Asher Quinn

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Asha Elijah
Birth nameDenis Lloyd Bruce Hale
Born (1952-09-22) 22 September 1952 (age 66)
OriginLondon, England
Genres[Spiritual love-ballads; New Age Music]
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, spiritual psychotherapist
InstrumentsPiano, vocals, keyboards, guitars, mouth organ, percussions
Years active1987–present
LabelsSinging Stone Music, New World Music

Asha - born 22 September 1952 - is a singer-songwriter and composer, first known as Denis Quinn on the New World Music label. Born in Dulwich, South London.

Musical career

Asha's debut album for New World Music,[1] Open Secret, was instrumental, a mix of neo-classical compositions and ambient pieces. This album was produced by Anthony Phillips,[2] co-founder of Genesis. The album topped the new age and ambient charts around the world, and the track "Soldier of love" was used as an anthem by various spiritual organisations. Andy Latimer of Camel played lead guitar on "Soldier of love", and Phillips played classical guitar. Cellist Jemma Siddel, drummer Tristan Maillot, flautist Cynthia Robertson, oboist Anthony Freer (of The Enid) and violinist Ivor McGregor also played.

In 1988, Asha recorded a collection of lightly orchestrated piano pieces on an album called Single as Love, and followed that with Mystic Heart in 1989, produced by Anthony Phillips. Unusually for the new age genre, Mystic Heart featured vocals, and also topped the new age and ambient charts. The "Missa Greca" (Greek Mass) is another track widely used as an anthem by spiritual organisations, from this album. Sharon Sage sang female vocals, and Greek-born Sufi scholar Aziz Dikeulias sang the doxastikon on this track.

Albums for New World Music followed, and Denis Quinn had changed his name to Asha. In 1990, he made Wings of Fire, produced by New World Music colleague Phil Thornton, before recording for the last time with Anthony Phillips on Amadora, in 1991. Both these albums mixed instrumental passages with vocals, chants and mantras. Amadora featured euphonic vocals.

Between 1992–1995, Asha recorded Fiery Moon, Field of Stars, and Marriage of the Sun and Moon with Thornton, all vocal and instrumental new age albums, as well as the purely instrumental Concert of Angels, Art of Love and a re-worked Single as Love. The instrumental Concert of Angels is still his best-selling title. Thornton played lead guitar and recorder on several tracks.

Three more vocal and instrumental albums followed between 1996–1999, produced by contemporary new age artist James Asher. These were Resurrection, Love is the Only Prayer and Music for Love. "Return to your soul" from Music for Love was another track adopted by several spiritual organisations as an anthem. Tenor Philip Ball and classically trained singer Susanne Bramson appeared on Love is the Only Prayer and Music for Love.

Asha's first concert was given in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1998, for the Theosophical Foundation there led by Tara Ananda Shah.

Various Asha compilations were released by New World Music, including Celestine, Prophecy and Silent Night.

East of East was released first on the Goodheart Music label, in 2005, after the break with New World Music, and later re-released by Dutch musician Roland van Steijn's Wolfeye Music in 2007. This was a singer-songwriter album, produced by Med Goodall, Phil Thornton and Roland van Steijn. Quinn then recorded two more albums with Phil Thornton, High Planes Music in 2007, and the double album Songs of Love and Chains in 2008, whilst also releasing several compilation back catalogue titles with Wolfeye Music, as well as Serpent in Paradise in 2008, produced by Roland van Steijn, who also played lead guitar.

French author Michel Houellebecq adaptation of his novel to film The Possibility of an Island[3] in 2008, used two Quinn pieces on the soundtrack, Amadora and In love.

Rob Ayling's Voiceprint Records in 2009, re-released Open Secret with bonus vocal tracks, and Serpent in Paradise, and a double CD of 'greatest hits' called Forgotten Language of the Heart, after which Asha founded Singing Stone Music.

Falling Through Time (2010), O Great Spirit (2011) and Sacred Songs (2012) were three albums produced by Shaun Britton, with vocals added by Jimena Larraguivel and Jaba on Falling Through Time, and lead guitar by Kristian Biddiss.

In 2013 Asha released State of Grace,[4] produced by Dutch studio engineer Arno op Den Camp. State of Grace features collaborations with Myristica, and additional vocals by Kerani and Emöke Labancz.

2014 saw several outputs:Heal Your Heart (new versions of some previous songs), Sun, Sorrow, Flowers, Moon (a third volume of cover versions following on from the double album Songs of Love and Chains and Heart and Soul Rhapsodies, a new collection of improvised piano vignettes all produced with Arno op Den Camp in the Netherlands.

In 2015 came The Blessing & the Bliss, followed by Thunderheart in 2016, both produced by Tim Rock in Norfolk, the UK. 2016 saw Asha move to Spend more time in Budapest.

In 2017 he released both Calvary Hill, begun with Tim Rock producing and completed with Cserny Kálmán at Origo Studio [1], in Budapest, and Knights & Angels made at Origo Studio. Géza Kremnitzky of the Hungarian folk due Hungarikum Együttes [2] played guitar, mandolin, recorder and mouth-organ on both albums, and Székely Ilus (Yloush) sang on Knights & Angels.


Since 2004, Asha has performed in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Hungary (for the Napfényes Élet Alapitvány), Germany (for the Rainbow Spirit Festival) and Finland.

Musical style[edit]

Asha has been influenced by exposure to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Marley, and is interested in the Sufi tradition and reading the Christian mysticism of Rudolf Steiner. He was initiated into the Sufi order of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan in 1988,[5] the same year that he legally changed his name from Denis to Asha.


He now lives in Budapest, where he takes an interest in the Napfényes Élet Alapitvány (the Sunny Life Community), an esoteric Christian community Cafe.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums

  • 1987 - Open Secret
  • 1988 - Single as Love
  • 1989 - Mystic Heart
  • 1990 - Wings of Fire
  • 1991 - Amadora
  • 1992 - Fiery Moon
  • 1993 - Concert of Angels
  • 1993 - Art of Love
  • 1993 - Single as Love (re-worked)
  • 1994 - Field of Stars
  • 1995 - Marriage of the Sun and Moon
  • 1996 - Resurrection
  • 1997 - Love is the Only Prayer
  • 1999 - Music for Love
  • 2005 - East of East
  • 2007 - High Planes Music
  • 2008 - Serpent in Paradise
  • 2008 - Songs of Love and Chains
  • 2009 - 'Live' at Violet Hill
  • 2010 - Falling Through Time
  • 2011 - O Great Spirit
  • 2012 - Sacred Songs
  • 2013 - State of Grace
  • 2014 - Heal Your Heart
  • 2014 - Sun, Sorrow, Flowers, Moon
  • 2014 - Heart and Soul Rhapsodies
  • 2015 - The Blessing & the Bliss
  • 2016 - Thunderheart
  • 2017 - Calvary Hill
  • 2017 - Knights & Angels

Compilations

  • 1996 - Celestine
  • 1996 - Prophecy
  • 2004 - Silent Night
  • 2005 - This Love
  • 2005 - Stardance
  • 2005 - Sketches of Innocence
  • 2009 - Forgotten Language of the Heart
  • 2010 - Songs of Asher Quinn

References[edit]

External links[edit]