Bee Meru

Musical projects come in all shapes and sizes; Bee Meru’s Merusalem is certainly one of the more adventurous undertakings that have been submitted to us. The project was orchestrated by Swanage, Dorset resident Billy Merrick who regular readers may remember as a key member of local band Saturday Sun. The album has been two years in the making and was inspired mostly on a four-month wilderness expedition in the mountains of Northern Italy. Billy has hand-picked a collection of eclectic musicians to bring the right textures and flavours to the recordings. He even also travelled to La Palma on the Canary Islands specifically to record with flute virtuoso Yozef Sedmak. Originally they had 10 days to record all the flute parts. During this time the quarantine of the Coronavirus began when he arrived, this resulted in them having more than enough time to record everything they wanted and for Billy it meant an extended stay in a local cave.

Bee Meru

The album name was inspired by the literary work of William Blake used the term Jerusalem to describe some astral land that was superimposed over ‘average consciousness’ – a place that was always present yet somehow obscured from our eyes. Though when the veil lifts in those moments where we see the world with fresh eyes; when we finally arrive to see the infinite relations in all things, then we get to arrive in the city of Jerusalem.. For Billy this metaphor grew into some vision of how he wanted the album to be. Billy explained “I realised who I wanted to play with and how I wanted it all, but the parameters of space and time would not let that be available. Instead, they were stitched over the top of each other, with each musician guided or with me having to get out the way each step of the way. The end result is a collection of songs which have all the musicians playing together, but in some dimensions which are more imaginary than physical and …. they are playing together … in fact, the musicians were so sensitive in most cases that it really depended who put what down first to determine that movement of the song. In the end, the songs were something way beyond my own capabilities of imagination; they grew and became a life force which kept me warm, inspired me and I’m very happy it went that way. So we have built the imaginary scene of Merusalem; now I wish it would transcend into physical space and this is the only way it is possible really, otherwise people just don’t believe in the vision”.

The sixteen-track album is described by the creators as folk meets rock meets trance, clearly having a host of different influences and inspirations. Billy explains “I have been making albums/recording with various projects over the past ten years. Some of the recordings have flourished; some of the songs have been used at milestone periods of people’s lives, and some are listened to regularly and some not as much. I’m very happy to provide people with music which can transcend the stories of the day; good music is raw, pure energy. It is my soul food”.

At one hour 29 minutes long it is not a record you can casually listen to, a good set of speakers or some quality headphones are needed to get the very best out of what’s been created here. It has all been very carefully constructed with a deep passion; with the 16 songs being just part of a bigger picture, with many pieces of music being discarded along the way to get to this point. It seems that Billy has been on his own spiritual journey of discovery, to find the sounds that he has had in his head and transferring them to record. The very backbone of the record features the delightful and sometimes soothing vocals, which at times in variants reminds me a little of Waterboy Mike Scott. This is coupled with some exquisite acoustic guitar work that weaves its way in and out of each song working together beautifully, with the added Jack Cullimore’s orchestral strings and Yozef Sedmak’s flute. With so much going on in the world at this time, it a record that you can totally immerse yourself in; taking you away to far off isolated locations to be at one with yourself. It transcends expectation bringing something that reaches inside Billy’s soul, showing he is a very competent musician with huge abilities.

Side One
Cum For Love
Shadow Wanderer
I Love You So
Way Above the Chair

Side Two
Morning Before Morning
Helping Giants

Side Three
Tomorrow for Today
Come the Good Beast
I Was Not Alone
Air Before Storm

Side Four
Settling Away from Romans
Sultan Sultana
Love of the World
Hidden Track

Album Contributers
Louis Alberry: Guitar/Mandola
Michael Alberry: Drums/Harmonica/Piano
Jack Cullimore: Orchestral Strings/Mixing
Yozef Sedmak: Flute
Alec Harrison: Bass/Vocals

The album is to be released on Vinyl, CD and digitally as part of a kickstarter project on 17th September; if you wish to help Billy with the release of the record click the Kickstarter Link here.


Words by David Chinery (Chinners).

Bee Meru

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