Suns of Mercury Album

Suns of Mercury Album download

Music can build common ground across languages and cultures.  Suns of Mercury blends folkloric influences with emerging styles in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas.  Crossing musical borders is our passion.

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Listen to Suns of mercury below


the music

The Crossroads

All beginnings are endings: intersections where souls collide and messengers reside.  The crossroads unite young with old, body with spirit, and life with death.  The ancient Greeks called this exchange Hermes, inspiring the Romans to mark dusk and dawn with the silver planet Mercury.  Today in Brazil the crossroads live in the sacred figure Exú, and in Cuba in Elegguá.  The batá drums of Old Havana celebrate the beginning of this musical journey. 

Guests: Grupo Aña Vi Ará (percussion, Cuba), Michael Spiro (percussion, USA)

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Just a Game

He was a friend and we knew where he stood.  But he moved to D.C., played the game, and changed.  It’s a common story in Cuba, where everyone knows someone who has “gone to the North” but lost something along the way. 

Guests: Afi Ayanna (vocal, USA), El Genuino (vocal, Cuba), Grupo Aña Vi Ará (percussion, Cuba), Jorge González (guitar), Laëtitia (vocal, Australia)



Welcome to Oblivion

The drinks flow, the music numbs, and we forget ourselves: enter Dionysus.  He’s alive and well, standing behind the bar in South Beach Miami.  Special thanks to Karl for taking time out from the Santana tour, and to Ayanna for bringing the party.

Guests: Afi Ayanna (vocal, USA), Karl Perazzo (percussion, USA), Mark Schuh (guitar, USA)


Digital Eyes

Nobody knows how many people have died from drone attacks.  The only official figures come from the White House: between 2009 and 2015, U.S. drones killed “between 64 and 116” civilians, excluding operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  When the numbers from these countries are added, independent observers estimate more than civilian 1,000 fatalities.  As we composed this song we considered the good and evil of technology: it has enabled an international project like Suns of Mercury, but it has also changed the nature of confrontation.  Victims don’t see the faces of their attackers, and at most see a winged robot with a digital eye.  Employed as a “sensor” in the U.S. Air Force Predator program, Sergeant Brandon Bryant found this cold anonymity “horrible and numbing” and left his job in 2011.  This song imagines his experience.

Guest: Claudio Cartagena (percussion, Australia), Milton de Souza (percussion, Brazil), Gavin Nebauer (guitar, Australia), Neda Rahmani and Marrs Coiro (percussion, Australia), Hugh Stirzaker (bass, UK)



Scorched (but not burned)

The worst circles are the vicious ones – like working for someone who wants to bring you down, or even worse living with them.  But how many times the circle turns involves choice, including choosing to stay in or get out.  Taking a stand means fighting back, and few things are so empowering.

Guests: Ezequiel “Miki” Alfonso (percussion, Cuba), Afi Ayanna (vocal, USA), Eddy “Cortico” (percussion, Cuba), El Genuino (vocal, Cuba)


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Ethereal imperial

Some in China paint a picture of eternal harmony.  Millions of others say that paintings have artists.  The art of the ethereal is sometimes powerful and other times fragile – it depends on the hand that holds the brush. 

Guests: Fu Han (erhu, China), Zhang Mengxian (erhu, China), Li Yuan (guzhen, China), Shi Jiu (accordion, China), Iceganja (vocal, China), Renmin University students (vocal, China), Paul DeCastro (corneta china/suona, USA)



It moved my soul

People move away and change, but sometimes their connections live on.  From the dirt roads of Santiago de Cuba to the city lights of New York, these two soulmates were pulled apart.  They changed through time and space, but reunion moved their soul.



Don’t ask

Stressful days and sleepless nights are a sign of our times, but their causes can dissolve.  Those are the times when the big picture becomes clear: a planet, a universe, and the vast simplicity of nature.  Times like this are not for thinking how and asking why, but for hearing the wind and feeling the way.

Guests: Jesse Wolff (cello, USA), Mark Schuh (guitar, USA)



Selection process

It’s a simple choice.  But why is it so hard?  From complex problems to daily dilemmas, all require decisions.  A promise, a try, a truth, a lie.  Some say the right choice is the one that feels best, but the feelings change when the sun comes up and the night fades away.  So which way to go?  The only way forward is to look back and see where the path came from.

Guests: Shaun Hearn (guitar, Hong Kong), Tío Fer (digivox, Mexico)



Sanctify it

Mercury burns and freezes in a single day.  So do children and their parents as the warmth of the good times and the cold of the bad come and go.  The song of a six-year-old tells the story: life at this age is a world of extremes.

Guests: Grupo Aña Vi Ará (percussion, Cuba), Hugo Hearn (vocal, Australia)


Pacifico: when Cuban jazz meets Chinese folklore