One River is Michael Quattrone from the Hudson River Valley of New York. A singer, songwriter, and seeker who fuses his deep love of poetry with wisdom teachings, philanthropy, and Mother Nature in his music. The songs on One River were produced by himself and Hugh Christopher Brown of Wolfe Island Records, his label out of Ontario, Canada.
One River is an image of our interconnectedness across space and time. Our ancestors flowed into us, and life will continue the motion beyond our days on the planet. “Spirit is the river, and body the boat.”
With a name taken from noted anthropologist Wade Davis’ book, One River was founded by Michael Quattrone as a musical outgrowth of his work with Hearthfire, a non-profit retreat center founded with his wife, actor and ritual theatre artist, Kala Iversen, in Tarrytown, New York. Hearthfire encourages the myth-making potential of creative spirits by offering rituals and retreats to a diverse community of artists, leaders, and seekers. “Magic happens when we gather in a circle to mark life’s passages with song,” says Michael. “And sometimes you invite a record producer, who brings a magic of his own.”
Michael is a singer, songwriter, and seeker, whose greatest curiosity and most profound learning are sparked at the threshold between inner life and outward expression. In honoring his journey in music and poetry, and in sharing his passion for the creative process, Michael encourages others to raise their voices, express gratitude, and live in harmony.
The eponymous, debut album includes ten original songs by Michael. It was produced by Hugh Christopher Brown for his independent, artist-driven label, Wolfe Island Records. The idea for the record emerged after Michael invited the Canadian producer and multi-instrumentalist to collaborate on music for a retreat, and join a men’s group, at Hearthfire.
The two-and-a-half year recording process that followed straddled the US/Canada border, the 2016 national election, and the Atlantic Ocean. Hugh Christopher says, “The first time I heard Michael’s voice, I was knocked out. Having benefited from his talents in spiritual and social practice, his songwriting feels to me like plaintive, literal extensions of his soul. It has been a trip translating it all to tape.”
Contributing the the album are longtime friends of Hearthfire and its intersecting communities, including Kala Iversen and Ashley Wood of Hearthfire; Jack Algiere of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; Joseph Jastrab of the Hero’s Journey Foundation, and author of Sacred Manhood, Sacred Earth; as well as veteran musicians: Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Kate Fenner), Gregor Beresford (Steven Stanley Band), Hugh Christopher Brown (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Pros and Cons project). Other notable appearances include Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed, Patti Smith), Rocky Roberts (singer-songwriter, longtime guitar tech for Neil Young), and Michael Blake (Lounge Lizards, Ray Lamontagne).
The record is ripe for release at this moment of cultural, socio-economic, and ecological upheaval, which demands the fullest, collective presence of us all to the outer- and inner- transformations at hand.
The intentional music of One River is clothed in intentional artwork. The inside jacket features a reprint of the poem, “Prayer for the Great Family,” by Beat poet and Buddhist, Gary Snyder.
The front and back cover images are recent photographs by London-based, aerial landscape photographer, Timo Lieber, from his series, THAW. THAW is a collaboration between art and science to highlight, in beauty, the devastating reality of climate change. The cover, which depicts a blue lake of glacial meltwater on the icy, white surface of Greenland, bears a striking resemblance to a crying eye, as if the planet itself is weeping.
That concept of thawing extends beyond the album’s visual presence, to its thematic and lyrical content. Water images flow through the songs. It is a record of goodbyes and homecomings (“longing and belonging”), that celebrates the “gift of tears,” and encourages the softening and opening of the heart in joy, grief, and devotion. “Everything that flows, is true.”
Whether in service, advocacy, and social justice, or in healing and devotion, music has a role to play. Wholehearted presence, both personal and collective, is what One River wishes to support with the album. Michael says, “this record arrives now, after forty years of life, as a humbling reminder of how much I still have to learn, and how much more fully I want to devote myself to love in the time I have left.”
One River traces a pilgrimage on the landscape of being, arriving where celebration meets devotion: “We are one river, one great river, and we flow.”
Digital Album – Pre-order of One River. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album released on June 1, 2018