Asher Quinn

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Asher Quinn
Asher Quinn Photo.JPG
Asher Quinn
Background information
Birth name Denis Lloyd Bruce Hale
Also known as Asha, Denis Quinn
Born (1952-09-22) 22 September 1952 (age 65)
Origin London, England
Genres New age
Instruments Piano, vocals, keyboards, mouth organ, percussions
Years active 1987–present
Labels Singing Stone Music, New World Music, Silenzio
Website ashaquinn.com

Asher Quinn (Asha) (born 22 September 1952) is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and mystical balladeer, first known as Denis Quinn on the New World Music label.

Early life[edit]

Quinn was born in Dulwich, South London. He was christened Denis Lloyd Bruce Hale, but was then adopted at the age of two, and was renamed Denis Anthony Reuben Marks.

Musical career[edit]

Quinn's debut album for New World Music,[1] Open Secret, was instrumental, and he pioneered a mix of neo-classical compositions and ambient pieces, and fitted them into the expanding new age genre. This album was produced by his friend and mentor 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, Quinn recorded a collection of lightly orchestrated piano pieces on an album called Single as Love, and followed that with the ground-breaking Mystic Heart in 1989, produced again 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, novelist Lorna Sage's daughter, sang female vocals, and Greek-born Sufi scholar Aziz Dikeulias sang the doxastikon on this track.

A string of successful albums for New World Music followed, and he became internationally known as simply Asha. In 1990, Quinn 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, Quinn 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.

Quinn married Kitty Price in 1997, and they have two children, Theo (b. 1994) and Isaac (b. 1998). No new albums were recorded between 1999–2005, whilst Quinn devoted himself more to his family.

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

Various Quinn compilations were released by New World Music, including Celestine, Prophecy and Silent Night, before he left to become independent in 2005.

East of East was released first on the Goodheart Music label, in 2005, and later re-released on Dutch musician Roland van Steijn's Wolfeye Music label in 2007. This was a more mainstream singer-songwriter album, though still spiritually influenced, and was produced by Med Goodall, Phil Thornton and Roland van Steijn. Quinn then recorded two more albums with old friend 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 the new singer-songwriter album Serpent in Paradise in 2008, produced by Roland van Steijn, who also played lead guitar.

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

After a brief sortie with Rob Ayling's Voiceprint Records in the UK, in 2009, who re-released Open Secret with bonus vocal tracks, and Serpent in Paradise, plus releasing a double CD of 'greatest hits' called Forgotten Language of the Heart, Quinn founded his own independent company, Singing Stone Music.

Falling Through Time (2010), O Great Spirit (2011) and Sacred Songs (2012) were three spiritually-themed singer-songwriter Quinn albums produced by young music technology graduate Shaun Britton, with female vocals added by Jimena Larraguivel and Jaba on Falling Through Time, and lead guitar by Kristian Biddiss.

In 2013 Quinn released State of Grace,[4] produced by Dutch musician Arno op Den Camp. State of Grace features collaborations with Myristica, and additional vocals by Kerani and Emoke Labancz.

Since 2004, Quinn has performed in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Hungary (for the Napfenyes Elet Alapitvany), Germany (for the Rainbow Spirit Festival) and Finland. Singing Stone Music is run with Emoke Labancz, who designs Quinn's website and artwork.

Musical style[edit]

Quinn's music is heavily influenced by, and expressive of, spiritual traditions, notably the Sufi path, Christian mysticism and the Kabbalah. 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, following a dream. He had legally adopted the surname Quinn in 1980.

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

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]