From The Library: Baroque e Nuovo — Van Dyke Parks

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Thursday, 6 November, 2008

Today in From The Library, Elrik Merlin presents a programme of music that is Baroque in more ways than one. One the one hand we have a selection of music from the Baroque period, including, appropriately enough for British listeners, Händel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks (and the Water Music Suites while we’re at it), along with music from Bach, Rameau, Arne and other composers of the period. On the other, we have some of the music of extraordinary American contemporary composer, arranger and ethnomusicologist (among other things) Van Dyke Parks.

So, what excuse allows us to mix the work of Bach with albums by Inara George and Joanna Newsom (two of our artists featured today)? The answer: twiddly bits.

Elrik Merlin writes: “I have loved Van Dyke Parks’s work since I saw his piano credit on Harper’s Bizarre’s arrangement of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes back in the 60s. Then a fellow recording engineer introduced me to his calypso roots album Discover America in the early 70s. I have not liked everything he has done, but what has impressed me greatly are his orchestral arrangements over the last couple of years for harpist Joanna Newsom on her astonishing second album, Ys, and most recently on Invitation, the new album by Inara George, daughter of Little Feat’s founder, the late Lowell George, and fellow resident of my former haunt, Topanga Canyon in California. Both albums are full of amazingly intricate orchestral arrangements – and songs – that twist and turn in unexpected ways. Lots of twiddly bits.”

We do hope you will enjoy today’s exploration into the world of twiddly bits. While we’re at it, we’ve included tracks from Clare and the Reasons’ album, The Movie – another album of roccoco curlicues including close harmonies and innovative orchestral arrangements. Van Dyke Parks appears on this album too – playing piano on one of the tracks.

From the Library is broadcast in conjunction with the Caledon Library: today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. Listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: