THE ENTERTAINMENT BANK - Paul Andersen
Traditional Folk and Celtic music have seen a great resurgence in popularity across the globe. William Blake's poetry on "Songs Of Innocence & Experience" is anything but traditional, and this is where Vertunni scores big with this recording. The moment the first song ("The Lamb") begins, I hear this great acapella baritone voice, I hear history in this voice. This album has tradition in the delivery, and performance of times long since past . As the song continues with Celtic flute and female voices adding classic church harmonies, and the sound of simple drums and guitar, the effect is a very accessible sound, and the songs are interpreted with great sensitivity.
"A Little Boy Lost" is a waltz with Victor and acoustic finger style guitar. The electric guitar and voices make the sound dynamically intimate, as the voices are stronger in the balance. The prose within the song shows why William Blake was a man with vision that was not typical of his time, just as Victor Vertunni is unique in ours. Great CD!!
Unesco: a Lucca il consiglio mondiale dei club discute di etica (3)
- Suggestiva anche l'esibizione di Victor Vertunni su testi
di William Blake, in particolare: I Prophetic See (from The Little Girl Lost), My Pretty Rose Tree,, The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience), A Poison Tree, Ah! Sun-Flower. E' stata poi la volta dell'approfondimento "La musica per un'etica globale basata sulla crescita spirituale dell'essere umano" durante il quale e' intervenuto lo stesso Victor Vertunni insieme a Robert Pobitschka e Adriano Fabris.
BUSCADERO November 2012
ITALIANS DO IT BETTER?
by Andrea Trevaini
VICTOR VERTUNNI FAMILY & FRIENDS - WILLIAM BLAKE'S SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE / VOICE OF THE DEEP
Our apologies to Victor Vertunni (London born but resident in Italy) for the delay in highlighting this precious recording of folk music. Subtle and refined, it's lyrics are taken from the poems of the visionary English artist William Blake who has made a mark in the history of Rock music because one of his quotation "The Doors Of perception" used by Aldous Huxley for his book, inspired the name of Jim Morrison's band.
The disc is excellent, Victor warm voice is supported by a band using classic acoustic instruments without disdain for electric sounds, such as in the sinuous Holy Thursday where a comparison with late great John Martyn would not be over the top.
Elsewhere, jazzy sounds pervade such as in I Prophetic See and A Poison Tree. But what stands out overall is the respect for the poet William Blake, who apparently used to sing his verses in public. Victor tries to recreate that magic and succeeds.
William Blake's Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience Voice Of The Deep Reviewer:Massimo Marchini Rockerilla
The genius of William Blake, eccentric poet, dreamer of visions, painter and apocalyptic patriot, has a history of permeating the world of music. From the Anglican hymn Jerusalem transformed into musical epic by EL & P, to the great works of Mike Westbrook and to the gentle songs by Greg Brown, to name but a few. It is reported that Blake was also an excellent musician and that he sang his songs to enchanting music he had composed himself, of which there is no trace. We have been struck by the conceptual form of this album, Victor's noteworthy song-writing ability and the cultured taste of the arrangements. The project has also been staged by Victor, who is competent and certainly not a novice. Musically, it is a small masterpiece of inventiveness, with folk flavours, ranging from The Incredible String Band to Fern Knight with flashes of ecstatic contemplation from the vibrant Californian firmament and occasional forays into ancient music. Truly inspired with a sprinkling of electric spice on acoustic sounds. 13 folk gems of a kind that is almost impossible to find nowadays, with the only exception of Holy Thursday from Songs of Experience, with its distinctly rock flavour, dominated by rather insistent percussion. A recording of rare quality by the guys at Elfo Studio, one of the most interesting records I've heard so far this year.
WILLIAM BLAKE'S SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND OF EXPERIENCE
"an album that defies expectations."
It might not be entirely accurate to call Victor Vertunni a renaissance man. Renaissance implies a rebirth of sorts, whereas Vertunni comes across as an old musical soul; not so much plucking items from the past and giving them new voice, but speaking and singing from some deep ancestral or universal memory that has never required remaking. The attraction to the works of William Blake seems almost natural in this light. Blake was renowned in his time for both the musical flow of his poetry, but also for the melodies he would craft for them, almost by accident. Without any formal music training, Blake was cited by music professors of his and later times for his musical ability. While none of that music has filtered down through the years, Victor Vertunni has provided fitting musical backdrops for Blake's creations. The album, William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience, is an often seamless marriage between Blake's fluid poetry and Vertunni's arrangements.
William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience opens with "The Lamb", a wonderfully-written piece of baroque pop. The opening is a gorgeous, four-part vocal tour-de-force, and vocal harmonies dominate the sound throughout. "Nurse's Song" is a bit more reserved in presence, but still rests strongly on the interplay of voices. There's a traditional Celtic feel here that's appealing, in spite of the polished sound. Vertunni launches next into "A Little Lost Boy", weaving through a simple guitar-driven arrangement with a melody line that's more run-on than progression. Vertunni's guitar work is fine, creative gentle accents around what is essentially a solid melody...Vertunni's voice is untrained, but with an appealing, earthy sound, one of those voices where small imperfections seem to nearly conduct the vocalist's sound and make it greater rather than less.
"I Prophetic See (from The Little Girl Lost)" is an intriguing staccato instrumental with a spoken word overdub. The use of what sounds like typewriter here as a sort of rhythm melody early on is very appealing and adds an interesting texture to the song. Vertunni's arrangement for "My Pretty Rose Tree" is lively and dark, invoking an almost Baroque Celtic style that is intriguing. Vertunni doesn't linger over this one too long, allowing the song to create its own distinct and compelling impression.
On "The Fly", Vertunni adopts a 1970's singer/songwriter pastiche, sounding a bit like a Jethro Tull lounge act in the process. The free form sax solo at the end is intriguing. "The Tyger" is a quiet celebration that's full of beauty. William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Experience wraps with "The Voice Of An Ancient Bard", a spoken word piece with music that doles out wisdom in rhyming verse. It's an apt closer for an album that defies expectations.
Victor Vertunni is hardly the first songwriter to tackle William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience, and he's unlikely to be the last. Vertunni gets some of this wonderfully right. White Vertunni's voice is enigmatic and unpolished at times; he has some wonderful voices around him. William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience is worth spending some time on.
Review by: Wildy Haskell
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
What fans around the world say:
This Cd will give a lot of joy, serenity and light to the hearts of many people
(Jorge Lugris, Spain)
Loved your previous CD: it brought joy and brightness to many dull days, and was a constant companion on many a long journeys. Thank you for your commitment to bringing Blake's songs to life.
This is inspirational music
(Maureen Goodman, UK, Switzerland)
I am SO happy and excited that William Blake's songs are coming to life through this CD
(Calin Costian, USA)
Beautiful! I've had the good fortune of hearing Victor & family in person; he has the perfect voice to communicate Blake's inspired message, and together the group creates the ideal atmosphere to due justice to the Source. Thank You!
(Kristine Kirby, USA)
This new CD an absolute MUST
(Doris Verez, Austria)