Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid
Release date 6th November 2020 on Lateralise Records
Sought-after by Björk, Tom Walker, Disney and more, Australian-born, London-based singer and jazz harpist Tara Minton has written and recorded an extraordinary record inspired by the mythology of mermaids.
With artwork by painter and musician Blanche Ellis, ‘Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid’ will be released as a limited-edition CD and vinyl, with only 500 copies of the former and 250 copies of the latter available, both available from: https://taraminton.bandcamp.com/
Leaving Australia (where she “felt like a fish out of water”) at the age of 25, Tara bought a one-way ticket to London and “created a world that reflected who I was a lot more than the one I was born to”. Classically trained, and with a master’s degree in jazz performance from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, that ‘world’ is one in which Tara has enjoyed both a rich and varied career as a session musician and seen her own bold, artistic interests blossom.
As likely to be seen on ‘Later… with Jools Holland’, BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and The One Show as she is on stage at Hampstead Jazz Club, the 606 Club and the Bishopsgate Institute, Tara’s varied guest appearances and collaborations have seen her performing the iconic Alice Coltrane album ‘Journey in Satchidananda’ in London, with Miranda Mulholland on her Juno Award nominated album ‘By Appointment Or Chance’ or performing in many of Europe’s most prestigious venues with her band.
Following ‘The Tides of Love’ in 2016, Tara has once again set her gaze upon the sea, this time exploring mermaid mythology. Collecting stories from around the globe of mermaid folklore, she has woven tales of womanhood, morality, sustainability, the impact climate change is having on our oceans’ ecosystems, and our historical relationship with the sea.
“Mermaid mythology is special because it’s old tales of women taking their lives into their own hands. They were all born into circumstances that didn’t suit them, so they grew legs. They decide ‘this is not for me! I’m in control of my own life’, which was very rare for mythology in a time when women were often oppressed or forced to live within the circumstances presented to them”.
Tara also has the perspective of being born in the climate change hotbed of Australia, “It’s hellish down there a lot of the time. The recent fires… the bleaching of the coral reefs… that really hits me. The mermaid seemed like a good way to draw people in and to talk about something that can be quite confrontational”.
Featuring some of the UK’s most talented jazz musicians – Phil Merriman, Ed Babar, Dave Ingamells and Tommaso Starace -, and produced by John Merriman, ‘Please Do Not Ignore The Mermaid’ is a remarkable collection that reveals Tara as a brave and fascinating songwriter, musician and singer.
The striking artwork is created by the artist Blanche Ellis. “It’s not helpful to have mermaids presented as they usually are in pop culture, and Blanche and I discussed how we wanted to portray not just the exploitation of women and the exploitation of the oceans, but also the ways in which we exploit ourselves, and the complicated relationships with our environment and other people” Tara explains.
Tara will play select live dates in 2020, adhering to government social distancing guidelines. Further information and date announcements can be accessed via Tara’s website here: taraminton.com/gigs