Beyond the Levee
What feeling are you trying to convey with Darkest Heart? I want you to feel like you're looking in on or hearing a ritual that you just stumbled into. Like you've just fallen upon something in a remote and dark place that you weren't supposed to see or hear; that you were never aware existed. Not necessarily evil, but primitive; the feeling of looking through the forbidden keyhole. This CD is a mixture of every kind of music I grew up on, along with musical soundtracks and everything of the 50's and 60's my parents listened to. I used to hate the war time swing and early Jazz to which my Grandparents listened and is now some of my favorite; my CD player goes anywhere from Supultura to Al Green in one song. As it stands, Darkest Heart is a mixture of everything I've done up until now, leaning toward American Bellydance with it's tribal influences, but really anything goes. 'Beyond the Levee' - This is the first Darkest Heart Project. I was intending for it to be an organic sounding percussion experience. I wanted you to be able to put on your headphones, close your eyes and feel like you were surrounded by a live performance. For the most part I don't like doing punch-ins; so almost everything is one take all the way through; you've just got to leave yourself some breathing space now and then. I started on Beyond the Levee in the summer of 2005, the first three songs happened spontaneously and rapidly. I had them finished, mixed and mastered in less than two months. And then Hurricane Katrina happened. Hit Apocalypse reset button: October 2005. Everything just looks different now and a lot of priorities have changed. Edge of Fear (a progressive metal project I had been working with out of New Orleans) took a serious blow with members scattered for a while. It finally ended with Roddy (our drummer and and and recording master and vocal harmony genius and mastermind) moving to Oklahoma City. He is not an easily replaceable guy. After this, when there was no more Edge of Fear, all my focus went back into Darkest Heart. Using one earlier recording for a dance contest in Dallas and new compositions taking another year, I finally finished the first Darkest Heart album in the summer of 2006; after much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Yay....waving of flags....onto the next thing.... Review: Beyond the Levee; Darkest Heart Blue Lotus Productions, 2006 Beyond the Levee by Michelle 'Shaia' Richert Sisters of the Phoenix The newest CD by Shelly Plaisance, is an exploration into synthesis of sound. Shelly blends ethnically diverse instruments and rhythms creating a contemporary sound which remains true to it's rich musical origins. The title prepares the listener for what to expect. A levee is a structure designed to hold things back - holds things in. On Beyond the Levee, Shelly holds nothing back. Those of us who know him will find his passion for music, his intensity, and his persistent pursuit of perfection woven into each musical phrase. We are also given a rare glimpse into his muse through his album liner notes. To say that this is a CD for dancers only would be quite incorrect. There are songs with the powerful percussion for which Shelly has become well-known in the dance community, but there is so much more: soulful lyrics, "funkalicious" bass, fiery flamenco flavors, and edgy guitar riffs for those who like it just a bit harder. There is truly a littlesomething for everyone here. So, whether you're a listener with an eclectic taste in music looking for a fresh new sound, or a dancer wanting to spread your creative wings and push the envelope a little but haven't been able to find the right music to inspire you ... you won't be disappointed. Beyond the Levee will be a wonderful addition to your musical collection.