Good Kissing School
'Over Weeping Sounds' is LHK's most celebrated track. Osama bin Laden, at the his first video to celebrate the 9/11 attacks, recited a poem that stuck in songwriter Neil Gerster's head for weeks. That a terrorist should have fine taste in poetry and skill at reciting it made for an arresting puzzle. Neil took the text of the US government translation of the poem (as recorded on the videotape) and set it to music, preceded by two verses of his own that set the allegorical poem in the context of Afghanistan and the Afghan citizens oppressed by the Taliban, in an effort to take the same words Osama had used and make them stand against the things he and the Taliban stand for. Lighthousekeepers provided perceptive, open pop-folk music to growing audiences in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montréal from May 2002 to sometime in 2004. Featuring the wide-ranging songwriting of Neil Gerster, and colliding his cooly expressive tenor against the emotional flute onslaught of Rozalind MacPhail, Lighthousekeepers create soundscapes from ambient drowning songs to peppy toetappers. ArtGirl (aka Maureen Adams) provides the backbeat on a djembe often augmented with surprising delay effects. The band also usually has a bassist around somewhere, and has at times added a French horn, a second flute, a violin, a keyboard, a drum kit, vocal harmonies and junkyard percussion on stage to round out it's sound(s?). Even in their standard guitar-flute-djembe-bass configuration, the group's sound can not be mistaken for anyone else's. In April, 2003, the group released it's first CD, 'Good Kissing School,' in Ottawa and Toronto. At the other end of the spectrum, 'Mosh Song' and 'A Song for Oscar' both combine the theme of drowning with ambient, ambling, aquatic music. 'Mosh Song' equates drowning with a crowd-surfing accident; 'Oscar' borrows the scene from the last chapter of Peter Carey's book 'Oscar and Lucinda,' in which the title character drowns to death in a glass church as it sinks. Lighthousekeepers graced stages at the Tulip Festival and Zaphod Beeblebrox in Ottawa, the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield and the Free Times Café and Café May in Toronto. They have become favourites on Ottawa's morning television program 'Breakfast @ the New RO,' and have been featured on CKCU radio, in the Ottawa Citizen, and the Ottawa Sun.