Don Peris is the long-time guitarist for the innocence mission. His newest release, The Old Century, is a tranquil, melodic, heartfelt collection of songs without words, composed for guitar, and beautifully recorded in his home studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
On The Old Century, Don shows a great regard for melody and the structure of song, a strong desire to create, yet a diminished ability to sing and write lyrics. Through music, Peris finds he can speak what he can not find in words to say. Books and musical influences often come together in strange and beautiful ways. The song Concertina, for example, leads one to think of Edison, Menlo Park, the World's Fair, a string of light bulbs, Niagara, a wagon of rain. "While I was writing one of the songs for this collection, I came upon a passage in a book I was reading, describing New York City on a golden Autumn afternoon as being 'bathed in the light of the previous century'. That phrase seemed to resonate with the sounds I was hearing, " says Peris.
Like most people, his musical tastes span a wide landscape. However, David Mansfield's Heaven's Gate, the works of Nick Drake, Karen Peris (the innocence mission), Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters), the John Williams recordings of Barrios, Tom Waits, Radiohead are much-loved standbys.
"I studied classical guitar in college and have spent the subsequent years enamored with the poetic voice of this humble instrument. I also love the atmospheric tone that can be created by the electric guitar. I use a 1954 Gretsch Electromatic hollow-body, a Gretsch 6120, a numerous assortment of 60's Guild nylon-stringed guitars, my 70's Guild D44 steel string, a noisy Princeton Reverb amp and a recycled 3/4 size student cello."
Don Peris's spiritual roots are expressed through his instrumentals. "While music conveys so many emotions and flashes so many images, I am most taken by it's ability to hint at the beauty of Creation and to reach the goodness that is in all," remarks Peris.
released May 1, 2013
Don Peris - guitars, ukulele, cello, drums, bells
Karen Peris - Accordion
Drew Peris - Violin
Anna Peris - Violin
Recorded at home in Lancaster, PA
Mastered by Shawn Hatfield
Jemez Mountain Records 2013