“Meditation: Beyond the Shores of Darkness”
RECORD LABEL:Organic Records
Celebrating the arrival of springtime has long been a favored pastime of poets and songwriters, and especially in this year, as we emerge not just from winter, but also from deeply trying times, the theme of renewal, whether in the natural or spiritual realm, is especially resonant. With the lengthening of the days, the warm light of the sun becomes ever more present, and the hardship and self-reflection engendered by the isolation winter brings—especially during a world-wide pandemic—give way to more tranquil and even uplifting moods. For Anya Hinkle, capturing the mood of this unique season needed no words, and so her latest single for Organic Records, “Meditation: Beyond the Shores of Darkness” wound up being an instrumental composition, one that nevertheless says all that needs to be said. “The past year has been unprecedented in its darkness,” the singer-songwriter confesses. “The uncertainty eats away at the fiercest sense of discipline, at any sense of purpose; it’s felt very difficult to continue moving forward at times. When I wrote this song, I planned to write words. But there weren’t any. I was living beyond language. Tears rolled down my face onto my guitar as I explored the fingerboard for chords that revealed new facets of this journey inside.” “Each one of us is feeling our way through,” she adds. “Sitting in the isolation of our being, journeying to new places we never took the time to see before. This song sits with pain, boredom, anxiety, and after awhile we tire of that; our mind flits elsewhere, curious, open, childlike.” With the assistance of cousins Julian Pinelli (fiddle) and Duncan Wickel (cello), “Meditation” traverses its three and a half minutes with almost somber restraint, opening with a statement of the main melody via Hinkle’s fingerpicked guitar before entering a darker, almost mysterious middle passage that introduces hushed, atmospheric notes from Pinelli and Wickel. A pause leaves the listener suspended before the trio returns to the original melody, voiced now by guitar and fiddle, with cello joining in just before one last passage recontextualizes the melody’s air of hope with the moodiness of the middle passage in an ultimately satisfying resolution. A notable change of pace from her usual lyric-driven songcraft, Anya Hinkle’s “Meditation: Beyond the Shores Of Darkness” is an evocative composition, echoing an internal transformation that many listeners will recognize in themselves through its redemptive sonic journey from darkness to light.
KEY SELLING POINTS
- After fronted the beloved acoustic band Tellico for the better part of a decade
- As part of Tellico and now as a solo artist, Hinkle has toured nationally and internationally and has developed as a notable songwriter
- Her song “Courage for the Morning” was #1 on the Folk Radio DJ charts in Nov. 2018, and song “Ballad of Zona Abston” won the 2019 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition