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Short Press Reviews
  • Douglas Lee Saum: Last Songs

    Doug Saum’s 2CD set comprises his musical arrangements for W B Yeats’ poems. They open the listener to the reflective and wide-ranging nature of these last songs, their philosophy and insight. They are last songs not only for the poet but also for the composer in this final of ‘Saum Sings Yeats’ series.

    The music provides a magical accompaniment to the verses. It blends styles, instruments and voices and ranges in tone through whimsy and passion to uproar and reflection. It displays Doug Saum’s own personal journey through and convincing ownership of these works.

    In the booklet accompanying the disks Doug Saum states his aim to catch the tone of Yeats’ philosophy: ‘He invites the Cold Eye to pass him by as he welcomes human sympathies. Drink it in with me?’

    The arrangements supply the poems with a fresh and stimulating approach, granting a wide audience access to the vast philosphy embedded in Yeats’ last work. There Yeats fosters the meeting of ways of thinking of East and West.

    The second CD of the set - which includes Yeats’ twelve all-embracing ‘Supernatural Songs’ and the monumental translation of ‘Ten Principal Upanishads’ - astonishes with its originality and vision. It is a genuine meeting of East and West. A wide audience of Yeats’ readers, of music lovers and of Indians is assured.

    • —Roslyn Mackay, author of "W.B. Yeats and the Upanishads"

  • "Doug Saum is a resident of Reno Nevada who has compiled several CDs in which he has put the poetry of William Butler Yeats into song. His renditions of the poems capture the essence of the work of Yeats. Many have previously sought in vain to do this, and Saum has succeeded."
    • —Declan Foley, Editor Beyond Ben Bulben (An Australian Yeats Society) .

  • "A new world of beauty and wonder . . ."
    • —Blair Jackson Author of Garcia: An American Life, Going Down the Road: A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion, Senior Editor Mix Magazine.

  • "Yeats believed that every soul sings a 'sweet crystalline cry.' Here is music which has at its heart that clear and indomitable cry."
    • —Donovan Welch, Poet.

  • ". . . what an amazing achievement!"
    • —John Kavanaugh, Irish poet, playwright.

  • "Beautiful songs!"
    • —Tony Palmer, director of many films including Bird on a Wire, 200 Motels, and Cream's Farewell Concert.

  • [Saum] ". . . is utterly faithful in preserving these poems . . . has a knack, and obviously a passion, for taking Yeats's stirring poetry and recasting not just the Irishman's words but his spirit into . . . sounds that variously recall the Celtic-tinged folk rock of the Waterboys or the folky side of Neil Young."
    • —Rick deYampert, The News-Journal, Daytona, Florida.

  • "Very Physical and Realistic Music as the sound of Irish Poetry. Douglas is on pace to be a pillar himself with his great music and dedication."
    • —Stuart Epps -- Epps has been a legend in the music industry Since 1967, he has worked with Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Twisted Sister, Bill Wyman, Kiki Dee, George Harrison, and Robbie Williams.

  • "Doug Saum's music for Beautiful Lofty Things demonstrates perfectly how images function as the catalyst for other art. Think of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or Ahab's Wife, or more appropriately in this instance, what Beethoven did with Schiller's poem."
    • —Richard Londraville, author, Prodigal Father Revisited: Artists and Writers in the World of John Butler Yeats.

  • "Really well produced and thoroughly unusual. Kind of like Fairport Convention meets old W.B. Would make him and Richard Thompson proud!"
    • Oliver Trager -- Author of DIG INFINITY: The Life and Art of Lord Buckley.
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