Peter Hicks is probably slightly better known for his work as the guitarist for Aradhna, a group that sings bhajan devotionals in a blend of eastern and western music. Think of them as doing worship music from India. It’s very cool stuff and I hope to own some of their CDs soon.
Peter Hicks’ solo album still has significant Indian influences in the sound, but it’s more subtle and probably easier for an American audience to get into.
According to his bio on Aradhna’s website, Peter Hicks was born in Delhi but his family moved to the US shortly thereafter. He got into a few different groups in the US, but after High School he felt drawn back to India to create music. In a few years, Aradhna was born, and now Peter is doing solo stuff as well.
Musically, I really like Peter’s solo work. It’s not as obviously Indian-influenced as Aradhna, but it’s still very good. His voice is mesmerizing, and the lyrics tell very intimate, personal stories tinged with spirituality, questioning, hopes, and fears. The songs I’ve heard are pretty melancholy at first glance, but the closer you listen the more you notice the hope in the midst of it all. Listening to some of his songs is like walking inside Peter’s skin for a minute and hearing all his thoughts, feeling all his dreams, and experiencing all his fears. It’s rare to find songs this intimate and personal that still retain their universality.
Peter describes a difficult three-year process in the creation of the album Until We See, when he was at a standstill creatively and couldn’t seem to finish any of the songs, until…
In the summer of 2003 I re-met the woman who is now my wife. I had known her for many years and been attracted to her but time and distance had separated us. Maybe I should say that I met her for the first time in the way that I will see her for the rest of my life. I fell in love…but what does this have to do with the album? “Love covers a multitude of sins.” The potency of this truth began to be realized in every area of my life. In love, I released grace to my own music and was able to enter in and enjoy the process of writing and recording.
I have dedicated this album to my wife, Fiona, because of the freedom that came to me when she entered my life. I could have just as easily dedicated it to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as I know that He is the source of freedom and all good things.
Until We See is a collection of songs about finding my way sometimes with the light of truth sometimes on my own through the dark.
Fun little fact – rumor has it that in addition to guitar, Peter also knows how to play this bad boy, the traditional Indian sarod. Wow, I only wish.
Here are two songs that Peter put on-line, so check him out, then go and buy the whole album:
Note: All MP3s will be removed after one week