Jon Anderson Still Working on Sequel to ‘Olias of Sunhillow’
Former Yes singer and front man Jon Anderson is taking his time with the upcoming sequel to his landmark first solo album, ‘Olias of Sunhillow.’ The project has so far been six years in the making, and in a new interview, the diminutive singer likens the work to a slow-baking cake. “It’s not ready yet,” Anderson tells Noise11.com. “I have all the ingredients but I haven’t put it in the oven yet.”
Anderson released ‘Olias of Sunhillow’ in 1975. The versatile musician not only composed the album’s amalgam of progressive rock, chorale and world music, he played every instrument on the record himself, resulting in a strikingly original album that many consider a watershed moment in progressive rock.
“I locked myself away and went crazy out of my brain,” he relates. “If you go to do a solo album you should be by yourself. That’s what I was thinking. I had all the instruments I was going to use like sitar and drums and things. It came out the other end four months later and for the first time I put ‘musician’ on my passport knowing that I was a musician.”
In working on the sequel — for which Anderson has announced the title ‘The Songs of Zamran: Son of Olias’ — the singer-composer has used the internet to collaborate with musicians from various parts of the world. Part of the delay has been due to many other projects he has released or has in progress, while part of it is simply finding the right narrative. “I have written the story now five times,” Anderson admits. “It is driving me crazy.”
Anderson says he is preparing to perform the original ‘Olias of Sunhillow’ in its entirety with a group of young musicians out of Philadelphia. As for the sequel, he’s philosophical about working without an apparent deadline. “It is a slow process,” he muses. “It will happen when it happens.”
Meanwhile, Anderson’s former Yes bandmates haven’t been sitting around idle. They will hit the road on March 1 for a tour that will feature the group’s current lineup performing three classic Yes albums in their entirety, and bassist Chris Squire has also revealed that the band are considering recording a studio album with their new singer, Jon Davison.