When Selah Broderick reached out to her son, musician and composer Peter Broderick, asking if he’d like to help set some of her poetry to music, Peter replied immediately with a euphoric Yes! Having lived on opposite sides of the world for more than 15 years, the two felt this a great way to keep connected, and once Peter heard Selah’s beautiful, vulnerable words, he dedicated himself to helping facilitate this album by his mother.
It was slow and steady over the next couple years that the eight tracks comprising Moon in the Monastery took shape. Utilising Peter’s vast collection of instruments and years of experience as a multi-instrumentalist (violin, piano, percussion, etc.), the two Brodericks embarked on a process of trial and error, patiently searching for the right musical tones to accompany each poem. Sometimes Peter would get his mother to record herself playing the flute as source material for him to work with. Opening piece ‘The Deer’, for instance, is made up entirely of Selah’s flute — sampled, manipulated and sculpted into the perfect backdrop for her recounting of a mystical encounter with a wild deer one evening as the sun was setting in the hills of rural Oregon.
Having worked in the healing arts for over 30 years, Selah’s poetry is a natural, personal extension of her professional life. With a diverse background in fields such as yoga, physical therapy, massage, and hospice, Selah has devoted much of her life to helping others heal, while progressing on her own journey of inner work. Her writings range from the intensely personal to the universally relatable, sometimes within a single turn of phrase. With her pen she delves into the heart of the human experience in a way that feels inquisitive rather than sentimental.
Midway through the album, in our track premiere ‘Faith’, she says, “Faith… It’s caught and carved into my heart / Then melts away / Almost asking that I keep renewing it each moment / Perhaps it deepens when I let it go and find it again?”
After finishing work on the seven spoken-word tracks, Selah and Peter created an extended meditative soundscape to finish off the album. The eighth and last track of the album — the title track, ‘Moon in the Monastery’, again highlights Selah’s enchanted flute playing and provides a calm and dreamy space for the substance of the seven prior tracks to sink in.
Moon in the Monastery is released on June 9 2023 via Pegdoll Records and can be preordered here.