The contents of this compilation CD is selected from several of Robin Williamson´s earlier solo albums released on Pig´s Whisker Music and on GottDiscs.|
The pieces cover a wide spectre of this Celtic Bard´s storytelling, harp playing and incredible voice talent, so fascinating both to the ear and the mind of the listener and very much echoing from his years with the Incredible Stringband. Robin Williamson will keep up your attention for more than 78 minutes and when you return from this musical and fantasy journey you will be a richer person indeed.
All instruments (with one exception in one song) are played by the multi-master himself and Scottish harp tunes from 16th Century are mixed with the personalities of Williamson´s own material - all with the Celtic harp as a central voice.
All music and text by Robin Williamson
You need Real Audio to listen to this: Scotland Yet
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In the 'they don't make them like that anymore' stakes, Robin Williamson has carved a considerable–sized niche all of his own. Founder of Sixties' psych-folk pioneers The Incredible String Band and subsequently the short-lived The Merry Band, Williamson has ploughed a distinctively idiosyncratic path (and, for those with a penchant for it, a curiously attractive one to boot) since releasing his first solo album half a lifetime ago in 1971.
This compilation, on the Swedish Gason label, recycles material from earlier live, studio and compilation albums to offer a distinctive introduction to Williamson's many solo incarnations as a modern-day Celtic bard.
It starts with the nine-minute epic, Love Letter To My Wife Bina, a tale of cider-drinking, the Santa Fe freight train and falling in love, and ends with the Wagnerian expanse of the 15-minute-long Voyage Of Mael Duinn, a reading of heroic derring-do accompanied by an evocative combination of keyboards, jew's harp, sound effects and harp.
The harp is at the genetic core of Williamson's post-Incredible String Band musical identity, and it features here on all but one of the 18 tracks. This gives the proceedings a tonal unity, characterised by a delicate but dancing beauty. That's not to say that everything sounds the same - quite the contrary. The growling, heavy-hanging percussion accompaniment in Lady Macbeth throws the harp into unsettlingly dramatic relief while in the compact but meandering On The Way To The Cathedral, the simple purity of the harp provides a welcome counterpoint to the secret rapture of the lyrics.
It's the miniature pieces that capture the imagination. Where the gnomically titled Leslie's Joog manages to be simultaneously elegant and jaunty, The Lady And The Book offers up a compelling, nightmare-tinged narrative underlined by Williamson's pointed vocal delivery, and sweetly offset by his no less deliberate way with the harp.
For sheer individuality of conception and execution, Williamson's seductive psychedelia-tinged pastoralism has no equals, with one proviso: although it's not comparing like with like, one can't help thinking, and favourably so, of the lyric-centred Clifford T Ward and the lyric-free Andrew Cronshaw throughout this very agreeable album.
Those who know Robin Williamson will already have this album on their radar. For those who don’t, it offers a splendid introduction to a rare talent. Eccentric he may be, but he does so make you wish that there were more people making music as rough-hewn, richly executed and abidingly resonant as that on offer here.
Bizarre but strangely beautiful. File under: unique "
http://www.discovery-records.com/UK: "Exclusive compilation by the Swedish Gason label of material by Scottish folk legend Robin Williamson, founder of the Incredible String Band (way back in the 1960s) and for many decades a touring, recording multi-instrumentalist, Celtic harpist, singer & storyteller - as well as participating in several ISB reunion projects.
The contents of this compilation CD are selected from original Robin Williamson solo albums released between 1988 and 2002, including : “Ten of Songs”, “Dream Journals 1966-76”, “Music for Macbeth”, “Songs for the Calendarium”, “Ring Dance”, “Songs of Love & Parting”, “The Island of the Strong Door”, and “Gems of Celtic Story vol.2”.
The pieces cover the wide spectrum of Williamson’s incredible vocal & songwriting talent, harp playing and storytelling - with all instruments (with one exception in one song) played by the master himself and with Scottish harp tunes from 16th Century mixed with his own unique material - all with the Celtic harp as a central voice.
A fascinating 78 minutes of musical magic - an ideal introduction to Robin Williamson’s post-ISB work and an intriguing anthology, with several relatively rare tracks, for already-converted followers and fans."
|01||Love Letter To My Wife Bina (vocal and harp)||9´00|
|02||Scotland Yet (reading, harp and keyboards)||5´24|
|03||On The Way To The Cathedral (vocal and harp)||2´46|
|04||Verses At Ellesmere (vocal and harps)||3´45|
|05||Verses At Powis (vocal, harps, percussion, keyboards)||3´43|
|06||Lady Macbeth (harp, percussion)||4´06|
|07||The Forming Of Blodeuwedd (voices)||1´13|
|08||Gwydion´s Dream (harp, guitar, percussion, bagpipes)||1´57|
|09||Song Of Mabon (vocals, reading, flutes, whistles, harp)||5´44|
|10||Leslie´s Joog (harp)||1´48|
|11||The Lady With The Book (reading, vocal, harp)||4´01|
|12||My Lady Balclughe´s Ayre (harp)||3´29|
|13||Late In The Evening (vocal, harp, flutes)||4´09|
|14||Nou Let Us Sing (harp)||2´30|
|15||Return No More (vocals, shawns, whistle, accordion, harp)||5´43|
|17||Verses In Stewart Street (vocal and harp)||2´03|
|18||The Voyage Of Mael Duinn (reading, vocals, harp, percussion)||14´36|
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