"To reduce the music of Louis Thomas Hardin (1916-1999) to the legendary figure of Moondog would be to pass over the real work of the composer. The melodic invention, the prodigious rhythms, and the mixture of genres, as original as they are obvious, all come together to form a music that merits consideration strictly as music. To interpret Moondog's Madrigals, we wanted to develop aspects of the original recording of 1970, but also to produce a "live" version, one that would express the vitality and energy of ensemble music, and in order to enrich the instrumentation we chose a different combination of instruments for each piece. Round the World of Sound is an album of songs, and the singers were employed in many ways: alone or in duets, polyphonic (sometimes a capella) or in chorus, and sometimes the musicians added their own voices to those of Vincent Bouchot and Nathalie Duong. When we were invited to play this music in a festival that contained many types of music, the organizer asked to try to define the genre, and we answered, "Well, let's just call it pop chamber music."
-Didier Aschour, music director, Dedalus
This twenty-five piece selection is entitled Madrigal Book 1, and is a nod to the system Johann Sebastian Bach used for his Well-Tempered Clavier. Here, Moondog passes through all the major and minor tonalities, following the cycle of fourths. Thus, the opening Bells Are Ringing is in C major, followed by Voices of Spring in A minor, What's the Most Exciting Thing in F major and so on until the return to C major with Sparrows. The album spans twenty years of composing and bohemian life in the very heart of Manhattan, on its streets and under its porches. The record features pieces from the early 1950s (All Is Loneliness, Be a Hobo) as well as later canons written in June 1968. All are autobiographical, or at least reflect the state of mind of their author. As such, they are either melancholic or cheerful, and can evoke the everyday life (Coffee Beans) or a longing for recognition (Maybe), at all times vibrant with his good turns of phrase and his distinctive philosophy. This collection constitutes a marvelous window on Moondog's universe.
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