In 1994, halfway through the recording of my third CD ALCHEMY TATTOO, I came down with an illness that kept me in bed for nearly six months. It was a strange affliction, one in which I became hypersensitive to everything—particularly sound. Human voices, no matter how soft, were more than I could tolerate. For that reason, I remained for its duration in self-imposed isolation. Little by little, though, I encouraged myself to take short walks outside where I could get some fresh air and quietly sit beneath the shade of a Japanese Privet tree in my backyard. Prior to being ill, I was not much interested in nature. Or, at least, I appreciated it from a distance, as though it was some lovely, separate thing. As I got better, I took a closer look and discovered it, and I, were not separate at all. Nature’s nature and my nature were profoundly interwoven, as were the natures of all beings. As obvious as that now sounds, it was a life-altering realization for me, and the songs on this record and subsequent records reflect my changed perspective.

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