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It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted to my blog.  But below is the playlist for my latest program on KKUP (Sunday March 11).  For this program, the music grouped itself nicely into three main courses (with an “appetizer” by Paul Beaver & Bernie Krause to kick things off).  First, we heard some ambient ocean soundscapes by Danna and Clement and by Jonn Serrie (from his brand new album on Valley Entertainment).  Very serene music for the first hour!

Secondly, mostly electronic music with the metaphor of the heartbeat running through it.  The idea of this segment came to me when listening to Klaus Schulze’s 1980 album LIVE — a wonderfully atmospheric piece titled “Heart.”  Mentioned on-air that the early back catalog of Schulze seems to be deleted for now, owing to the financial bankruptcy/demise of SPV Records in Germany.  In fact, many of the older titles (1970’s, 1980’s, early 1990’s) recently vanished inexplicably from the iTunes store!

The third hour morphed from a sort of tribal sound to choral/orchestral/rock music hybrids by Mike Oldfield and the late David Bedford (a classically trained composer & conductor who worked with Oldfiled on numerous projects).  Very unusual music back then — ebullient, free, playful even — neither classical nor pop, but with elements of both.  Who does music like this today?  Seems to me there’s still room for new innovative soundscapes in this arena.  Dan Pound’s new album Cocoon does seem to share some of that energy.

The final song was in honor of SF Bay Area guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who unfortunately died on March 3rd, 2012.  Can’t help but think that “Voyager,” the song by his band Gamma, is not just a song about one man at sea — but that it’s about our lives.  We are all voyagers charting course on an enormous ocean that’s sometimes stormy, sometimes gentle.  There’s fear about what lies ahead, but hope also.

[ARTIST — TRACK TITLE — ALBUM TITLE — RECORD LABEL]

8:00 am
Gustav Holst (cond: Simon Rattle) — “Neptune the Mystic” — The Planets — EMI Classics (theme music)
Beaver & Krause — “By Your Grace” — In a Wild Sanctuary/Gandharva — Warner Bros.
(featuring Moog synthesizer, pipe organ & saxophone)

~8:15 am (Ocean soundscapes set)
Jonn Serrie — “Sunday Morning Peace” & “Maiden Voyage” — Sunday Morning Peace — Valley Entertainment
Mychael Danna & Tim Clement — “To the Land Beneath the Waves” — The Best of Danna & Clement — Mirage/Oasis Productions

~9:00 am (‘Heartbeat’ set)
Klaus Schulze — “Heart” (~1st 11 min) — Live — Revisited/SPV
Steve Roach — “Destination Beyond” (~1st 11 min) — Destination Beyond — Projekt
Mickey Hart — “Music to be Born By” (~1st 12 min) — Music to be Born By — Rykodisc
Paul Ellis — “Chambers of the Heart” — Mysterious Sketches — self-published [download only]
Tangerine Dream — “Invisible Limits” (~1st 8:30) — Stratosfear — Virgin

~10:00 am (from tribal electronic to Native American harmonized peyote chant to orchestral/rock hybrids)
Dan Pound — “Life Stages” (~1st half) — Cocoon — Pound Sounds
Primeaux & Mike — “Awakening” — Prophecy [v/a compilation] — Hearts of Space
Mike Oldfield — “Part Two” (~last 9 min) — Incantations — Mercury (CD reissue)
David Bedford — “Penelope’s Shroud (iii)” & “The Sirens” — The Odyssey — Virgin (orig. vinyl LP)

~10:45 am (after events annc. — a meditative track for flute & keyboard synths)
Deuter — “Traveling the Stars” — Empty Sky — New Earth

~10:55 am (after sign-off — a prog rock classic in memory of guitarist Ronnie Montrose)
Gamma — “Voyager” — Gamma 2 — Elektra (orig. vinyl LP)

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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’]