"Under A Mediterranean Sky" is the now seventh acoustic work of the ex-Genesis guitarist. This time he pours the experiences he and his wife Jo Lehmann-Hackett made on extensive travels through the Mediterranean region, which is characterized by different cultures, into colorful musical images. In Corona-Lockdown times, the album title also awakens the longing for destinations that are unreachable for the time being
Steve Hackett has repeatedly recorded acoustic albums centered on filigree, classical and folkloristic playing on the nylon guitar. With "Under A Mediterranean Sky" he has succeeded in this terrain his most beautiful work so far, which offers musical landscape and cultural descriptions vibrating with joie de vivre and also brings various ethnic instruments into the sound cosmos in rich orchestrations.
In the interview Steve Hackett and his wife Jo opened their travel diary for us.
eclipsed: Steve, you made an album about traveling. What does that mean especially in Corona times?
Steve Hackett: I think we're all in need of some escapism to distant worlds at the moment, now that we're so locked in. The new album is meant to take people on just such a journey: to warmer, more vibrant and colourful places full of history. Because the cultures of the Mediterranean are so diverse, it has also become a very varied, colourful album.
eclipsed: Why do you focus on the Mediterranean?
Steve Hackett: This album concept came from my wife Jo, who was even more active in these regions than I was. I, as a musician, have toured the westernized regions here, Jo more the more exotic sides of the Silk Road in, say, southern Greece or Cappadocia in Turkey. Jo Lehmann-Hackett is a book author
Jo Hackett: That developed quite naturally, as we have travelled to most countries together, apart from Turkey, and we are fascinated by such diverse Mediterranean cultures. I am especially interested - as in the case of Turkish Konya, the ancient cradle of the Sufi and Dervish tradition - in the very far-reaching, also spiritual aspects of these cultures, going back to 7000 years before Christ. "The Dervish And The Djin" stems from there.
eclipsed: What is the richness of Mediterranean cultures as a whole?
Jo Hackett: Apart from their far-reaching origins as advanced civilizations, there is this incredible diversity and the strong connection to Africa, which also exists from Spain: "Andalusian Heart" tells of this.