Ken Edwards: Songbook
Published September 2009
Paperback, 116pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
This book, spanning two decades of work, contains songs that have never been and never will be sung; anti-lyric and narrative poems for which a musical equivalent has been constructed; and text written specifically for musical purposes.
'Lyrical Ballets', 'Songs of the Permanent Way' and 'Six Songs of the Children of Abraham' are sets of free compositions somewhat inspired by Blake without imitating his procedures. By contrast, 'Chaconne' follows a strict prosodic scheme; Bach and Coltrane are the mentors here, but the sequence also remembers the lost music of mediaeval Spain. 'There's something in there . . .' is a libretto for a 30-minute piece for voice, piano and electronics, commissioned and performed by the pianist and composer John Tilbury. And 'Red: Narrative Poem', presented here both as text and score, and written in memory of the writer Kathy Acker, is a mini-opera for solo vocalist and flute.
The volume is completed with scores composed by Elaine Edwards of settings of three poems from Ken Edwards' earlier book eight + six.
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