On The Bridge You Were Burning

Preview 3 MP3s:

A short essay derived in part from the CD’s liner notes:

On this album, as on my CD Songs of William Blake, I offer original musical interpretations of some of my favourite Romantic-period poems.  Setting music to immortal lines written by the likes of Byron, Keats, and Shelley can be a humbling experience for a mere mortal songwriter.  But in another sense it is all too easy to engage musically with the work of these great nineteenth-century poets; after all, they aren’t alive to critique my performances!  Writing songs with Cardiff poet Grahame Davies has, therefore, been a very different experience.  Unlike Byron, Keats, and Shelley, Grahame invited me to set his poems to music, and he has received my melodies with the generosity and kindness of a friend.

As for the four songs on the album for which I also wrote the lyrics, three of them are tributes to artists whose work I admire. “The Ballad of Roxana” is loosely based on the scandalous plot of Daniel Defoe’s 1724 novel Roxana; “Long Way to Paradise” borrows sacred themes and images from famous poems by John Milton and William Blake; and “Mona Lisa” is a love song not very well disguised as a meditation on Leonardo da Vinci’s most celebrated painting.  While the CD’s title track, “On the Bridge You Were Burning,” doesn’t consciously evoke any great works of art or literature, it attempts to bring some new life to a well-worn metaphor.

Musically, this album’s brightest highlights belong to the critically acclaimed musicians assembled to perform on it: Gary Breit (keyboards), Al Cross (drums), Sahra Featherstone (harp and violin), Jason Fowler (guitars), George Koller and Joe Phillips (double bass). Cameo appearances by the amazing Hugh Marsh (who plays violin on “La Belle Dame sans Merci” and “Stanzas for Music”) and John Showman (who plays fiddle on “The Ballad of Roxana”) provide some of the CD’s finest musical moments.

On the Bridge You Were Burning song list

All music by Kevin Hutchings © 2009. SOCAN.
(Author of words noted in brackets below each song)

  1. On the Bridge You Were Burning 4:06
    (Kevin Hutchings)
  2. So We’ll Go No More a Roving 3:08
    (George Gordon, Lord Byron)
  3. She Walks in Beauty 4:51
    (George Gordon, Lord Byron)
  4. The Ballad of Roxana 4:14
    (Kevin Hutchings)
  5. Midwinter 4:15
    (Grahame Davies)
  6. When a Man Hath No Freedom to Fight for at Home 2:42
    (George Gordon, Lord Byron)
  7. La Belle Dame sans Merci 6:52
    (John Keats)
  8. The Indian Serenade 3:46
    (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
  9. Benediction 4:12
    (Grahame Davies)
  10. Mona Lisa 5:03
    (Kevin Hutchings)
  11. Stanzas for Music 4:28
    (George Gordon, Lord Byron)
  12. Long Way to Paradise 4:52
    (Kevin Hutchings)

Total time: 51:30

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