Where are they now? - Jon Anderson

This page last updated: 8 May 2008

On this page: New recordings on MySpace - 2008 solo appearances - Tour of the Universe & In La La Land - The Songs of Zamran: The Son of Olias - "Chagall" and other projects - Calls for collaborators - With School of Rock All-Stars into 2008 - "Ritual Path" and Trance-scendance - With California Guitar Trio - Other Appearances - The Lost Tapes - Other archival releases

On other pages: Yes news - Anderson & Wakeman - Jon Anderson writing with Trevor Rabin - ... and with Peter Banks

Jon Anderson's official sites: Jon Anderson Online - Jon on MySpace
YES and projects with several Yesmen
Anderson & Wakeman
Circa: (with White,
Kaye & Sherwood)
Oliver Wakeman
Others associated with the band

Overview of the direction of Anderson's solo career
On Yes's 2002 electronic press kit, Anderson says, "For the next thirty years, I have to fulfil an agreement I made with myself years ago not to let go. And some of my best work, I hope, will be coming out when I'm 70, because they say if you can continue your dream into your seventies, that is when you can actually fulfil a lot of the hidden mysteries of life. And that's what I want to be able to do." In a Mar 2006 article, Anderson explained, "When I look back at the some of the artists I've met over the years, they're most creative [later in life]. Whether they're commercial is not the point. They're creative around 60 or 70 years old [...] there is that delicate balance of getting older and wiser and more in tune with your creative self." Anderson has talked about his current and future plans in a number of interviews: while it is hard to join up all the dots, perhaps often reflecting how the plans being described are still in flux, we can see four broad themes:

This period of activity, planned to continue over the next several years, has been loosely referred to as 'The Big If'. Some earlier references were to an album to go by that name, but plans now suggest multiple releases, probably DVDs, and live shows over a number of years. In comments while on tour in Sep 2005, Anderson talked of four CDs released over a 10-year period. In early Oct 2005, in comments to French fan club Nous Sommes du Soleil, he described 'The Big If' as five DVDs over a 10-year period. There has even been talk of a computer game.

Vocal health
In an early Mar 2008 interview, Anderson said he has reactive airway disease (RAD; akin to asthma). His 9 Mar show with the School of Rock was postponed due to ill health. The venue reported that Anderson had been hospitalised with viral pneumonia, but it appears this was a false alarm. Anderson's webpage described the situation thus: "
He [Anderson] was feeling a bit under the weather, so he decided to cancel the show and get some rest." Anderson was back for the 10 Mar show, but was reportedly still somewhat under the weather. Anderson had airway problems towards the end of Yes's touring in 2004: newspaper reports in Sep 2004 described him as having asthma and bronchitis. In 2007, Wakeman reportedly questioned whether Anderson's voice can withstand long tours these days. Anderson discusses his health problems in an early-Feb interview with Notes from the Edge.

New releases
Anderson is working on multiple projects (detailed below), but timelines on these are unclear. Some new recordings have appeared. A re-release of 3 Ships (see below) includes two new tracks: "I Give Hope" and "Ray of Hope". As "Give Hope 2007", the former was previously to be heard on Anderson's MySpace page. (At a show in Oct 2006, Anderson told a fan that he hoped to release an Xmas single entitled "Hope for Christmas". This didn't appear, but was presumably a reference to "I Give Hope" or "Ray of Hope".)

In an interview with German magazine Eclipsed circa Nov 2007, Anderson said he would be releasing 6 albums on his own label in 2007 that will be available in selected stores or for download ("Ich habe auf eigenem Label 2007 satte sechs Alben veröffentlicht, die man sich in ausgesuchten Laden kaufen oder downloaden kann."). He goes on to describe these as "Ethno-Music" influenced by different world cultures ("Eine Art Ethno-Musik, die von den unterschiedlichsten Ecken dieser Welt und ihren Kulturen geprägt ist."), but that it is not for classical Yes fans ("Es ist nichts, was dem klassischen Yes-Fan gefällt, dafür ist es zu wenig symphonisch."). He explains that, at 63, he does not have to worry about money and can release what is important to him ("Aber hey, ich bin 63 Jahre alt, ich muss mir keine großen Gedanken um Geld machen, also veröffentliche ich alles, was mir wichtig erscheint."). I presume he is referring to his Opio label on Voiceprint and is including re-releases: Voiceprint re-released 3 Ships and have two more re-releases for early 2008 (see below). Further albums were not released in 2007, but this suggests further releases or re-releases in early 2008.

Anderson has made a number of MP3s available for free on his MySpace page. These have changed as he has updated the selection, but have included new recordings of "Time and a Word" and "Give Love Each Day"; and various new pieces. Recent live material (see below) has also been included. 2007 began with "Give Hope 2007" and an instrumental, "Relaxadagio". Further new pieces in 2007 included "Thirteen", "Third", "Songbirding" and "Three", while currently there is "PEACE".

Dates in 2008
Anderson played a series of eastern Canadian solo dates in Mar 2008, a continuation of his Tour of the UniverseOn some of the later dates, students of The Paul Green School of Rock joined for a portion of the set. (Earlier in Mar, Anderson was playing with the School of Rock All-Stars on the US east coast—see below.) At the 29 Mar show (without the School of Rock), the opening set was by Anderson on an acoustic guitar in just candlelight (in recognition of Earth Hour): "Yours is No Disgrace", "Long Distance Runaround", "Time and a Word", "O'er", "Song for Yes Fans (Let It Shine)" (presumably the song previously known as "Sooner"), "Give Love Each Day", "Life Seeker" (from "Starship Trooper"), "Richard", "Wonderous Stories"; second set (Anderson on acoustic guitar and piano synth with visual projections): "Set Sail", "Total Mass Retain" ("Close to the Edge" excerpt), "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "The Revealing Science of God" intro, "Sweet Dreams", "And You and I" excerpt, "I'll Find My Way Home", "Nous Sommes du Soleil" ("Ritual" excerpt), "State of Independence", "Roundabout"; encore: "Your Move", "Soon". The same encore was played at the 22 Mar show. The 26 Mar Montreal show had an attendance of up to about 1200; the School of Rock joined at the end of the show, performing with Anderson "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper", with Anderson then doing a solo performance of "Nous Sommes du Soleil" and an encore of "Soon".

Jon Anderson was at the NAMM 2008 show in Anaheim, CA. He performed "Roundabout" with an orchestra at the Yamaha show on 18 Jan and also and found time for this impromptu performance (see 44 seconds in to the clip). (Alan White was also at NAMM '08.) In his recent NftE interview, Anderson said he was making a movie about being at NAMM.

2007 solo appearances
Anderson was on a European solo tour in Nov/Dec 2007 with dates in Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. The set list was similar to that for the 2005/6 Tour of the Universe and varied across the tour. On the opening night, the show was about 1.75 hours long, consisting of "Yours is No Disgrace", "Long Distance Runaround", "Time and a Word", "Give Love Each Day", "Starship Trooper" (first 5 all on acoustic guitar), "Italian Song", "Richard", "Sooner" (new song about Anderson's feelings that Yes should get back together, written with John Young—see below), "Buddha Song" (these 4 all on MIDI-guitar), "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (on acoustic guitar), piano medley ("Set Sail/Close to the Edge/Marry Me Again/The Revealing Science Of God"; played on a grand piano), "Your Move" (on acoustic guitar), "Wonderous Stories" (on acoustic guitar), "Turn of the Century", "And You and I", "State of Independence" (these 3 all on MIDI-guitar), "Roundabout" (on acoustic guitar), "O'er" (a cappella). On the second night, the set was similar but with a few changes: "Yours is No Disgrace", "Long Distance Runaround", "Time and a Word", "Give Love Each Day", "Starship Trooper", "Italian Song", "Richard", "Sooner", "Buddha Song", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", piano medley, "I'll Find My Way Home", "Wonderous Stories", "Children of Light" excerpt (on MIDI-guitar), "Turn of the Century" (with switch from MIDI-guitar to acoustic guitar due to technical problems), "And You and I", "State of Independence"; encore: "Roundabout", "O'er". Sections of this second date were televised by Televesdre. The 14 Nov Sofia set list was largely the same as the opening night, but with "Richard" dropped, "Sweet Dreams" added (after "Your Move") and "And You and I" played earlier. Anderson also appeared on Bulgarian TV's "Slavi's Show" on 13 Nov, being interviewed and performing "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and "I'll Find My Way Home" with the show's Ku-Ku Band (YouTube clip). The Budapest show saw "Soon" and, as an encore, an abridged "Richard" (both on acoustic guitar) included. On 3 Dec (audience ~150), the set was "Yours is No Disgrace", "Long Distance Runaround", "Time and a Word" (reggae version), "Give Love Each Day", "Starship Trooper", "O'er", "Sooner", "Richard", "Wonderous Stories", "Owner of a Lonely Heart"; intermission; piano medley ("Set Sail/Close to the Edge/Marry Me Again/The Revealing Science of God"), "I'll Find My Way Home", "Sweet Dreams", "Soon", "And You and I", "Buddah Song", "Your Move", "State of Independance"; encore: "Roundabout".

Anderson hopes to start transmitting solo shows from his own studio, presumably over the Internet. He blogged in Jul 2007: "i hope to be transmitting shows from my studio in October [2007] [...] it will be fun , singing YES songs old and new....Jon & Vangelis songs....Andy/Waky [Anderson & Wakeman] songs.....talking about projects....the world news...singing new songs from ZAMRAN [see below]".

He was at a pair of events in the Netherlands in Mar 2007. The Classics in Rock 2007 show in Rotterdam saw various guest vocalists including Anderson. The house band was the SAS (Spike's All-Stars) Band consisting of Spike Edney (Queen; keys), Neil Murray (ex-National Health, ex-Whitesnake, ex-Black Sabbath; bass), John Marter (Fish; drums) and Jamie Moses (ex-Brian May, ex-The Pretenders; guitar), while a 32-piece orchestra, C.O.D.A., was also assembled. Anderson played "Long Distance Runaround" (Anderson on vocals and acoustic guitar plus Moses on acoustic guitar), "I've Seen All Good People" (with the full house band) and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (with orchestra). The other guest vocalists were Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple, ex-Black Sabbath), Chris Thompson (ex-Manfred Mann's Earth Band), John Waite (ex-Bad English, ex-The Babys) and Graham Bonnet (ex-Rainbow), while also appearing were Bert Heerink (Kayak), Floor Jansen (After Forever, Star One), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One), Dick Kemper (Vandenberg), Joost van den Broek (After Forever, Star One), Jos Zoomer (Vandenberg), Dany Lademacher (Herman Brood), Marcel Singor (Maxville) and Ted Oberg (Livin' Blues). The complete show was filmed for a DVD release.

The next day, Anderson did a workshop in Tilburg, organised by YesFocus. In the show "In His Own Words", Anderson explained how he writes and records his music, played some pieces and took questions from the audience. Songs played: "Yours is No Disgrace", "Long Distance Runaround", "Time and a Word", "Give Love Each Day", "Starship Trooper", "Buddah Song", "Nous Sommes du Soleil", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Piano Songs", "And You and I" (abbreviated version, with guitar played by Jaap, a member of the audience), "Sweet Dreams", "I've Seen All Good People", "Heart of the Sunrise" (abbreviated version, with acoustic guitar played by Pieter de Jongh, another member of the audience), "Turn of the Century", "Show Me", "Roundabout", encores: "Show Me" (reprise), "Soon". Another report suggests extracts were also played from "In the Presence of" and "The Meeting". Anderson sang and played acoustic guitar, except for "Piano Songs", on keys. At least some of the evening was filmed by Daniel Earnshaw. He explained (Mar 2007): "Recordings at the sound desk were made onto DAT and MD. I filmed the show with a single miniDV video camera on a tripod at the lighting desk. This is not a DVD shoot or anything. There are no immediate plans for these recordings. They were recorded as part on an ongoing effort to record/recover/catalog etc Jon's recordings. Jon now has the master DATs and I have the others."

Tour of the Universe—DVD, live album and tour
Several releases have come from Anderson's recent solo touring. Live from La La Land (OPIOVP02-CD) is a 2CD recording of a 2005 US solo show; tracks: CD1—"Long Distance Runaround", "Father Sky", "Yours is No Disgrace", "Richard", "Reggae Song" (presumably "You Lift Me Up"), "I'll Find My Way Home", "Buddha Song", "Piano Songs"; CD2—"Show Me", "Nous Sommes du Soleil", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Wonderous Stories", "Turn of the Century", "White Buffalo", "State of Independence", "And You and I", "Soon", "Your Move", "O'er", "Roundabout". On some Anderson/Wakeman live dates in 2006, this album was available, with different cover art, under the name SoloShowSongs in LaLa Land (Opio Media). It was then made available from Voiceprint just through a dedicated microsite and has now gone on general release (initially £6 cheaper, but the price was then put up to match the microsite price). Opio card members (obtainable on ordering The Lost Tapes) receive a discount through the microsite, although this discounted price was still £4:30 higher than the album's initial regular price.

Previously, there was a release called SoloShowSongs, a short CD-R of material recorded on the earlier European leg of the tour in 2005. This was available to buy at US and Japanese 2006 dates; Anderson implied it would also be made available from his website, but this did not happen. Tracks: "Richard" (credited to Anderson alone), "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Piano Songs" (by Anderson; consisting of "Set Sail", "Close to the Edge" (excerpt), "Who Could Imagine?", "The Revealing Science of God" (opening chant)), "Wonderous Stories". See details in YescographyAnderson also made some live songs ("This Is (Buddha Song)", "Soon", "Nous Sommes du Soleil") available on his MySpace page.

"Tour of the Universe" (Region 0, Classic Pictures Entertainment DVD7045X (PAL)/DVD7045XNTSC (NTSC)) was a live DVD recorded at XM radio during Anderson's one-man tour in 2004. Billed as a "concept DVD" mixing live footage and short films, tracks are "Harmony" (new song), "Father Sky" (new song), "Standing Still" (new song), "Bring on the Day" (new song), "You Lift Me Up" (new song), "Long Distance Runaround", "State of Independence" (from Jon & Vangelis' The Friends of Mr Cairo), "Set Sail" (new song), "Who Could Imagine?" (new song), "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)"(opening chant), "First Song" (previously unreleased), "Nous Sommes du Soleil", "O'er", "Show Me" (with previously recorded tapes of a children's choir and Wakeman on piano), "White Buffalo" (new song), "And You And I" (excerpt), "Change We Must" (Change We Must), "Harping" (new song), "Your Move", "Yours is No Disgrace" (excerpt), "This Is (Buddha Song)" (new song). There was an accompanying single out in Europe of "State of Independence"; tracks: "State of Independence", "You Lift Me Up" (first two tracks from the DVD), "Ying Tong Song" (cover of Goons song by Spike Milligan), "State of Independence" video.

[Support this website by buying "Tour of the Universe" and other releases through Amazon (US or UK): go to the Where Are They Now? Amazon listings page.]

Anderson has been using visual backdrops on his tours, including material by artist John S Banks. Those visuals appear on "Ritual Path", a new DVD from Banks, including a guest appearance by Anderson—see details below. Further live DVDs are planned. In an interview circa Apr 2006, Anderson said, "And now the show is developing so that this year [2006] I can do a whole new show. By the end of this year [2006] I'll record a new DVD of a totally new show." It's unclear whether this happened as planned. Talking further about the new songs he's played, Anderson continued, "Some of the new songs are based on a project that I am sort of slowly discovering over the next two or three years. I've written about five or six other songs this year [2006] - now I have about a dozen songs for next year [2007]. For the next five or six years I want to put together about four or five DVDs of new songs plus old Yes songs and songs of Vangelis that I've never actually done before and songs of Yes that I've never recorded before, which should be nice to do." As for where these DVDs will be recorded: "I'm going to do it here at home. I have my studio all ready to do it. [...] I'm actually going to try to do it on the Internet LIVE." A Mar 2006 article reported Anderson was archiving performances for future release. Anderson says, "We actually filmed a concert in Poland [probably the 11 Sep 2005 show], a concert in Paris and a concert in Brazil. They're all sitting here, but I haven't looked at them yet because there are so many things I gotta do!"

In a Feb 2004 Delicious Agony interview, Anderson talked about not recording his new songs on a studio album, but continuing to tour the new material and releasing a series of DVDs; he suggested then that it will take about three DVDs. In an interview later that month with Rockline, he spoke of having solo shows for the next five years planned and affirmed plans for DVDs thereof. Comments while on tour in Mar 2004 fit in with these ideas of no studio recordings, concentrating on touring and multiple DVD releases. "I think I'll release five DVDs over the next eight years," Anderson said in a Dec 2005 interview with Anil Prasad of Innerviews. "I have to space them 18 months apart to have the animation be created. The packages may contain both a DVD and a CD of the audio."

Studio solo work
In his most recent comments, Anderson has talked about dance music projects. In a Mar 2008 interview, Anderson said he is working on, according to the article, "various solo projects that incorporate trance and dance music." Another article the same month described him as "cooking up some dance music he plans on sending free of charge to clubs; working on an opera based on the Brazilian novel "The Alchemist"; and writing songs for an upcoming Yes album and tour." A third article that month says Anderson is "now creating a concerto for strings with arranger Bill Kirkpatrick" (this is distinct from his guitar concerto) and "a full-length work for choir and orchestra called For Children Yet to Come." Anderson is quoted: "I have some trance-dance music that I'm doing, and rap-hop which I wrote 18 years ago is coming through again." References to dance and trance may be to collaborations with Fritz Heede (see below) or Messertraum (see below). The choral and rap projects are described below.

Anderson has described various projects, including The Songs of Zamran, a sequel to Olias of Sunhillow covered in its own section below. The new songs played on Anderson's solo tours were associated with a possible album called The Big If. In the earliest reports, The Big If was called Solo Singing—Songs from the Spirit Game, seeming to be connected with plans for a computer game. By Jun 2003, Anderson had approx. 24 songs partly written for The Big If, including "The Big If", "Summerlight", "Tony and Me", "Those Days", "White Buffalo", "Tiger, Tiger", "This Is (Buddah Song)", "Don't Think Twice" and "Father Sky". ("Show Me", recorded by Yes, was also linked with The Big If.) Anderson has been working on these songs, performing (nearly all on MIDI guitar and keys), recording and producing the material on his own.

Visuals are important to the project(s). To quote Anderson (circa May 2003): "I want to create a very freeform album based entirely on a surround sound concept with video and strong imagery tied directly to the music. Movement is very important to music, and to the future of music." Early reports described an associated computer game with interactive music called "The Spirit Game", for which Anderson has been developing ideas for some years. He was working on the game with Sierra Studios (who did the game "Homeworld"), then put out a call for game developers to work on the project, but nothing more has been heard along those lines. More recent comments have not been clearly linked to discussion of The Big If: in an interview published Jan 2004, Anderson said, "I've also been working on the idea of creating a video game. I want to be in video games because it's the future of our world, in more ways than one". In the Dec 2005 interview by Anil Prasad, Anderson said, "I'm trying to build a framework of a video game because it's a way for young people to connect with what I'm doing." In a 2003 interview for iO Pages, Anderson said there was more to The Big If than just an album and referred to an associated computer game based on Olias's story (so, presumably, related to The Songs of Zamran).

"The Big If" material reportedly has some sort of theme running through what has been written already and future planned material, although the precise nature of that remains unclear. In an interview published in Jan 2004, Anderson described the album as being an hour long song cycle. Anderson has also talked about writing more autobiographical lyrics, like "Tony and Me" about his brother, while an Oct 2003 interview reports a slightly different slant:

His next solo album, Anderson says, will consist of long musical pieces with lyrics based on his observations of and relationship with the natural world.

"I think the lyrics I've been writing have been close to the first albums but more refined," he says. "I think that more than anything, I come from the hippie world of peace, love and forgiveness. [...] I'm working more in the spiritual sense of being."

The Songs of Zamran: The Son of Olias and other Olias-related projects
The Songs of Zamran is a project due in 2008 encompassing several planned releases, including CDs, a videogame and possibly DVDs. It is a sequel to Anderson's debut solo album, Olias of Sunhillow"I did an album some years ago called Olias of Sunhillow where I locked myself in the garage and learned all these instruments and created a solo album and I'm now back on that journey," Anderson said in a Dec 2005 interview with Anil Prasad of Innerviews. "It's called the Songs of Zamran: The Son of Olias. I've written the story, the concept, I'm working on the music [...] it'll take as long as it takes, but technically, the ammunition is coming through the MIDI guitar plus some of the modern electronic stuff." In Feb 2007, Anderson said to a fan that he has 3 hours of recordings for this project to go through, while at a Mar 2007 show, he said he was working on the project "right now" and that it would span about 5 CDs. In a blog entry in Jul 2007, Anderson wrote about live shows in Oct which would include "singing new songs from ZAMRAN, the videogame, which will be coming to you 2008,......"

The project involves multiple releases/elements. In a Jul 2005 interview for Get Ready to ROCK!, asked what he was currently up to, Anderson replied, inter alia, "working with this dude 'Chris at his Polish Animation company and A Canny dude in Scotland, and Brad in South Bend .....and this guy John Banks who is perfect for my stories etc.........all these guys are very happening in the Art world..a lot of this work is based on the next 'OLIAS' saga..." (Anderson has also been working on other projects with John S Banks; see below.) In a Dec 2005 interview for Delicious Agony, Anderson said he was working on "the next 40 minutes of new music, which is the beginning of maybe 6 episodes of the return of, not Olias, but the son of Olias, who's Zamran." In that interview, Anderson describes having written a story outline of about 20 pages. He again talked about working with animators on the project. Anderson put out a call on his website for animators: "Jon Anderson is seeking talented animators to help him with one of his upcoming solo projects, which he describes as a "return to Olias". If you are an animator capable of producing professional-quality 3D and graphics animation, this may be an opportunity to gain international exposure for your work." In the Jan 2005 Rockline interview, Anderson said he was working with six animators on a project, presumably the same one.

The relationship between 'The Big If' and The Songs of Zamran is complex. In a post to his MySpace page on 11 Aug 2006, Anderson said: "All this new work has been evolving for many years under the title, "the Big If". Eventually it will be known as, "The songs of Zamran". (Son of Olias)." However, other comments have suggested that 'The Big If' or elements of it have a separate existence to The Songs of Zamran. Anderson has long talked about a sequel to Olias of Sunhillow, both in the sense that Anderson is playing all the instruments again but also in terms of continuing the story. In an interview circa Mar 2005, Anderson said he had "just started" working on "Son of Olias" and that it would be ready in 2-3 years. In a Feb 2005 interview, Anderson said he's been working on the project for two months and that it will take "two or three years to finish it". In an Oct 2005 ProgRockRadio.com interview, Anderson said, "I'm starting next year with the second installment of that idea, so for the next two or three years I'll be doing sort of the Return of Olias and the Songs of Zamran, which is the son of Olias and the next step in the evolvement of the planet." (In reported remarks to a fan in 2004, Anderson described the Olias project as actually a prequel to Olias of Sunhillow, although that seems incompatible with the repeated references to a son for Olias.) In his Aug 2004 MSN Chat, Anderson said: "Today I'm working on trying very hard to piece together this large jigsaw puzzle of music that I've been working on for the last 10 years. It will become, hopefully, a DVD or a series of DVDs. It's a lot of music, it will happen. It's Olias' Return." In a late 2003 interview in iO Pages, Anderson said the project would not be finished for three years (so, 2006). He has also said that the album is planned as the first in an ongoing series and, in Jun 2003, "If I do it right, this project will just continue, and it'll be the next ten years or so of my life"; "In my head I can see and understand everything about this project and how the stories should be told, but to put it all down in the proper order is a challenge."

Interviews going back some years refer to this/these project(s). In one from around Oct 2001, Anderson said: "I've been working on this piece of music for a year now [...] I did [...] "Olias of Sunhillow" where I performed all the music, and I'm getting back to that place again." Asked whether this would represent a sequel to Olias..., he continued, "Yeah, I'm trying to figure it out as we speak. It has a lot to do with the mysticism that surrounds us. We're going to go through a period now, because of the Lord of the Rings movie coming out. There will be a lot of interest in the mysticism of life and things like that." In a NftE interview seemingly done in 1999, Anderson said: "I've been working on [a] project for a couple of years and that's going to be the next one. It's going to take me another year to fulfill what it is and figure it out and then I think I want to record everything myself, like the Olias album. I want to go back to that point in time and reinvent that whole idea of a pure solo album and do it that way."

Anderson is also collaborating with author Willow Polson to turn Olias of Sunhillow into a full-length fantasy novel. They are also considering the option of a graphic novel. Polson posted to Yesfans.com in Jul 2007 that, "Basically, I'll be the main author, but will be consulting with Jon at length to develop the details of the world and story he created [...] I will also be presenting this project to the major fantasy publishing houses at Comic-Con (San Diego) at the end of the month, so stay tuned for more info." She continued, "This will be a lengthy journey... don't look for an actual book you can hold and buy for probably 2 years. At least a year to write, maybe more, then the whole selling/editing/production process. We're hoping to get either Roger Dean [link] or David Fairbrother Roe for the cover art." (Roe (worked with Anne McCaffrey) did the artwork for the original album.)

Other solo projects
For Children Yet to Come for choir and orchestra, and a rap project
In a Mar 2008 interview, Anderson said, "I'm very interested in theater and have been writing operas and theatrical pieces over the past 25 years. I'm getting them finished slowly but surely -- they're part of my life experience and they will eventually come through." Another article that month says Anderson is "now creating a concerto for strings with arranger Bill Kirkpatrick [...] and a full-length work for choir and orchestra called For Children Yet to Come." Anderson is quoted: "I have some trance-dance music that I'm doing, and rap-hop which I wrote 18 years ago is coming through again." A Jul 2007 call for collaborators describes choral projects and a "rap opera", but details are sparse. Anderson has previously referred to a "rap opera" with son Damion. In the 2003 iO Pages interview, he refers to the "rap opera" as something written a decade ago but to be released "soon". Asked in an Apr 2007 interview about other projects, Anderson spoke about choral work:
Over Christmas [2006], the Mormon Tabernacle Choir [link] sang a song of mine from an album called "Change We Must," which I did with the London Chamber Orchestra. The guy that actually conducts and does the orchestration for the choir asked me if I would be interested in writing something, and it turns out I've had this piece of music for about 20 years and it's about singing to the children to come. Singing to the souls of the children in heaven who are gonna come and wake us up and make us realize how beautiful life truly is.
I presume this is the project since called "For Children Yet to Come".

Beijing Olympics/Chinese music project
Anderson may be involved with doing music for the Beijing Olympics this year; one report said he was invited on to the project by Zhang Yimou, who is co-directing the opening ceremony. In the Mar 2007 De Telegraaf interview, he talked about singing at the opening ceremony (on 8 Aug 2008), while at a show the same month, he said he was composing some songs for the occasion. However, Yes are touring this year in Jul/Aug and have a show that day, so presumably Anderson will not be there. It was reported that a member of the California Guitar Trio (who have been working with Anderson—see below) said in 2006 that Anderson's next project was going to be Chinese music; and, over many years, Anderson has talked about the possibility of doing Chinese music and/or recording with a Chinese orchestra. We can speculate there will probably be a Chinese influence to any work for the Beijing Olympics, but I have seen nothing linking these projects, and it is not clear how far plans may have progressed on the Chinese music project.

Chagall and First Born
Anderson is planning to release "Chagall", his musical about the artist, possibly in a newly recorded version, as well as another piece he wrote around the same time called "First Born". "First Born" is a project about Daphne Charters' (1910-1991) experiences with fairies. In an Oct 2005 interview with Progressive Rock Radio, he said of "Chagall", "I created a sort of musical interpretation of his life. I should finish it! I know that a demo of the project got [bootlegged] I'm thinking of putting it out as it was originally recorded and finished 18 years ago [which would seem to be in the form that has been bootlegged] [...] and then take it on the road as a new version. I'll probably release it next Spring [2006] and then hopefully [in 2007] I'd love to do a one-man show of the idea and that takes a lot of work." In a Dec 2005 interview for Delicious Agony
, he talked of working on a "better quality production" of "Chagall" for 2006, but that he was seeking the required permission from Chagall's estate. Prior reports suggested it had undergone significant changes from the version widely bootlegged. In the Dec interview, Anderson talked of another piece of music, called "First Born", and then continued, "There's Uzlot. There's about four or five different albums that have never got out there. So over the next couple of years, we're to release them, slowly, so people can build up a sort of library [of his music]." In the Dec 2005 interview with Anil Prasad of Innerviews, Anderson spoke more about "Chagall" and "First Born":

When I hit 60 I thought "I really gotta get stuff finished." I have the Chagall project which has never been projected onstage. I finished the recording 15 years ago and someone bootlegged it. Now, I'm thinking of putting out the correct version of it in 2006, along with another work I did at the same time which was about the fairy kingdom—the devic world—called First Born. The Fairies of the devic world are the interdimensional light beings that surround us and our world. We live in a world where they say there are eight specific dimensions and we're living in the third dimension, moving into the fourth. The fairies and devic beings are moving from the fourth dimension to the fifth. What's helping us move from the third to the fourth is computer-laser energy, as it would happen.
In an interview circa Apr 2006, Anderson said, "I just sent out a CD today to a company about a musical that I've worked on for years, so I've got many different ideas." I presume this is a reference to "Chagall" or possibly "First Born". In an interview in the May issue of Exposé, Anderson said:
I'm going to put that ["Chagall"] out too. I never wanted it to come out, but it's already out there bootlegged. A very bad copy was stolen from my studio so I'm going to put that out along with [...] a sort of children's fairy tale about a musical kingdom. It's kind of beautiful, funny and a little quirky. I'm going to put that out at the same time.
Yet further projects
In May 2004, Anderson did a live orchestral show ('Symphonic Song Cycle - An Evening with Jon Anderson') with Cleveland's 90-piece Contemporary Youth Orchestra, which was announced as forthcoming on DVD. "I did a show with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra [...] and we're going to make it into a DVD," Anderson said in a Dec 2005 interview with Anil Prasad of Innerviews. "We didn't film it great, but it's not a bad idea to release. They played amazingly and I sang pretty good. The visuals aren't so fantastic, but it'll be a DVD so people can see and hear what was happening—or just hear it if they want to."

On 3 Mar 2008, in an interview on Michael Smerconish's Philadelphia radio show, Anderson talks about doing an opera about Hillary and Bill Clinton, although it is unclear how he serious he was.

Anderson has been working on a number of other solo projects, but details remain sketchy and it is unclear how different reports and projects interrelate; Record Collector (Jan 2002): "Anderson revealed that he has no fewer than five album projects on the back burner". It is also known that Anderson wrote and recorded with guitarist/producer Robin Crow an album's worth of material in sessions finishing mid-Jan 2001. Crow brought in Phil Keaggy to record acoustic guitar parts for either 4 or 6 songs (reports vary) on the project. On a 2004 DVD (Keaggy's "Philly Live"), Crow describes the project as "mostly myself and Jon Anderson... It's mostly just a simple album with acoustic guitar and his vocal." Neal Williams, Keaggy's archivist, wrote in Jan 2002: "I think they are just waiting on Robin and Jon to get it finished! I haven't heard the tracks Philly played on, but he is very pleased with the sessions." In Jul 2002, Anderson said that he hoped to eventually release this album, but that there was so much else that he wanted to work on and put out first. In Dec 2002, someone from robincrow.com reported that there was no release date for the project. A late 2003 interview with iO Pages suggested that his next solo album would be a piano and vocals album some time in 2004. Anderson was quoted in Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza in Oct 2001 as saying that he would be releasing a rock solo album in 2002. However, in Record Collector (Jan 2002), he talked of his "next" solo album as being recorded with the London Chamber Orchestra. I remain unclear on how all these relate to each other. As The Big If-related projects are recorded by Anderson alone, they appear to be distinct from the 2002 Record Collector report or the Anderson/Crow project. The rock style reported by Gazeta Wyborcza suggests a different project to Record Collector's with the London Chamber Orchestra. However, the rock album of Gazeta Wyborcza could refer to the Anderson/Crow project. The piano and vocals album might possibly tie in with the London Chamber Orchestra album. Anderson's tendency to talk about projects at early stages of development should be kept in mind. A more recent report describes an unfinished Anderson project from some years back of material in a "rock and roll style", including the song "Sweet Religion", which was performed live in solo shows in 1993.

Anderson and Rick Wakeman are working together as a duo. An album is expected and they toured the UK in 2006 with a set list including new material, but mostly based on Yes songs. See details here. A Jun 2006 report said that Anderson had been writing together with Trevor Rabin. A Jun 2007 report had Anderson and Peter Banks in contact. For both stories, see details on main page.

With the School of Rock All-Stars
Anderson has been back performing with Paul Green's School of Rock All-Stars. There was a short north-eastern US tour in early Mar. The 9 Mar Fairfield show has been re-scheduled as Anderson pulled out due to ill health (see discussion above). He was recovered and able to return to the tour for the 10 Mar show. A new set of 28 All-Stars includes Dave Maruzzella (team captain, drums), Emmett Butler (keys), Devin Calderin (keys), Jenny Founds (keys, guitar, vocals), Jeremy Savo (guitar), Max King (guitar), Dan Murphy (guitar), Gina Gleason (guitar), Ramsey Modiri (guitar), Ronnie Disimone (guitar), Natalie Butts (guitar, vocals). Green described the set list, saying it "will feature some deep YES tracks that Jon has not sung on stage in many years". The 7 Mar set was: (approximate order) [SPOILERS—highlight to read] "Siberian Khatru" (with Gleason on guitar), "Going for the One" (with Founds on vocals)—first two were without Anderson—"Roundabout", "Every Little Thing", "Magnification" (with Butts on guitar and additional vocals), "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "I've Seen All Good People", "Long Distance Runaround"—Anderson then left the stage—"the fish", "Clap", "Discipline" (originally by King Crimson), "Long Time Gone" (originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), "Mood for a Day" (played as a guitar duet by Disimone and Modiri)—Anderson returned—"And You and I", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Starship Trooper". This was broadly typical of the tour, but there was some variation across performances. The opening night (4 Mar) included "Mood for a Day", "Siberian Khatru", "Roundabout", "Heart of the Sunrise", "And You and I", "Sweet Dreams", "Every Little Thing", "Discipline", "I've Seen All Good People", "Long Distance Runaround/the fish", "Wonderous Stories", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Going for the One" (with Founds on vocals), "Starship Trooper", "Magnification", "Sooner" (new Anderson solo song debuted last year), "Time and a Word" (reggae version), "Good Times, Bad Times" (originally by Led Zeppelin) and two further songs by The Beatles (including one from Abbey Road). The 10 Mar set was: "Siberian Khatru", "Roundabout", "Every Little Thing", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Magnification", "Long Distance Runaround", "the fish", "Long Time Gone", "Going for the One", "Mood for a Day", "I've Seen All Good People", "And You And I", "Heart of the Sunrise". Anderson also performed solo later that month in Canada and some of those shows included members of the All-Stars—see above. Four southern California dates followed 6-10 Apr. On the second of these shows, the All-Stars played without Anderson "Highway Star", "The Real Me" (originally by The Who), "Frankenstein", "Mood for a Day" and "Clap". With Anderson, the set included "Yours is No Disgrace" (the opener), "I've Seen All Good People", "Roundabout", "South Side of the Sky", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Long Distance Runaround/the fish", "Perpetual Change", "Every Little Thing" and "Starship Trooper" (the closer). Jade Anderson attended at least one of the Apr shows. In a 3 Mar radio interview, Anderson said the All-Stars would also be opening for Yes on their Jul/Aug North American tour, and joining the band on stage for two songs, although it is unclear whether this will now happen—see details on main page.

The All-Stars with Anderson did one north-east US tour in Feb 2007 and another in Apr, "playing the music of Yes". The first tour was with the "Alphas", the Philadelphia school All-Stars, while the Apr tour was with the "Omegas", the New York school. Anderson and the All-Stars (which group, I don't know) performed at the Farm Sanctuary Gala 2007 in Sep in Los Angeles, CA. The gala raised money for the farm animal protection organisation Farm Sanctuary. Anderson and the All-Stars also played at an Oscars party on 24 Feb 2008, hosted by Children Uniting Nations and Billboard Magazine.

A typical set list on the Apr 2007 east coast tour was "Perpetual Change", "I've Seen All Good People", "Long Distance Runaround", "the fish" (without Anderson), "My Old School" (originally by Steely Dan; without Anderson), "Clap" (without Anderson), a rock guitar tune (without Anderson), "Mustang Sally" (without Anderson), " And You and I", "Starship Trooper", "Give Love Each Day", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Survival" (Anderson sharing vocals), "Got to Get You Into My Life" (originally by The Beatles; Anderson on backing vocals and tambourine), "You Never Give Me Your Money" (originally by The Beatles; Anderson on backing vocals), "Mood for a Day" (without Anderson), "All I Want" (originally by Joni Mitchell; without Anderson), new song which Anderson wrote circa 1990 (Anderson sharing vocals), "Close to the Edge", "Roundabout". The All-Stars include Zach Tonorio-Miller (Shadow Circus; keys), Zach Page (guitar), Sarah Zimmerman, Max Bowman and a horn section. (Alan White was in the audience for the 18 Apr show.) On 20-21 Apr, Anderson and the All-Stars did two free shows in New York City as part of the Earth Day celebration. Their set list on 20 Apr was "Travelling Riverside Blues" (originally by Led Zeppelin; without Anderson), "Give Love Each Day", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Long Distance Runaround/the fish", "Starship Trooper", "Roundabout". The Feb 2007 tour (and the 24 Apr date, a holdover from the cancelled 14 Feb show) were with the Philadelphia school and had a substantially different set list.

Anderson sang "Heart of the Sunrise" on the soundtrack album for the documentary film "Rock School" (Trillion Records) about the school and at the film's première. Songs were recorded with pupils and "Heart of the Sunrise" was also rehearsed by pupils in the film.

With Fritz Heede and John S Banks
Anderson is collaborating with composer Fritz Heede and artist John S Banks. Banks has previously worked with Anderson, including visuals for his solo touring, and those visuals appear on a new DVD, now out, by Banks and Heede: "Ritual Path" (Artek Images, distr. Koch Entertainment). Music on the DVD is by Heede; Anderson wrote lyrics for and sings on one track ("Come By (Waterfall Ascent/Descent)", dur. 4:08), used for the short film "Ascent/Descent". The DVD contains 10 tracks of images to music and an additional 14 environmental loops, all in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. About an hour long, it is a sequel to Heede and Banks' "Illuminated Manuscripts" DVD. An accompanying 14-track soundtrack CD (Aeon of Horus Music/Magical Eye Records) by Heede is now out. The other vocalists on the project are Heede's wife Nijole Sparkis (singing and co-writing plus loops, on 3 pieces), kaRIN (Collide) and Molly Pasutti (worked with Spock's Beard).

Heede and Anderson have co-written an album, going under the working title of Trance-scendent Dance, with Heede (guitars, piano, sitar, electronics, vocals), Anderson (layered vocal rhythms), Gilbert Levy (ethnic percussion), Suzanne Teng (native flutes), Terry Glenny (violin), Sparkis (choral background singing, vocal arrangements, engineering and possibly some songwriting), Pasutti (choral background singing). Heede described the album to me as "The album will not be traditional trance music (rave) ... it is much more sophisticated. It is groove-based so it will have a natural uninterrupted flow. The songs develop over long arches with Jon sing[ing] a dozen or so layers of pulsing rhythmic chants." The album, with at least four tracks, is due around spring 2008. An accompanying DVD in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound is also planned. This is presumably the project(s) Anderson first mentioned in 2004: in his MSN Chat of Aug that year, he talked about 'trance' music, but seemingly in the context of a Yes project (see under Yes news), while in an interview from circa May 2004, he said:

I was talking to a guy an hour ago about a project I've had in my head all summer [...] I'm getting into trance music [...] Not rave but trance. [...] I can hear and I just don't know how to play it but I know what it is [...] it's going to be very exotic and it's going to be transforming and transcendental. [...] I heard about this great music from India that lasts seven days. I love that, that it would last so long. And I start thinking, that's what I should do!
Heede, Anderson and an engineer were expected to be mixing it in Jan 2008. Previously, in Aug 2007, Heede wrote: "Last may I finished mixing my version of the tra[n]ce album. Jon and I then brought in Jamie Dunlap [worked on "South Park"; link] to work on remix versions with more young "hip" dance grooves. Jamie has done some very exciting re[n]ditions [...] We are now looking at an early 2008, possibly spring release for this project!"

Anderson has also talked about JS Banks' visual in connection with his Olias sequel project—see above for details—while in an Aug 2006 post to his website, Heede says, "I'm spending the next few weeks on a little side project with him [Anderson] that I'm not at liberty to discuss right now".

Calls for collaborators
In 2006 and 2007, Anderson's websites requested submissions from people interest in collaborating with him. The first, in Aug 2006, read, "Jon Anderson is looking for fresh talent! Specifically, he seeks Symphonic and World Music keyboard players and orchestrators to contribute to an array of musical projects he is planning." In Jul 2007, Anderson announced on his webpage:

A while back, we posted a message calling on keyboard players to contact us if they were interested in collaborating with Jon. The response was tremendous, and as a result Jon is currently working with a number of excellent musicians on some exciting new musical projects.

Jon [...] is now inviting additional "Symphonic and World Music keyboard players and orchestrators" to submit samples of their work for possible collaboration.

Jon has also started work on three large-scale choral projects and a work he calls a "rap opera", so he has expanded his search to talented choral singers and rap producers as well!

In an interview for the May/Jun 2007 issue of the Classic Rock Society magazine, Anderson talked about the results of the first call:

I was lucky that in November last year I put an advert on my website, 'Keyboard players wanted.' I finished up with 15 really good keyboard players and am now working with somebody in Switzerland, somebody in Italy, somebody in France, somebody in Canada, 3 or 4 guys in the USA, couple of great guys in England. One guy called Neil Campbell [link; MySpace page] and we're writing a large piece of music and it is kind of beautiful because he spoke to me one day about when he was 16 and he discovered Tales... I said, 'How old are you now?' He said, '33.' I said, 'My God, you were not even born when we did that!' He's a beautiful musician and we are working on something all about inventions. It's very cosmic music. He's actually playing in Liverpool with a young orchestra and choir; he's just running through it to see how it sounds. It's quite a fun project.

Anderson has also been working with Stephen Layton (ex-The Expression). They have now worked together on over 35 songs, including "Shine Shine Deliverance" (on streaming audio at Layton's MySpace page), which Anderson has performed with the School of Rock All-Stars and which he has said he would like to release as a single.

Another of the successful respondents was keyboardist Sorin Voinea (Nicu Alifantis' Zan, ex-Paula Seling, ex-Iris). On his MySpace page, Sorin writes:

In 2006 I was amongst the lucky winners of a web-contest held by Jon, requesting musicians and orchestrators.
So now we're involved together in a vast array of musical projects (it's a long story, really).
I'll post some new tracks when I'll get the approval from Jon & the publishers.
Right now you can listen "The Shape of Things to Come", a track that (for sure) initially had completely other purposes, but Jon kindly co-written and then wrote those beautiful lyrics!
Well... we're both so happy that we can work together and in short time you'll see some "wonderous stories" around!

"The Shape of Things to Come" was an instrumental Voinea had written for Zan, to which Anderson has added lyrics and vocals.

With composer Peter Machajdík
Anderson has also been working with composer Peter Machajdík. They have collaborated on the 10-minute piece "Sadness of Flowing", to be released on Machajdík's album Namah, due Jun 2008; an extract can be heard on Machajdík's MySpace page. "Sadness of Flowing" is based on a 2002 composition of Machajdík's called "Flowing Into the Unknown" (available on his album Flowing Into the Unknown), with lyrics and vocals added by Anderson. Namah will also include various chamber music compositions: "Namah" for string orchestra, piano pieces, a piece for solo cimbalon with Enikő Ginzery, a harp piece with Floraleda Sacchi, a piece with David Moss, and a string quartet piece.

With Glass Hammer
Anderson guests as an additional vocalist on 2 tracks of Culture of Ascent (Arion Records), the new album from Glass Hammer, now out, and is collaborating further with the band. (Their MySpace page and official website have previews from the album. Anderson can be heard on the second sampler on their MySpace page.) The band consists of Fred Schendel (keys, programming, acoustic guitar, string arrangements, backing vocals), Steve Babb (bass guitar, keys, percussion, harp, programming, backing vocals), Carl Groves (Salem Hill; lead vocals), Susie Bogdanowicz (lead vocals), Matt Mendians (drums), David Wallimann (electric guitars), Rebecca James (violin), Susan Whitacre (viola) and Rachel Beckmann ('cello), while Eric Parker (acoustic guitar) and the Adonia String Trio (arranged by Schendel) also appear. Tracks: "South Side of the Sky" (9:24, cover of the Yes song with a new intro by the band; lead vocals by Bogdanowicz, backing vocals by Anderson), "Sun Song" (9:33), "Life by Light" (7:29; lead vocals by Groves, also with Anderson), "Ember Without Name" (16:33; lead vocals by Groves), "Into Thin Air" (19:14), "Rest" (6:30; lead vocals by Groves). The album has a running theme around Mt. Everest and mountaineering. Babb explained to DPRP, "Jon has been sharing musical ideas with us for a couple of years now, and we’ve kept very quiet about it all. Lucky for us, the first things to come from this exchange will be on our new album!" Glass Hammer collaborator Bethany Warren said the following in an interview circa Mar 2007:

Fred [Schendel] and Steve [Babb] are BFFs (best friends forever, those that don't know) with Jon Anderson. Well, I'm probably reaching with that statement. But Steve paid a lil' visit to Jon (the two spent plenty of time in the studio talking about music), and the three have been talking for a few years now. Both Steve and Fred are writing with Jon - there are several works they are joint producing as well, from what I've gathered. Jon is something of a big fan of GH work, and the respect is obviously mutual. Both GH guys are huge fans of the work of Yes and Anderson.
In an Oct 2007 interview, Babb was asked how they got in touch with Anderson:

We both, along with Roger Dean, worked with the same promotions company who put us all in touch. From that point forward, it was handled as an exchange of musical ideas via the internet. Last fall I was invited out to Jon’s home and studio in California where we had the chance to talk more in depth about musical ideas. We are currently working with him on some of his newer music, and he was only to gracious to add his talent to our current work.

With the California Guitar Trio
"Concerto Uno", also known as "Concerto for Four Guitars and Voice", is a piece by Anderson developed in collaboration with the California Guitar Trio (CGT). The concerto (or concertino) originated as part of Anderson's "Chagall" project, entitled "Paris Dance". It may or may not also be the piece described some while before as "Concerto Tre", following on from "Concerto Uno" (a different piece despite the same name) and "Concerto Due" on Earthmotherearth, but written before them. Paul Richards of the CGT described their first meeting with Anderson in his online diary (8 Dec 2004): "Jon got his classical guitar and began playing through all 3 movements of his guitar concerto. Jon strummed his guitar and sang various melodies, explaining that he wanted the CGT to help him embellish on his basic form. [...] we then listened to a CD that he had recorded of all the basic parts played by Jon on guitar and Synclavier synthesizer." An earlier report said the piece was about 12 minutes long. The California Symphony Orchestra with the CGT premièred an orchestral arrangement of the first movement (arrangement by Stan Funicelli (worked with CGT)) in May 2006 as part of a larger programme; Anderson was not present at the shows. The version with the CSO and more recent CGT performances are in the key of D major, whereas the piece was previously in C# major. The orchestral debut of the first movement (in May 2006) was about 6 minutes long: in the programme notes, Anderson writes that another two movements are "in the works". He was said to be considering adding vocals to the concerto's second movement. In an interview circa Apr 2006, Anderson said the CGT and himself have "three movements done now so we're on the fourth movement." The CGT played the first movement of the concerto live on tour in 2005-6 (some early 2005 dates were with Tony Levin or Levin and Pat Mastelotto (both King Crimson)), as well as their version of "Heart of the Sunrise". Live at the Boulder Theatre (CGT Direct Collectors Series Volume 3) is a live CGT show with Levin including a performance of the first movement, available as a download to buy from the CGT Direct store. In an interview, Richards described the piece thus:

I think it sounds very much like Jon Anderson wrote the music but it does have some Spanish-style influences. If it does eventually become a full-blown concerto I think it will be quite interesting to hear. It’s really in its bare essence, maybe it’s more like a sonata at this point but it has some of those wonderful melodies that Jon is known for.

Anderson had said he would like to write more with the CGT. "Heart of the Sunrise" has been part of the CGT's repetoire since prior to their collaboration with Anderson and, at Anderson's suggestion, they learnt some other Yes pieces and have since played "Long Distance Runaround" live. Bert Lams of the CGT wrote of a Jul 2005 meeting (diary, 13 Jul 2005): "Jon casually played us a few songs and idea's accompanied on his midi guitar; we brought our guitars in and rehearsed the first two movements of Jon's guitar concerto, and an acoustic arrangement of "Long distance runaround" [already by then played live] [...] Tomorrow we will do some recording." Richards' diary (15 Jul 2005) describes developing the guitar concerto and their arrangement of "Long Distance Runaround" and then recording both. It is unclear whether these recordings are for release or demos. At a Mar 2006 live CGT show, Richards said that the CGT and Anderson are planning further live and studio work together. In a Feb 2008 interview, Richards said:

We have been doing some collaboration with [...] Anderson. He has some music he has invited us to work on and thats kind of another project that I hope wi[ll] come to light at some point. Its a bit tricky with his schedule and our schedule. I just spoke to him a few days ago and he invited us to his house in southern California to work in the studio he has at his home.

The CGT with Levin played a set at a previous NAMM convention and Anderson joined them for performances of "Heart of the Sunrise" (Anderson on vocals) and (without Levin) the first movement of his concerto (Anderson on guitar and vocals). Anderson, the California Guitar Trio and Levin performed at the Quebec City Summer Festival in Jul 2006, opening for sets by Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman and then Wakeman's Return to the Centre of the Earth—details are on the main page, here. The CGT with Levin and Mastelotto are opening for Yes at the 2008 Festival on 12 Jul (details here).

With Messertraum and Deborah Anderson
Messertraum (Messertraum Music) is a song-based electronic EP from Andreas Dietrich Allen (Bloodshot Sounds production company, ROCAsound production company, ex-Outside, worked with Sting, David Sylvian, The Dandy Warhols) and Sebastian Arocha-Morton (ROCAsound, worked with Sting, Counting Crows, Enrique Iglesias, Chaka Khan) featuring several guest vocalists, namely Jon Anderson, his daughter Deborah Anderson, J.B. Eckl (ex-Outside, worked with Santana), Andrew Thomas, Mink and Vikter Duplaix. Jon and Deborah duet on "The Key" (duration 4:27), available as streaming audio on Deborah's MySpace page and recorded early 2006. Further tracks include "Run", "Messertraum" and "Tonite"; these four tracks can be heard on the Messertraum MySpace page. "The Key" was written by Allen, Arocha-Morton and the two Andersons. The EP is complete and expected in 2008.

Further collaborations
Anderson has been writing with John Young (ex-Asia, ex-John Wetton, ex-Fish, ex-The Scorpions). Young said in his MySpace blog on 24 Aug 2007:

now I can officially say that Jon Anderson and myself are writing together albeit a somewhat long distance affair as Jon has been in Hawaii whilst I soldier on in darkest Bucks. (Isn't e-mail a wunnerful thing).
The results are most enjoyable and I hope that it won't be too long before we can share them with the outside world. It's a great pleasure to work with Jon and I hope the experience will be fruitful for us both.
The first fruit of their collaboration is "Sooner", still a work in progress but which Anderson is singing on his current European solo tour—see above. Young blogged on 19 Nov 2007 that "hopefully other tracks will gradually see the light of day over the coming months." Anderson wrote the lyrics to "Sooner", while the music was a collaboration.

Christophe Lebled (MySpace page) is working on several tracks with Anderson for a future project, again collaborating over the Internet.

Keyboardist Max Hunt (Tantalus, Fish, ex-Fragile) is working with Anderson on a project. On his MySpace blog, Hunt blogged in Nov 2007, "Work is currently continuing on a project with YES frontman Jon Anderson via email. We should have more news on this project soon." In Sep 2007, Fragile's MySpace blog reported, "Max Hunt has been in touch with Jon Anderson regarding a new project that Jon is planning. Max is currently collaborating with Jon on the early demo stages of the planned project."

Uzlot is an album project that Anderson has been working on with Brian Chatton (ex-Warriors, ex-Jackson Heights), which has been several years in the making now. The music is reportedly composed by Chatton. Sessions took place in the early nineties—with Stuart Hamm (bass), Chris Squire (bass), Alan White (drums), Keith Heffner (ex-Jon Anderson; keys) et al.—and 8 songs were recorded. (Luis Perez (ex-Jon Anderson; percussion) was also reportedly to be involved, but it is unclear whether he actually was.)

Anderson has written lyrics for Festival of Dreams, a 'funk-rock' opera by actor Sherman Hemsley. In an interview (Mar 2003), Hemsley said, "I write music [...] The show would be a monster, but I can't get anyone to take it seriously, because they only see me as George Jefferson. We're trying to get it going. All we need is one producer." In another (30 Mar 2003), he said, "Jon's taking the music I've written and [is] putting it into 15-minute segments. We've been trying to get this thing happening for three years now" and was reported to be trying to get Anderson to Atlantic City for rehearsals on 6 Apr 2003. In comments to a fan in Oct 2005, Hemsley said that he had not talked to Anderson "in a while" and that "not much happening right now," but that he was "still really looking forward to it coming out."

Anderson remains in contact with Kitaro and would like to work further with him. He declined a guest appearance at a live show by Kitaro in mid-2006, but suggested to him they do another project together.

Guest appearances
Anderson guested on Excalibur II: The Celtic Ring (a.k.a. Excalibur II: L'Anneau des Celtes; Babaika Productions/EMI; Excalibur trilogy MySpace page) from Alan Simon (ex-Roger Hodgson). Tracks: "Celtic Ring" (with Alan Parsons), "Lugh" (with John Wetton (Asia, ex-King Crimson), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) on electric guitar and John Helliwell (Supertramp)), "Tuatha de Danan" (with Flook), "Circle of Life" (with vocals by Jon Anderson and saxophone by Helliwell; composed by Simon with minor amendments by Anderson), "Girl and the Demon" (with Karan Casey), "De L'Autre Côté" (with Merzhin), "Dragon Breath" (with Helliwell, Barre and Flook), "Secret Garden" (with Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span)), "Pilgrims" (with Fairport Convention), "Brennan Mac Finn" (with Flook), "Sacrifice" (with Jacqui McShee's Pentangle and Andreas Vollenweider on electric harp), "Earth and Sky" (with Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues)), "Ombre et Lumière" (Carlos Núñez on flute and pipes and Dan Ar Braz on electric guitar), "Call" (with Barclay James Harvest feat. Les Holroyd), "Anywynn" (with Didier Squiban on piano), "Celtic Heart (Kelc'h Unan & Daou)" (with Hayward), "Celtic Heart (Kelc'h Tri)" (with Bagad de Saint-Nazaire). In all, 120 musicians played on the album; other guests include Dave Pegg (ex-Jethro Tull; bass, mandolin), Richard Palmer-James (ex-King Crimson, ex-Supertramp; mandolin), Jeremy Spencer (ex-Fleetwood Mac; slide guitar) and Cillian Vallely (on Uillean pipes). Simon plays acoustic and electric guitar, flute, keys and dulcimer and contributes backing vocals. The album also features the City of Prague Symphonic Orchestra (conducted by Mario Clemens). The album is available in a regular version or an edition (possibly limited) with a bonus DVD of "Making of Excalibur II" (Anderson appears in the video, at work and talking about the project). "Circle of Life" with Anderson was also the debut single from the album. There were live dates in France, but without Anderson's involvement.

Dream Theater's Systematic Chaos includes a piece entitled "Repentance", part of the Alcoholics Anonymous suite that has unfolded over the band's last four albums. The middle section of the song includes apologies (although some words are difficult to make out) spoken by 11 well-known musicians. Anderson is sixth; others appearing include Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Steve Vai, Steve Hogarth (Marillion), Joe Satriani, Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard).

The Lost Tapes
The Lost Tapes (Voiceprint) is an 8CD box set, now out, and also a planned, future series of releases, largely consisting of previously unreleased (live and studio) recordings from throughout Anderson's solo career, but also including some previously released but rare (out of print) material. As with Rick Wakeman's Treasure Chest, a box set, The Lost Tapes, was released first with the individual albums now being made available separately (except for two CDs that will remain exclusive to the box set). Unlike Treasure Chest, further archival releases in the series are also planned (about 2-3 per year was originally said to be the plan, but this schedule has slipped) with the initial box having room for 20 albums in all.

The project, with Anderson's full co-operation and endorsement, is co-ordinated by (long-time friend of this webpage) Daniel Earnshaw. The Lost Tapes is only available through a dedicated websiteThose buying the box set get an Opio member's card, giving some discount on future releases. Sound restoration on the box set was by Mike Pietrini (worked with The Syn, Thijs Van Leer) and artwork by Mark Wilkinson (worked with Marillion, Judas Priest, Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes). See details in Yescography.

Earnshaw and Anderson are trying to track down further archival material and have made this appeal:

Since 1969, Jon has recorded many music sessions especially for radio stations.

Sadly, these radio stations (even the BBC!) often neglected to archive these unique performances.

Did you record any of Jon's musical radio sessions (playing solo and/or with others) ?

If you still have your off-air recordings (or even masters!) please get in touch here !

(Notes : We have the bootlegs, and its not interviews we're interested in, but the radio studio performances you may have recorded.. Don't presume what you have isn't of interest - please get in touch !)

A free sampler CD was made available through the website too while stocks lasted: the first pressing ran out, but Voiceprint pressed a new batch which have now gone out, initially to those previously signed up. Tracks:
  1. "Hold You in My Arms" (from album 5, Watching the Flags That Fly)
  2. "The Meaning of Your Love" (from album 3, Searching for the Songs)
  3. "Eireland" (from album 6, The Lost Tapes of Opio)
  4. "And You and I" (from album 2, The Mother's Day Concert)
  5. "Song of Seven" (from album 4, Live in Sheffield 1980)
The initial box contains 7 albums, albums 1-6 and album 20, which makes 8 CDs (album 4 is two CDs). Album 1, Interview, will remain exclusive to the box set and is an interview of about 40 minutes in length with Anderson conducted on the Anderson/Wakeman tour by Jon Kirkman. Album 2 is The Mother's Day Concert, a 1996 live show with a 6-piece band, including David Tolley (co-wrote material on Change We Must; keys), Keith Heffner (ex-Kitaro, played on Toltec and Angels Embrace; keys) and Kevin Dickey (engineer on Toltec and In Elven Lands; bass), and various guests. A choir (including Jon's daughter Jade Anderson, Jane Luttenberger (Jon's wife) and Jane's sister) sang on some pieces. See details in Yescography. The standalone release (JAVPBX02CD) is out. Album 3 is Searching for the Songs, a collection of pieces recorded in 1986, some of which were developed for later projects. This material has been bootlegged as Preparation for the Songs, but this disc has been taken from a significantly better audio source. See details in Yescography. The standalone release (JAVPBX03CD) is out.

Album 4 is 2 CDs: Jon Anderson with the New Life Band, Live in Sheffield 1980, taken from the tour in support of Song of Seven plus further material from rehearsals. The band were Dick Morrisey (ex-IF, ex-Jon & Vangelis, ex-Peter Gabriel; sax, flute), Ronnie Leahy (ex-Jack Bruce; keys), John Giblin (ex-Brand X, ex-Peter Gabriel; bass), Barry De Souza (ex-Rupert Hine; drums), Joe Partridge (ex-Phil Collins; guitar), Les Davidson (Sniff 'n' the Tears; guitar), Chris Rainbow (ex-The Alan Parsons Project; keys, percussion, backing vocals), Morris Pert (ex-Brand X, ex-Peter Gabriel; percussion, synths). See details in Yescography. The standalone release (JAVPBX04CD) is out. Album 5 is Watching the Flags That Fly, a set of studio recordings from 1990 intended as work towards a second ABWH album. This material has been bootlegged on We Make Believe but is here in better sound quality. See details in Yescography. The standalone release (JAVPBX05CD) is out. Album 6 is The Lost Tapes of Opio, an instrumental album recorded in 1989 that had a limited cassette-only release in 1996. The last track is with Ernie Longwalker. All profits from this CD will be donated to UNICEF. Tracks (this running order reflects that of Anderson's original DAT, which was changed for the prior cassette-only release):

  1. "Release" (27:24)
  2. "Homage to Sun Ra" (9:36)
  3. "Miraval" (8:21)
  4. "Eireland" (7:40)
  5. "Opio Symphony" (8:55)
  6. "Longwalker Speaks" (17:36)
Album 20 is Binaural in Boston, a binaural recording of a show from Anderson's 2005 US tour. This disc will remain exclusive to the box set. See details in Yescography.

Details of albums 7-19 have not been determined yet, but both live and studio material is planned. Live material from the 1982 Animation tour was not in the initial release because of difficulties in locating a high-quality audio source, but it remains planned that a later release in the series will cover that tour. King Biscuit Flower Hour have multitrack recordings of a full show and, in Dec 2006, Earnshaw said he was in negotiation with them. The series may also include a CD and DVD of 1993's The Best of South America. In an interview published in the May issue of Exposé, Anderson described the content: "a lot of different stuff that was [...] bootlegged. Plus [...] a lot of other stuff that was just sitting around. I have so much unreleased music at home and I'm not sure why. It's just that there is no avenue for certain music."

Anderson revealed more in an interview for the May/Jun 2007 issue of the Classic Rock Society magazine: "I'm designing a piano works. You might remember I had an accident a couple of years ago [...] so I spent a lot of time making piano pieces and got this guy called Jeremy [...] he's transcribing all the music for me and that'll come out next year as part of the box set." The article continues:

There are 2 or 3 things sent to Jon from South America to consider along with [...] some recordings that Jon did in a cave in Southern China. "I was singing in to the cave and it was so beautiful, I just sang doing Opionian which is my secret language. So that will be on another CD. It's like singing to the Divine out there."

In Mar 2008, in a post to Yesfans.com, Earnshaw said, "I'm 100% commited to future volumes of the box set, and have done some work on future ones. Jon and I spoke about this just before he went on tour, and I'm itching to work more on it." In a subsequent post to Yesfans.com, Earnshaw continued:

I did do work on 2 box set volumes in 2007, hopefully further work will lead to them being released.

Jon is involved in a multitude of ventures, we all know about all the collaborations over the Internet and touring for example, and in 2007 it just worked out that no box set releases happened. Just the way it goes I guess !

Solo re-releases
Further to the box set, Anderson and Earnshaw have been trying to get all of Anderson's solo albums back into print (The More You Know having been the only one in print). Olias of Sunhillow and Song of Seven have been re-released by Wounded Bird Records, as has Alan White's Ramshackled on which Anderson guests—details here. The cassette-only release The Lost Tapes of Opio has received a CD release within The Lost Tapes box set (see immediately above). "In 2006, a lot of stuff has got to come out from the old times," Anderson said in another Dec 2005 interview (with Anil Prasad of Innerviews).

Voiceprint are re-releasing 3 Ships, Toltec and The Promise Ring. 3 Ships (OPIOVP03CD) is now available from a dedicated microsite. Billed as a "22nd Anniversay Edition", the album has an altered cover design, has been remastered and comes with 5 bonus songs; tracks:

1. Give Hope (bonus track: previously unreleased new song, previously on streaming audio as "Give Hope 2007" on Anderson's MySpace pagesee above)
2. Save All Your Love
3. Easier Said Than Done
4. Three Ships
5. Candle Song (bonus track)
6. Forest of Fire
7. Ding Dong Merrily on High
8. Hurry Home (bonus track)
9. Save All Your Love (Reprise)
10. The Holly and the Ivy
11. Day of Days
12. Ave Verum (bonus track)
13. 2,000 Years
14. Where Were You?
15. Oh Holy Night
16. How It Hits You
17. Jingle Bells
18. Ray Of Hope (bonus track: previously unreleased new song)

Apart from the insertion of the bonus tracks, the listing is otherwise in the same order as for the original release. (I am unclear how the new version handles the previous segue between "Three Ships" and "Forest of Fire".) A number of errors have been reported in the printed lyrics on the CD booklet. The 3 previously released bonus tracks are from other Anderson solo albums: "Candle Song" and "Hurry Home" from Change We Must and "Ave Verum" from Toltec. There was also a limited edition deluxe edition of 500 copies with 5 Christmas cards based on watercolours by Anderson, with one signed by Anderson; these have now sold out. The original paintings for these will be auctioned on eBay to raise money for UNICEF. (Coincidentally, Chris Squire's versions of "Three Ships" and "Ding Dong Merrily on High" are on his Christmas album Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, being released around the same time.) Toltec and The Promise Ring are due 2008. Toltec (OPIOVP05CD) is now out and comes with two bonus tracks: "Longwalker Speaks" (17 minute version, probably the same as "Longwalker Speaks" on The Lost Tapes of Opio) and "True Horizon". The Promise Ring is expected not long afterwards. Pietrini did the mastering for 3 Ships and presumably the other two re-releases.

Voiceprint/Opio Media have also given Animation (originally released in 1982) its first ever release on CD (OPIOVP01CD). It includes two bonus tracks: "The Spell" (11:40; previously unreleased, a.k.a. "Twins" and known on bootlegs as two tracks, "Child of the Lord"/"Two Old Ladies", although the released version is slightly different to the boot) and the b-side "Spider" (2:51). The executive producer for the re-release is Voiceprint's Rob Ayling; mastering and additional audio work on "The Spell" were by Mike Pietrini (worked with The Syn, Thijs Van Leer). Although original master tapes of the album exist, they were not used for this release. The CD (apart from the bonus tracks) was mastered from a vinyl transfer and there have been howls of protest from fans at its poor audio quality. A Japanese paper-sleeve release of the album followed on Arcangelo (ARC7190) using CDs printed by Voiceprint. These appear to be a second printing using a different and improved mastering of the album. If you look at the data side of the CD, on the inside rim, the small print says OPIOVPCD01 01 for the first printing but OPIOVPCD01 02 on the Arcangelo release. This (presumed) second printing is also now being used for stock direct from Voiceprint in the UK, although distributors still seem to have 01 stock. The improved second printing is of uncertain source: it is may still be a vinyl transfer, but some feel differently. While there is agreement in reviews that it is an improvement on the first printing, opinion varies as to how much of an improvement. MSI Music were re-releasing the album on 19 Feb. This seems to be the Voiceprint version again, presumably the second mastering.

Other news
Anderson has been negotiating for the release of a book of his paintings and lyrics. He was a judge in the 2007 Winery Music Awards competition.

On 3 Mar 2008, in an interview on Michael Smerconish's Philadelphia radio show, Anderson appears to come out in support of the Democrats for the 2008 US Presidential election.

On to Chris Squire news
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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Anderson & Wakeman
Circa: (with White,
Kaye & Sherwood)
Oliver Wakeman
Others associated with the band

Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.