This summer I plan to record a music album that focuses on the Otherworld. My own personal work has led me down this path for the last year or so, and now I would like to try and use the inspiration to convey some of the beauty and enchantment that I have experienced when working with the Otherworld, the Fair Folk, Faery.
I plan to take a break this year from writing books, as I have just finished and submitted my manuscript for Hedge Druid with Llewellyn Worldwide. I’d like to use other people’s words for a while, and let them speak through me in this new venture. So, I aim to look to old poetry such as Thomas the Rhymer and La Belle Dame Sans Merci, to weave a collection of stories in musical form that honour and portray the Otherworld.
What are some of your favourites? What would you like to see put to music? Please do leave a comment!
Artwork: Amy Brown
Joanna, I discovered your work and website very serendipitously a few days ago, and it spoke to me immediately… Thank you for the beauty you bring, including the Amy Brown illustration here! As for setting poetry to music: how about W.B. Yeats? Such rich gems there, too many to pick just one… Blessings and warmth, Lara
Hi Lara! Thank you for your kind words 🙂 Yes, I am mining the rich vein that is Yeats! Which to choose, which to choose…
Your mention of Thomas the Rhymer (Child #37) brings to my mind some other Child ballads. My particular favourites are King Orfeo (Child #19) and The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry (Child #113). Archie Fisher does fantastic versions of both on his LP King Orfeo, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbMbaRTCmJg&list=PL19A4C34FD6766D77 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3IxtqNiBvY&list=PL19A4C34FD6766D77&index=7 respectively) using a much better tune to the Silkie, in my opinion, than the 1950s one that Joan Baez recorded.
(I’ve made up some songs myself (https://soundcloud.com/gwionssongs/tracks) many based on myths, particularly inspired by the Mabinogion. I rarely get to sing those out though as they’re a bit too long and obscure (leaving aside their questionable inherent artistic merit) for the usual folk clubs and sessions I get to!)
That’s brilliant! Thanks, Steve! x