Billy Currie — Stand up and Walk
(Puzzle PZLCD102, 1991/2001, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2002-04-01The second solo album by violinist and composer Billy Currie (ex Ultravox, Visage) traces a narrow path down a lush musical side road. Having completed his tenure with those bands, moving into a semi-romantic vein was a logical choice for Currie since he seemed to be gravitating in that direction. Vocalist Susanna Bramson adds wordless singing on nearly half the cuts as melodic counterpoint, in an Enya style. Currie’s grasp of full keyboard arrangements was demonstrated on his first album, Transportation (which featured Steve Howe), and it’s a bit more sedate in these twelve tracks. The album’s title track evokes a gypsy mood, which could have suited a performance underneath foreign film credits. Dreamy themes and the nature of the work give the overall album an eighteenth century feel. Similar comparisons can be made to Eddie Jobson’s solo work (e.g. Theme of Secrets) as heard on “Liberation” with its passionate violin intro. Currie procured some of Rick Wakeman’s equipment for use on “Ukraine” which is based on a Russian theme. Currie undertakes a path into ambient music terrain with “Requiem” by playing some meditative no frills piano. Closing out the disc are two tracks that contrast greatly: a Christmas piece, and an Irish jig. No wonder that Howe was evaluating Currie’s skill as a possible band member. Detailed liner notes give the composer’s blow-by-blow account of each piece. The composer’s keen sense of space and pacing makes the album a tour de force given the electronic trend of the day.
Related artist(s): Billy Currie
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.