#3746: "Songs of Experience": Music Inspired by Poetry of William Blake

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Hear musical settings of William Blake’s poetry for this New Sounds. Listen to Martha Redbone’s rootsy setting of “The Garden of Love” from her album of the same name – an entire collection of hollered melodies, lullabies, and folky mountain takes on the Romantic 18th century English poetry of William Blake. Then, hear stunning choral music by Sir John Tavener, setting both “The Lamb” and “The Tyger” by Blake. Plus, there’s experimental big band jazz from bandleader and drummer John Hollenbeck with Theo Bleckman & Bigband Graz, as well as an avant-garde electronica setting of Blake's poetry by JacobTV, featuring Laura Vendetti.  Hear music by Patti Smith which incorporates “The Lamb,” and a deep cut by U2 with Brian Eno’s ambient production all over it. There’s also a progressive rock setting from Emerson Lake, & Palmer, and even some classic Tangerine Dream, just to hit as many kinds of musical as possible. 

PROGRAM #3746 Settings of Poetry & Text By William Blake (First aired on 7/2/2015)  





Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge | Richard Marlow, conductor | Philip Rushforth, organ

Allegri: Miserere

Sir Hubert Parry: Jerusalem [2:46]

Conifer 16851
Available via Arkivmusic arkivmusic.com, or download from Amazon.com, iTunes

Laura Vendetti


Jacob TV: The Garden of Love [7:17]

4Tay CD4044
Available at
Amazon.com & iTunes

John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann, Jazz Bigband Graz

Joys & Desires

The Garden of Love) [5:03]

Intuition #3862 

Martha Redbone Roots Project

The Garden of Love - Songs of William Blake

The Garden of Love [4:12]

Blackfeet Productions 93001 

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Philips, conductor

Ikon of Light-Funeral Ikos – The Lamb

Sir John Tavener: The Lamb [3:42]

Gimell 404
Available via arkivmusic.com, or as an import via Amazon.com, or download from iTunes

Patti Smith

Land (1975-2002)

The Lamb/Boy Cried Wolf (Live, Paris 2001) [5:46]

BMG - #BVCA-27010/1
Available at Amazon.com or iTunes

U2 (with Brian Eno)

The Joshua Tree (deluxe 20th Anniversary remastered edition)

Beautiful Ghost (Blake: Introduction to Songs of experience) [3:50]

Island - #1064
Available at Amazon.com or iTunes

Tangerine Dream ft Jocelyn Bernadette Smith


Smile, excerpt [1:00]

Relativity - #88561-1055-2
Available as an import via Amazon.com
Or download from iTunes

The Sixteen/Harry Christophers

John Tavener: Ikon of Light

John Tavener:Tyger [5:59]

Collins Records - #14052 or Coro #16015
Available at arkivmusic.com

Van Morrison

A Sense of Wonder

Let the Slave (w/ Blake: The Price of Experience) [5:23]

Polydor / Mercury - #5375452
Available at Amazon.com, iTunes

Emerson Lake & Palmer  

Brain Salad Surgery

Jerusalem, excerpt [1:31]

Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros. - #72459
Available at Amazon.com, iTunes and others.

Garden of Love

 "I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And ‘Thou shalt not’ writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires."