Monday, 12 December 2011

music and pictures - Duke Special

AS I've mentioned before this year has been a bit thin for me as far as lps I really love is concerned. However at the end there has been a bit of a rush.

The new one by Duke Special is well its a bit special. Not one for the simple pop song anymore, the lp was a kind of commission.

I'll leave the sleeve notes to explain

After performing a small festival in new york in march 2010 I was asked by spectrum , an initiative of the museum to visit the following day. They wanted to consider a collaboration with the dept of photographs and an exhibition of the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. The songs on this recording are the result of a year's living with the images, reading about the photographers and their subjects, their equipment and the times in which they lived and worked. They were first performed in March 2011 in New York at the Metropolitan museum of art.

The songs co written with Boo Hewerdine. Neil Hannon and poet Padraig O Tuama are lush orchestrated affairs which at their heart have some gorgeous tunes and story telling lyrics.

My only gripe with the lp is that lyric booklet doesn't sow the photos concerned but has one of those magic eye like things that you need to do something with you smart phone to access.

You can buy the lp from Duke Specials website here 

Better still you can see the original concert here


  1. I look forward to getting this (and watching the concert).
    He's one to watch I think, I admire his ambition; not just a songwriter but an auteur, I liked what he did with Auster's Book of Illusions. He's the sort of guy that I squint at with an envious eye; worried that if I have a good idea he got there the week before...

  2. I agree with the the Auster lp, i thin it was the best of the 3 he released together in the box set. I think he is the closest to a current Paddy McAloon (although hopefully Paddy McAloon is still the current Paddy McAlon - there are rumours of a new lp on the horizon). I really like the ambition but there is a bit of me that would likr him to do another straight forward pop lp as well

  3. Be careful what you wish for; you could say the same of Hannon, but then he did that with 'Regeneration' and it was a bit... dull.

  4. Can't find this to buy.
    Any suggestions


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