Ocean Floor showcases Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s special partnership with the LSO Percussion Ensemble and pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock. Her choice of rhythms and harmony and use of percussion all have symbolic meaning in relation to the songs’ deep inspiration. Combining alternative R&B with Classical, and with influences from Soul, Hip Hop and Reggae, Ayanna Witter-Johnson is the definition of an eclectic soul.
LSO Live says “Today’s the day! We’re thrilled to present the newest release from LSO Live, ‘Ocean Floor’. This collaborative album from singer, songwriter, pianist and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson and the LSO Percussion Ensemble was recorded live at LSO St Luke’s as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, and explores stories relating to Ayanna’s ancestral heritage, culture and identity.”
Ayanna Witter-Johnson tells us “I want [the audience] to feel the wonder and the celebration of music from across the African diaspora. It’s so rich, it’s so influential, and it’s so lovely to hear such nuanced rhythms all in one place.”
Through her work with the LSO, she forged a friendship with LSO Principal Percussionist, Neil Percy, which became the starting point for the recording. Witter-Johnson says “His enthusiasm for my music moves me to tears and was the catalyst behind our first collaboration and subsequent commission, Forever. The organic development of this project is something I will treasure forever, because above all, I have felt the fullest support in expressing myself exactly as I am, and that goes beyond words.”
In 1781, the Zong – a British slave ship – left Ghana with twice the number it was designed to carry, bound for Jamaica. The ship’s owners claimed that drinking water was running low, and ordered the crew to throw more than 130 living enslaved people overboard.
Over 200 years later, Jamaica has become a place of significance for Ayanna Witter-Johnson. As a young child, she often spent her six-week summer holiday visiting extended family there, taking trips to a favorite beach on the south coast. It was here that she witnessed a terrible fatal accident at one end of the beach, yet at the other end, a baptism and celebration was taking place. Witter-Johnson explores this spectrum of events, separated by two centuries yet tied together by their central themes of ancestry, family and the ocean, noting that even amidst the darkness of death, there is still room for joy.
Ocean Floor is Exclusively Available in Stereo and 5.1 Channel Surround Sound DSD 256, DSD 128 and DSD 64 plus Stereo DSD 512 at NativeDSD thanks to our signature Higher Rates Program.
Ayanna Witter-Johnson – Vocals, Cello, Percussion & Composer
Gwilym Simcock – Piano & Composer
LSO Percussion Ensemble
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:52:04
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||October 27, 2023|
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