For the final hour of this week’s “Neptune Currents,” we’ll be hearing musical arrangements and renditions of William Blake’s poems. Some of it is related to ambient/electronic music; some of it is a bit farther afield. William Blake (1757-1827) was an illustrator, engraver, and philosophical writer, as well as a great poet. Some of his poems have inspired songs (and even whole conceptual suites) in both the classical and popular music realms. For more information on William Blake’s influence on contemporary popular culture, see this Wikipedia page (scroll down a ways for information specifically about music).

Below is the playlist of the final portion of my broadcast (2/6/2011), a sort of tribute to the words, alchemical artistry, and ideas of William Blake. Notations in square brackets [ ] indicate from which William Blake work the words were sourced, in cases where it’s not obvious. (e.g. “Tyger” by Tangerine Dream obviously is based on William Blake’s poem of the same title.)

1. U2 — “Beautiful Ghost / Introduction to Songs of Experience” (3:52) — bonus track to The Joshua Tree
2. Tangerine Dream — “Tyger” (5:47) — Tyger
3. Tangerine Dream — “London” (~5:00) (~1st half) — Tyger
4. Loreena McKennitt — “Lullaby” (4:26) — Elemental [incl. lines from the ‘Poetical Sketches’ by Blake]
5. Bill Douglas — “Heaven in a Wild Flower” (4:29) — Eternity’s Sunrise (best-of collection) [words from Blake’s ‘Auguries of Innocence’]

–break– (with Ishq’s “Energeia” (4:01) as backdrop — from the album Sama)

6. UtopiaXO — “Summertime in England: Summer’s Play” (4:02) — The Light [words from The Fly by Blake]
7. The Doors — “You’re Lost Little Girl” (3:01) — Strange Days [an original song, but clearly inspired by Blake’s ‘Little Girl Lost’]
8. Allen Ginsberg — “The Sick Rose” (1:45) — Songs of Innocence & Experience by William Blake, Tuned by Allen Ginsberg
9. Ulver — “Intro” (to plates 21-22) (2:28) — Themes From William Blake’s The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell
10. Ulver — “Plate 3” (2:48) — Themes From William Blake’s The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell
11. Jah Wobble — “Holy Thursday” (5:33) — The Inspiration of William Blake

–break (and Sign-off)–

12. Mastermind — “Tiger! Tiger!” (3:45) — Mastermind III: Tragic Symphony
13. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – “Jerusalem” (2:44) — Brain Salad Surgery
[their rendition of Hubert Parry’s hymn, which was based on lines from the preface to Blake’s epic poem ‘Milton’]

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