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Black Dog Blues

Bonny Street

Early Frost

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Gulf Stream



Love Is

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One Last Spring


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Aspects of Love

On 25 October 2009 Sounds Like and the St Pancras Poets joined forces to put on a programme of words and music by the poets.  On this occasion Roger Robinson and Miranda Martin of the St Pancras group were both readers, and the Sounds Like team was Kevin Drake (guitar), James Gordon (singer/reader), Edward Lee (keyboard/reader), Frances Lee (reader/singer), Jan North (singer/reader) and Edwin Webb (reader),  Edwin also acted as the House Manager for the performers. 

Kevin provided a half hour of classical guitar music before the programme.  This is a feature of Sounds Like performances, which welcomes the audience and sets the atmosphere before the performance, while at the same time allowing them to socialise and settle.  Kevin, who modestly calls his performances “courtly background”, says that he likes the option to play pieces in a setting which, though permitting those who wish to listen attentively to do so, does not expose him so intensely as would a formal recital. Though his work is much valued, for reasons of space only one item from this occasion is included on the CD.

Because this is a live recording there are inevitable bangs, coughs and other noises which it has not been possible to remove.  In particular some listeners may notice an intermittent high pitched sound.  This is the “commentary” of Deborah Lavin’s dog, who was obviously of the opinion that he would rather have been at home watching TV in his warm flat.  Unfortunately, attempts to remove the sound so modified the timbre and immediacy  of the reader's voices, that it was decided to leave it in.

 The poems, songs and music have been grouped according to underlying theme.  The names of the performers are given in brackets; the other names are those of the authors.  It will be seen that on this occasion Sounds Like invited James Gordon to contribute some of his work, while the poets invited various friends.

Some listeners will know that a concert by the poets and Sounds Like was given at about the same time in 2008.  This can be heard on the Elm Village Arts website, and makes an interesting comparison.



Guitar music: Berceuse (Cancion de Cuna) Kevin Drake  (Leo Brouwer)
An example of Kevin’s courtly background, by the contemporary Cuban composer

Click to hear/download Berceuse


CUPID’S BAR  - the items (performers in brackets):

piano music : It is so much spring Edward Lee (Edward Lee)
Sets the mood for the performance. The title came from the comment on an au pair girl on a lovely day: “It is so much spring this year!”

Click to hear/download It is so much spring


Jitterbugging Love

A group of pieces about Youth.  by the ‘Antique Rockers’.  Jack the dog makes his first of many appearances.

song: Summertime Girl James Gordon     (James Gordon)
A setting by James of words by Cambridge poet, John Guy

poem: Jitterbugging Love  Roger Robinson (Roger Robinson)
piano music: Wendy  Edward Lee (Edward Lee)
In the George Shearing style of the time Roger  describes

poem: You read me Vincent Berquez  (Roger Robinson)
Sooner or later he meets the girl

Click to hear/download Jitterbugging Love sequence



poem: Southbound on the Highland Chieftain Miranda Martin 
(Frances Lee, Jan North, James Gordon)
song:  Will ye go anon. ( Jan North, Frances Lee )
Chosen at the time for its Scottishness, it appears that it is in fact Northumbrian – which is nevertheless south of Caledonia

Click to hear/download Southbound sequence


In Love

These two poems need no further explanation

poem: In Love Ann Garrett (Frances Lee)
poem: Porcelain Vincent Berquez (Roger Robinson)

Click to hear/download In Love sequence


Barcelona August

A words and music sequence to framework two poems with a Spanish setting

piano music: Barcelona August (1) Edward Lee (Edward Lee)
This is a specially composed piano piece, which is split into three sections for the current purpose. The complete version is available in score on Edward Lee’s Sibelius spot on www.sibeliusmusic.com

poem: Dancing into the cream of the night Vincent Berquez (Edwin Webb)
The piano gives way to flamenco-like rhythms on “body drums”

piano music: Barcelona August (2) Edward Lee (Edward Lee)

poem: Barcelona August  Deborah Lavin (Miranda Martin)
Jack the dog appears in the bedroom described by his mistress…!

piano music: Barcelona August (3) Edward Lee (Edward Lee)

Click to hear/download Barcelona August sequence


My lady

song: My Lady James Gordon (James Gordon)

Click to hear/download My lady



poem: Adrift Edward Lee (Barbara Maskens with electronic keyboard music by Edward Lee)
In the middle of this night poem the church clock chimed 8pm, resulting in a short improvisation.  To preserve the context of the poem, the chimes have been reduced to 3…

poem: Neutrino Wash Greta Sykes (Miranda Martin)
Another woman’s view of a similar situation

Click to hear/download Adrift sequence


Your scent

As the original announcement said, “the mood changes”…

poem: Bombing the Plain English Society Vincent Berquez (Edwin Webb)
An over-the-top interpretation of an over-the-top poem

poem: The Art of Divisibility Vincent Berquez (Roger Robinson)
poem: The Battlefield is Drawn Vincent Berquez (Edwin Webb)
poem: Missed Opportunity  Ann Garrett (Frances Lee)
poem: Your scent Vincent Berquez (Roger Robinson)
piano music: Ballad for Ann Edward Lee (Edward Lee)

Click to hear/download Your scent sequence


Turning the Flower

poem: Turning the Flower Miranda Martin  (Edwin Webb, Frances Lee)
song: Body and Soul John Green (Jan North)

Click to hear/download Turning the Flower sequence


Brylcreem Boy

Two more items about Youth

song: My Baby’s Reputation James Gordon (James Gordon)
It is interesting  to compare this version with the one James recorded live with CMU, available on the Elm Village Arts website

poem: Brylcreem Boy Roger Robinson (Roger Robinson)
The laughter arose when Roger produced his comb, and used it on his still ample head of hair !

Click to hear/download Brylcreem Boy sequence


Red Haired Rita


poem:  Red Haired Rita's Advice about Love to Young Girls Deborah Lavin
Frances Lee, Jan North)

song: You Made Me Love You James Monaco (Jan North)
how Rita might have sung it

Click to hear/download Red Haired Rita sequence


You are gone

Two takes by James on the ending of love

song: You are Gone  James Gordon (James Gordon)
poem: Post-modern Love Deborah Lavin (James Gordon)

Click to hear/download You are gone sequence



piano music: Miriam Edward Lee (Edward Lee)
The music sets the scene for what is possibly the most intense poem of the evening

poem: Conversations for hands and feet, for Peter Barbara Maskens (Miranda Martin)

Click to hear/download Conversations sequence



poem: Mosaic Heather Thompson (Jan North) (with music by Edward Lee)

 Click to hear/download Mosaic


Love There Was

song: Writing on the Wall James Gordon (James Gordon)
poem:  Love There was Roger Robinson (Roger Robinson)

Click to hear/download Love There Was sequence


Finale: All You Need is Love

song: As Time Goes By Herman Hupfield (Jan North)
song: All You Need Is Love John Lennon and Paul McCartney
(Jan North, Frances Lee, James Gordon)

Click to hear/download Finale: All You Need is Love