In the midst of the stream of poetry that usually fills these posts I thought I’d pause to tell you all about a new venture in which I’m involved. My good Friends Steve Bell, Roy Salmond, and David Jennings have cooked up a plan for me to record an album combining my songs and poetry together in a single new work. the record will be called Songs and Sonnets. It will contain a new suite of songs together with new recordings of some favourites like The Green Man and Angels Unawares, but these will be interleaved with professional quality recordings of me reading a number of my poems, including many from my forthcoming book Parable and Paradox.
Uniquely these recordings will also include some versions of the poems with musical accompaniment and also with instrumentals by Steve Bell linking together some of the poetry sequences. I have already done my part of the recording in a series of wonderful sessions at Roy Salmond’s Whitewater Studio in British Columbia. Now Roy and Steve are bringing together a great group of professional musicians, design artists, and others to produce the final album and master it in the studio. In order to do this they need to raise some funds so that the musicians and others get properly paid and the whole record is produced to the highest possible standard. They have set up a crowdfunding Page here, and we have put together an entertaining video on that page to explain the whole project.
I am very honoured and moved that they have wanted to do this and taken the risks involved. In all the years I’ve run this blog I have always wanted everything on it to be free and will continue to keep everything here free, so I have never appealed for funds myself. But if you have enjoy these pages and make use of the poetry here, perhaps you could click the link and take a look at Steve And Roy’s Gofundme page and perhaps watch the video, If you feel able to share the link, or better still support the project in anyway I would be very grateful and so would they.
As a little sample of what’s to come, here are the lyrics of one of the new songs ‘Eyrie’ and a recording of an early ‘rough cut’ of the song to give you a glimpse of a little of what it might sound like on the finished record. I wrote this song in Durham North Carolina when I was artist in residence at duke University. I was staying high up in a little ‘eyrie’ in the attic of an old house and I composed the song very late one night on a guitar borrowed from a friend whilst I watched a patch of moonlight, which poured in from the skylight above, making its way in bright reflections across the floor. I hope you enjoy it.
High in my eyrie in North Carolina
I take up your tender guitar
I’m thinking of home and all that I’ve left there
And maybe I’ve travelled too far
The skylight is open, the moonlight is brimming
And waltzing its way cross the floor
My body is aching and wants to be sleeping
but my spirit is asking for more
High in my eyrie in North Carolina
I’m singing a song to the moon
And maybe it’s too late to learn from her waning
Or maybe it’s really too soon
I’ve travelled the low road and watched it unravel
I’m giving the high road a try
I’ll follow that highway and see where it leads me
And keep the bright moon in my eye
The heart is wide open, the true life is brimming
And yearning to come flowing through
I lay down my burden and walk to the well head
And drink and then bring some to you
I traveled the low road and watched it unravel
But now on the high road I roam
The long road, the straight road the old road the true road
The road that’ll lead me back home
I’m high in my eyrie in North Carolina
And soon I’ll return your guitar
It gave me this song and it brought me your blessing
I’ll hear it one day from afar
The skylight is open, the skyway is waiting
It’s time for this man to take flight
When you touch your guitar and it sings through your fingers
Give thanks for a song in the night
I’m down from my eyrie in North Carolina
And out through the ways of the world
And I’m leaving my love with the moon at the window
Hung high in the night like a pearl.