Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron by Eric Andersen

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John Etherington
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron by Eric Andersen

Postby John Etherington » Wed May 24, 2017 2:51 am

Here's my review, which I posted on Amazon UK tonight:

In September 2015, I had the good fortune to attend a trial performance of Eric Andersen’s musical tribute to Lord Byron, at London’s intimate Green Note café. Here, he was joined by his violin accompanist Michele Gazich. This performance preceded an unveiling of the work, the following day at Lord Byron's ancestral home in Nottingham. Eric imbued the project with such a depth of feeling and integrity that I sensed he had a true affinity with the renowned poet. Uncannily, it seemed that it was his destiny to put Lord Byron’s poems into a contemporary musical setting.

Now, in the spring of 2017, the great work is finally released, and it exceeds my already high expectations. The content, production and musicianship on this album are all of the highest calibre. Included are: There Be None of Beauty’s Daughters, Song To Augusta, She Walks in Beauty, Farewell to a Lady, Childe Harold’s Farewell, Darkness, Mingle With the Universe (Ocean), and Maid of Athens. Also included are two songs of Eric Andersen’s that detail events in Byron’s life; Hail to the Curled Darling and Albion (Byron on the Waves) plus a lyric excerpt, Fifty Times and Taqsim (a stunning instrumental). The CD includes two additional tracks, the excellent When We Two Parted, and So We’ll Go No More a Roving. Eric’s adaption of the latter is different and more up-tempo to earlier musical versions of the poem by the Persian singer Shusha and Eric’s friend Leonard Cohen.

Full credit must be given to all of the musicians who contributed to this remarkable work, including Eric’s wife, Inge who sings backup harmonies throughout, and Giorgio Curcetti, who contributes some wonderful oud playing. The CD is beautifully presented in a colour fold-out sleeve which includes photos of Eric and his musicians, and (on the back) a picture of Lord Byron. Also included is an informative booklet with detailed information and clearly printed lyrics.
Last edited by John Etherington on Thu May 25, 2017 2:28 am, edited 10 times in total.
John Etherington
Posts: 2540
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron by Eric Andersen

Postby John Etherington » Wed May 24, 2017 2:55 am

As a taster, here's a video of the title track performed live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duIH3VoDKiE
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Joe Way
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Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron by Eric Andersen

Postby Joe Way » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:03 am

John,
I just acquired this terrific cd-it is beyond excellent!

I've been an Eric Andersen fan since my teenage years about the same time as I became a fan of Leonard. I highly recommend this recording-I've only listened to it twice (and once was in the car at too low a volume) but it is clearly an exceptional work. You were very fortunate to have experienced it live.

The presence of the oud makes me feel that Leonard (along with his version of "So We'll Go No More a Roving" had some influence on Eric's take on Lord Byron's poetry. It is indeed, a beautiful presentation with the cd brochure.

We are fortunate to have witnessed Eric's long career also.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
John Etherington
Posts: 2540
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron by Eric Andersen

Postby John Etherington » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:48 pm

Hi Joe,

I'm pleased to hear that you appreciate Eric's great album. I've no doubt that Eric's use of an oud player was influenced by Leonard, and Eric often wears a similar fedora to Leonard. However, the sleeve notes for Eric's "Violets of Dawn" compilation claim that Eric's song of the same name helped to inspire Leonard to put poetry to music. Also, as I've mentioned here before, the back cover of Eric's "Cologne Concert" album (2011) is remarkably similar to the cover of Leonard's "Old Ideas" (2012).

All good things, John E

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