Seven Sonnets And A Song by Paul Kelly
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the great wordsmith is honoured by one of Australia’s great songwriters, Paul Kelly, with this collaboration. In Seven Sonnets & A Song, Kelly has gathered fellow artists including Ash Naylor (guitar), Peter Luscombe (drums), and Vika and Linda Bull (vocal harmonies).
The song that is alluded to in the title is ‘My True Love Hath My Heart’, which was written by Sir Philip Sidney, one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. There is a sparceness of sound on this recording which is testament to the collaborators’ intention of highlighting Shakepeare’s exceptional use of language through the lyrics. The first sonnet included has a breezy jazz feel to it, and Sonnet 18, arguably Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet, is where the true synergy between Shakespeare and Kelly is revealed, in part due to Alice Keath’s bongo and vocals. This short collection closes with ‘O Mistress Mine,’ recorded in 2012 with Dan Kelly and J. Walker.
Seven Sonnets & A Song is a thought-provoking and brilliantly realised work.
Michael Awosoga-Samuel is a bookseller and music specialist at Readings Carlton.