Paprika and Uranium Buzz
Soundscape Presents 1998

The project evolved out of a year's study of steel-string finger picking techniques, and the songs recall the playing of Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, Paul Simon and Doc Watson. The lyrics comes from poems in Ivan's journals and range from highly personal self-observations to the political dimensions of body piercing to stories of people and situations known or invented. The CD was recorded in September, 1997 in an old barn in Kerhonkson, N.Y. which captures the intimate mood of the songs.

Paprika and Uranium Buzz opens with "The River", stringing together a stream of poetic lyrics over the finely picked guitar accompaniment. Next is "Don't Disturb Your Father", written from the point of view of a mother who consoles her son over a distant father whose "beard needs room to grow". The fiddle-driven "Who Brought You Down?" is a challenge to a friend to leave the man who has brought her so much misery. "Janey's Got a New Tattoo" is a quirky look at a girl who got a tattoo because "she couldn't say it any other way." These are followed by the plaintive solo "Birthday Song" and "Meltdown", an acoustic rocker featuring a neat line on Ivan's melodica.

"Buddha Or the Bomb" is a spoken word/piano piece inspired by, among other things, the Unabomber, Fritjof Capra's "The Tao of Physics" and America's modern religious revival. This piece offers the CD's title in its final stanza. Next is the story of "Waltzing Elena", a "tragic neo--hippie" who waltzes right over the edge. The CD ends with "Iím Allergic to Cats" an upbeat, bluegrassy instrumental recorded live at a performance in Manhattan..

Ivan sings and plays guitar, piano and melodica and is joined by Clarence Ferrari on fiddle and mandolin, Roberto Ruiz on bass, and Cathie Martino on backing vocals. Produced and engineered with Rod Sherwood.
Tracks On Disk:

  • The River
  • Don't Disturb Your Father
  • Who Brought You Down?
  • Janey's Got A New Tattoo
  • Birthday Song
  • Meltdown
  • Buddha Or The Bomb
  • Waltzing Elena
  • Radio Song
  • The One You Want

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