The songs on Phase Of The Moon were conceived in a tiny studio apartment in the quaint Paris neighbourhood of Montmartre where Matthew and his wife spent a month in early 2017. It came with a small upright piano and had thin walls, which could explain why piano songs sung in deeper, hushed tones feature prominently on the record. The winter sojourn in Europe provided a welcome respite from the all-consuming media madness back home, and coupled with a steady diet of existentialist reading material, served to foster a mood of almost contented melancholy that seeped into the songs and runs throughout the record. This mood is at times manifested in the form of a solitary searcher reflecting on what’s come before and wondering what lies ahead, and at other times through words of support addressed to a concerned partner that reveal a commensurate plea for reassurance that everything’s going to be ok. The quiet storm is punctuated by necessary and at times exuberant affirmations of love, hope and wonderment, and a spirit of embracing life in all its complexity endures.
“‘The Painter’ was written after a moving visit to a nearby art museum,” says Barber. “‘Hanging On The Line‘ begins as a paean to modest values and morphs into a loose commentary on our wayward modern civilization. The title track ‘Phase Of The Moon’ is probably the most personal song on the record about the struggle to overcome setbacks beyond our control. ‘All In A Dream’is how I sometimes feel when I’m traveling, putting reality on hold for a little while.”
The performances that make up the record were captured over three days in the historic Almonte Town Hall in eastern Ontario, with its ghosts, high ceilings and Steinway grand piano setting the scene for the recording. Starting with the solo vocal and piano or vocal and guitar as the centre, the tracks were built outwards and took on different shapes as other instruments were added at Friesen’s studio in Almonte, as well as back in Toronto where the exquisite string parts were arranged and performed by Drew Jurecka. The record was thoughtfully mixed by Darryl Neudorf (Blue Rodeo, Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan) at his barn in Mono, Ontario, and the album art was created by Toronto artist Heather Goodchild.
Barber is a two-time Juno nominee, has sold over 100 thousand albums worldwide, 10 million streams and earned countless praise for his work.
Sarina Haggarty has been making music for as long as she can remember. As a young child she would regularly improvise songs while pretending to play guitar. At age four, she began learning cello with an old converted viola. From there, she branched out to piano and vocal lessons. At age 10 she taught herself guitar and has been refining her music ever since. Once a regular fixture around London Ontario’s Convent Garden Market, Sarina would regularly spend time on the weekends busking in front of the market or performing at local events. She has performed the national anthem for the London Lightening, performed on Canada Day in Harris Park, various local open mic nights and regularly uses her music ability to raise money for various charities including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Bethany’s Hope, Make-A-Wish, London Health Science centre and other foundations locally and internationally. She was also invited to perform at a cocktail party for Chef Micheal. One thing is clear, she has no fear when it comes to performing, no matter the size of the crowd.
Despite anything, Sarina has never let anything or anyone stop her from performing or making her own music. At the age of 9, Sarina suffered her first seizure on route to a performance. Following her second attack, doctors at the London Health Sciences Centre diagnosed her as having epilepsy. Despite anything, Sarina has never let anything or anyone stop her from performing or making her own music At the age of 17, Sarina became a Make-A-Wish ambassador and had the opportunity to perform an original song for Canadian artist Shawn Mendes’ at a sold out show of over 22,000 people @ Quicken loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio. – Becoming a Make-A-Wish internationally highlight of the year.
Even while in the hospital, she was still playing music for the nurses on the floor and even had a visit from the band; Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. She recorded a video of her performing between surgeries, which was posted to social media and has since received over thousands of views!
In less than 2 years, Sarina has released two EPs – Missing Pieces (November 2016) & Compass (January 2018). Proceeds from Missing Pieces – EP have been donated brain research. Selling out some of the most amazing venues in London, Sarina plans to keep writing and release more music in the near future. Sarina will always be grateful for the local and world-wide support that is given and shown.