Friday, February 15, 2013

Sailing To Byzantium

First heard some tracks from this album on RTE Lyric fm, including poems read by Gabriel Byrne. While I liked his readings - he has a fabulous voice - I reacted negatively to Christine Tobin's arrangements. The album is her concept. She sings Yeats's poems in a kind of 50s jazzy lounge music style, breaking out from time to time into modern and even experimental jazz. I was a tad horrified. Shouldn't the poems be sung to traditional Irish at best or tunes like Moore's Melodies at worst? Then I remembered my initial reaction to Kate Bush. I have my own theory of aesthetic philosophy that anything truly original or unique causes automatic aversion and even revulsion. It's animal instinct. The hackles rise at the unknown; it could be dangerous. So I bought the album. The more I've played it, the more I admire and enjoy it. You can go on her website and have a listen: Highly recommended.