Following on from his critically acclaimed debut album What’s Here What’s Gone in 2014, Revolve & Rotate in 2016 (**** The Guardian) for which he restored and composed new music on a 19th century polyphon machine and Singing Ways To Feel More Junior, 2017 (**** Songlines) which used children’s folk rhymes as inspiration for some very grown up songs about the dangers of global capitalism and artificial intelligence, Luke Daniels has returned with a fourth solo album that promises to be his most interesting to date.
The title of this album refers to the many poets with whom Luke has “collaborated” to produce some of his new songs and his own personal journey from difficult first encounters at school to a much deeper appreciation of their work in later life. Slices of the English poetry from the past seven hundred years appear in these songs as reworked lines, phrases and imagery from Chaucer, Jonson, Burns, Dryden, Browning and Auden to list but a few, all woven into new work which as a result, references some of our most beautiful English verse.
Luke has worked his way through this large anthology to collect and pool anything that sparked his own imagination before allowing it to shape and hone his latest work, in some instances just a single word or as with Geoffrey Chaucer’s Prologue To The Canterbury Tales, setting whole passages to music.
“The project has been a study of my own making and time well spent at an important stage in my development as a songwriter. Amidst such creative company these Old Friends and Exhausted Enemies have made me a very grateful student.”
Luke is a skilled composer and songwriter who comes from a background of folk and traditional music. He has worked for two decades as an instrumental musician on melodeon, piano and guitar, straddling many genres with solo performances at London Jazz Festival, with The London Philharmonic Orchestra and as a member of the Riverdance Band.
A diverse range of musicians feature on his latest record including Zi Lan Lao (Chinese Gu Zheng) Rihab Azar (Syrian Oud) and the South African cellist Abel Selacoe (with whom Luke has been performing as the Kaleidoscope Quartet). Other members of his Glasgow based team include Signy Jacobsdottir from Scottish Ballet on percussion, Jenny Hill on double bass from Songs of Separation, Lyle Watt (Blue Rose Code Band) on guitar and the acclaimed Swedish cittern player Ale Carr. An additional Irish contingent includes fiddler Aidan O’Donnell, The Arco String Quartet from Belfast and The Donegal Abbey Singers. The album was produced by Daniels and Paul Savage (Mogwai, King Creosote and Karine Polwart).
Artist’s website: www.lukedanielsmusic.com
‘Old Friends & Exhausted Enemies’ – promo video: