Okarito Ways celebrates Ōkārito Lagoon, which - with its associated waterways - connects the Southern Alps of the West Coast of New Zealand to the Tasman Sea.
There, perched on a sandspit lies a small village - Ōkārito - a place that has literally stood the test of time. Ōkārito Lagoon is the largest surviving unmodified wetlands in New Zealand.
Larry teamed up with conservationists Paul Sheridan and Swade Finch, and has worked with a team of 11 people of 6 nationalities, in three time zones, to tell the story of a day in this beautiful place.
Cover art courtesy Rina Sjardin-Thompson
Whisper The World Away
This is Larry’s first collaboration with Italian producer, Matteo Galesi. Hailing from Northern Italy, the huge skies and deep lakes of the region transfer sonically into a wide and rich tapestry of sound, heard to stunning effect on this track. Coupled with Larry’s signature warm tenor vocal, his poetic lyrics, and unexpected changes in dynamics and time signature, Whisper The World Away is a captivating three-minute symphony.
The strings are by multi-instrumentalist Joao Silva from Portugal. The video is by London film-maker, Rob Thom.
Love in Troubled Times
It’s 2020 – and we know what that means… locked-down lives, trying to keep well and sane. For me, that’s meant learning how to play piano with young genius Liam The Dude Stevens, writing a couple of dozen songs, testing them out on my friend Rebecca – and learning how to present them. Then finding the caring cool Julian Whitfield, with a studio in the wildest hidden corner of Kent. And enticing the cream of London’s jazz scene to come down, play and sing with me.
Everything is disjointed and distanced – piano hidden by a duvet, bass player in a shielded nook, drummer behind plastic shields, sax player in another room, me outside in the autumn air. The backing vocalists separate from everyone else, and strings and woodwind down the road somewhere. And somehow singing lead vocals as Lockdown v2 strikes.
In the middle of all this, someone I love dies. I think what would that gentle soul want? I’m driven to make the album, it’s a compulsion, it’s intense and I love every second. How did we get here? How did we do this? And really, did we really do this at all? Like a dream, a fantasy, a gift…
It’s February and it’s snowing. I drop in to a coffee-house in Crouch End and settle down with a flat white. Steely Dan on the speakers. I feel warm inside and start singing along to the cool chorus of Babylon Sisters. I look up and see a guy at another table doing exactly the same thing. We’ve never met. We get talking, Joe Read and me. About all the music we love, our favourite artists, the songs we write ourselves – and the friends we love to play with. And by the time the barista is ready to shut up shop, the idea for my next album is set in my mind. Joe would make those ideas come to life, and we’d get a band together for it.
It’s a manifesto: Night Flight will be a short-lived project – one album only. Hints of jazz grooves and the heart of acoustic music. The panache of Steely Dan, the heart of Van Morrison, the modulations of Joni Mitchell – and the unpredictability of Rickie Lee Jones! But above all, it would be itself – groovy and melodic, clever and fun…
The album was made with a spirit of pure joy, and the band played some gloriously delightful gigs around London, before everyone went off into their own worlds, never to emerge again! The Night Flight was taken…