Tyger and Other Tales

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Wuthering Heights

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

DAVID KRONEMYER:

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North

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Love

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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The Passionate Shepherd To His Love

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Coming soon!

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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud/Daffodils

March 27th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

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La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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She Walks in Beauty

March 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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Coming soon!

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Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover Being upon the Sea

October 14th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

DAVID KRONEMYER:

Old editions of poetry books are interesting because they anthologize poems that frequently are omitted from modern editions. Sometimes these poems are better than their successors. Furthermore, in their selections, these musty volumes encapsulate the mood of their times – like old history books, in a way, that tell you more about the time in which they were written, than the time they purport to be about.

These were the thoughts I had one day as I perused the Oxford Book of English Verse edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, circa 1900. It was there I first encountered “Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover Being upon the Sea.” It struck me then, as it does now, as being one of the most evocative poems I’ve ever read. As such, it was a natural fit for Tyger and Other Tales, the English Romantic poetry project.

My primary intention was to create a mood against which the beautiful lyrics might be understood, like Sandy Denny does so well with “On the Banks of the Nile” from the Fotheringay album. Krysia achieved a crystalline, almost bell-like tone that perfectly elicits their sad pathos. Furthermore, the labyrinthine ins-and-outs of the vocal arrangement is solely to her credit. I had recorded guitars, bass, keyboards, etc., but nothing prepared me for what she came up with in the studio. Afterwards, I went back and re-did most of the mix, adding and subtracting elements to try and achieve the best accompaniment, in order to showcase her remarkable work – in my view, this may be the best track she ever recorded.

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Ozymandias

October 2nd, 2007 · No Comments · Uncategorized

DAVID KRONEMYER:

“Ozymandias” is hands-down the best poem in the English language. Pithy, concise, sardonic, ironic, expressive – whatever your mode of discourse, it’s got it covered. It therefore was a natural for the “Tyger and Other Tales” project. The arrangement is supposed to be evocative, suggesting a desert caravan at first, but struggling and then surging into something more powerful. We had to syncopate the phrasing a little bit, in order to make the words fit with the arrangement, and vice versa. What I mainly remember is that it was complex to record, with at least 72 channels of stuff happening, probably more with returns. Krysia’s beautiful singing has just the right measure of world-weariness, resignation, defiance and pathos.

Napoleon viewing the Sphinx; contemplating his mortality.

Napoleon at the Sphinx

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The Lady of Shalott

June 3rd, 2007 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Lady of Shalott painting

DAVID KRONEMYER: “The Lady of Shalott” is a Victorian poem by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892). It recasts Arthurian subject matter, loosely based on medieval sources, and takes up themes that would become more fully realized in “Idylls of the King” (Wikipedia).

I was mesmerized by this poem back in high school (circa 1968-1970), and set it to music. Originally I arranged it for 12-string guitar and wind quintet, comprising oboe; clarinet; French horn; English horn; and bassoon. I resurrected and revised the arrangement in 1996 for the album Tyger and Other Tales.

In the meanwhile, of course, Loreena McKennitt came out with her lovely version, on The Visit (1991). There was some discussion if recording this arrangement somehow might be seen as derogating from the beauty of hers. They’re so different, eventually we decided not to worry about it.

Krysia’s beautiful singing – controlled, yet emotive and powerful – has the power to make me weep. Listen and judge for yourself:

The painting, of course, is John William Waterhouse’s eloquent, ethereal, evocative, imaginative, fantastical vision. It dates from 1888, so it’s contemporary with Tennyson’s poem.  It actually was the cover for Tyger and Other Tales, used under license from the Tate Gallery, London, England, where I have spent many happy hours viewing it.

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Tyger

April 6th, 2007 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

DAVID KRONEMYER: Back when I was in high school, I had an idea, which was to take some English romantic poetry, and set it to music. Yes, we were so much younger then. I worked the whole thing up, but then, due to the pressures of other events, set it aside. My daughter Lauren avows the only music I played during her childhood was chord changes from its various songs, over and over again; in fact, she probably would attest, I knew no other chords! I don’t think that’s so, but it illustrates the lovely way in which reflection distills and then crystallizes impressions, to the exclusion of all other data.

About two decades later, I decided the time was right to finish it. I enlisted the help of my friend Leslie Chew, a brilliant producer-engineer, who recorded and mixed the project. After a few false starts, my friend Steve Chapman (who played drums for Al Stewart, and now manages Peter White) recommended Krysia Kristianne. Krysia immediately got what I was trying to accomplish, and the project never would have happened without her beautiful voice and vocal arrangements. I pretty much did everything else, with assistance from other friends who played various instruments on various tracks.

The project was distributed in the U.S. and internationally by JVC Records, while they still were in existence, that is. I can remember walking into Virgin Records in Manhattan and seeing an entire window display for it – as anybody who knows will tell you, a somewhat surreal experience. I’ve been wondering if there was anything else that could be done with it, when I remembered this new-fangled Internet thing as a way of distributing music. So, I resolved, from time to time, to post tracks from it, for your pleasure and enjoyment, such as it may be.

The first track is “Tyger” by William Blake.

Here’s the song:

And here are the lyrics (illustrated by Mr. Blake himself):
Tyger

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