts on the Irish sea shanty “Hanging Man” and the Baroque “Fanfare for the Lost Tribe” are just enough. And dig the trashy cymbal overdubs and cool swells on “Tempest.”
This very interesting album is credited to The Peter Ulrich Collaboration, instigated and led by the original percussionist for Dead Can Dance. Here, Mr. Ulrich is multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, aided and abetted by a sizeable cast of musicians and singers. The two main vocalists for The Painted Caravan, the debut release from this ensemble, are David Steele and Sara Wendt, although there are leads taken by Mr. Ulrich and Jen Elliott). It’s a mixed bag of traditional English/Irish folk, some very American sounding (think: R.E.M. at their best) hooks and melodies – a broad piece of work.
The album’s opening cut, “In This Or Other Skin”, you can hear how much of an ensemble this is – a rich collaboration of musicians deliver a dramatic rootsy, folk-feel with some very nice vocals; “Dark Lover” (which is sung by Ms. Elliott) reminded me of the earliest works of The Incredible String Band. “The Secret Gardener”, sung by Mr. Ulrich, reminded me of R.E.M. (as stated before) but with neatly-eerie twists. “Hanging Man”, sung by Ms. Wendt, has the traditional Irish feel, especially with its melodic structure and use of tin whistle. “The Desert” is a quasi-psychedelic piece – in the vein of “Mind Gardens”; “Love’s Skeleton” (sung by Mr. Steele) is a warm, almost-Middle Eastern feeling track with some great guitar figures weaving in amongst the song’s acoustic body.
Overall, a riveting and intriguing album. The Painted Caravan is an apt title; a band of musical diversity and influences.
Online reviewer Simon Smith of Higher Plains Music -
“Quite simply ‘The Painted Caravan’ is utterly phenomenal from start to finish. Peter Ulrich and his collaborators (mainly Trebor Lloyd, Sara Wendt, David Steele and Anne Husick) have pulled out all the stops, said goodbye to any conformity and became trailblazers and pioneers of musical art. Easily a contender for album of the year.”
Rob Steen of UK’s national newspaper -
“The Independent” has described The Painted Caravan in Music Week as "a smorgasbord of music past, present and future, and a bona fide contender. A collaboration to be cherished,”
Top UK music magazine R2, has given the album a four star rating.