James Asher

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James Asher is an English multi-instrumentalist, composer and record producer, focusing on world music, trance music and new-age music.

Early life[edit]

Asher began to study the violin at the age of seven. As a teenager, he participated in his school choir and orchestra, of which his father was the chief instructor.[1]

Following his traditional musical education, Asher taught himself the drums and the keyboard and later apprenticed himself at several recording studios in the UK.[2]

Career[edit]

Asher trained as a sound engineer in R.G. Jones studio, Wimbledon, London. He found this informative and useful, but was disappointed as to the general level of creativity generally found in commercial studios, so with help from Pete Townshend of the Who, he built his own studio. This has evolved over the years from expanding multitrack recording setups – four-track to 16-track to 24-track to the Soundscape hard disk recording system, he uses and finds intuitive, friendly and great sound quality.

In 1979, Asher's first single "Peppermint Lump" was released by Stiff Records, produced by Pete Townshend who also played guitar on it. Asher then played drums on Townshend's Empty Glass album, notably the track "Jools and Jim".

Asher had written and had published library music albums, including Gyroscope, Generation Gap, Electro FX, Flash Music, and Working It Out for Bruton Music (now owned by Universal). Also albums for Studio G library – Action Disco, Flying Colours, Powerhouse, Powergame, Science and Space, Corporate Collection (now owned by Downtown Music) and Intervision and Time Cycle for the Southern library. The Great Wheel, Asher's first commercial album, originally on his own Lumina label with publisher John Gale, was released by Music West, topping the UK New Age music chart for two years. He followed this with his first world music-flavoured release Globalarium, released by Silverwave. But it was his album Feet in the Soil that really built his profile, with sales of over 250,000 units, released by New Earth Records.

Meeting the charismatic Vicky Wall, founder of the Aura-Soma colour system in 1984, led to several recordings, and custom compositions, specific to them - like "Peace to All Beings" – one of the core meditations given by Vicky's successor Mike Booth.

The studio is a key part of Asher's creative process, where he enjoys combining acoustic recording, cutting-edge virtual instruments, creative use of MIDI, and allowing the imagination room to breathe.

The album Tigers of the Raj enjoyed critical acclaim especially in India, and the connection with that country continues with Drums on Fire, featuring master percussionist Sivamani, and also the singer Mahesh Vinayakram with the album Bravado Masala. Multi-percussionist virtuoso Sandeep Raval had guided Asher through Indian culture in Tigers of the Raj, and joined him to co-create Drum Travel, now on Asher's own Starfield label. Regular collborations happened over 15 years with Arthur Hull - one of the leading lights of the American drumcircle movement. Arthur's playful character and influence were more fun and stimulating than the more predictably conservative nature of record labels. Their tenth joint release (2018) is Drum Distillery. Arthur has written three books on the subject of drumcircles and remains Asher's most longstanding collaborator.[3]

Discography[edit]

  • 1989 The Great Wheel
  • 1993 Globalarium
  • 1995 Dance of the Light
  • 1996 Rivers of Life
  • 1996 Feet in the Soil
  • 1998 Tigers of the Raj
  • 1999 Raising the Rhythms
  • 2000 Tigers of the Remix(Kali Thunder)
  • 2000 Colours of Trance (With Madeleine Doherty)
  • 2001 Atlantean Chants(With Mike Booth)
  • 2001 Feet in the Soil 2
  • 2002 Shaman Drums
  • 2003 Drums on Fire (With Sivamani)
  • 2004 Lotus Path
  • 2004 Sounding the Stones (With Arthur Hull)
  • 2004 World Within the Wheel 2004
  • 2004 Lotus Path
  • 2008 Bravado Masala (With Mahesh Vinayakram)
  • 2011 Return of the Tiger
  • 2012 Keystar House (With Rod Pooley)
  • 2012 Biodegroovable (With Arthur Hull)
  • 2012 Alchemists Almanac (With Arthur Hull)
  • 2014 Universal Grooves Playalaong (With Arthur Hull)
  • 2014 Drum Travel (Double)(With Sandeep Raval)
  • 2014 Mutable Music (With Simon Brewin)
  • 2015 Ambient Inclusions (With Arthur Hull)
  • 2016 Inner Spaces
  • 2016 Logging In(With Arthur Hull)
  • 2018 Drum Distillery (With Arthur Hull)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About". James-asher.co.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Biography". Newworldmusic.com. Archived from the original on 12 January 2006.
  3. ^ www.james-asher.co.uk

External links[edit]