|22 × 16 × .50 cm
Witchcraft – Pete Hawkes
Review by Laura Summerfield
Pete Hawkes, an Australian musician known for his fine guitar playing and original compositions, has produced a new album of original tunes that straddles the divide between classical and folk music.
Pete has called the album ‘Witchcraft’ and it holds together well as a concept album – the tunes, the song titles, the instrumentation and the packaging all reflect aspects of female power and the human quest for meaning.
Some of these tunes were originally commissioned and composed for an American stage play entitled Requiem for the Magi in which a satanic figure is invoked and proceeds to conduct and manipulate an on-stage string quartet.
These tunes, for example, “Requiem for the Magi”, “Bronwyn’s enchantment” and “Wild witches dance the ritual rite in the pale moonlight” have a theatrical feel and Pete uses echoes or hints of melody that link them together.
They are underpinned by his strong acoustic guitar playing, supplemented by string playing – violins, viola, cello – arranged by him.
Musicians who contribute to the album include Michael McClintock on Violin, Louise Woodward on Violin and Viola and Gareth Skinner on Cello.
The musical effect is very moving and very beautiful.
Other songs, inspired by people and events from Pete’s life, lead the listener on a musical journey that contains a thread of hope.
There is still the guitar; there are still the strings, but now there is a slightly different musical flavour.
For example, “In the labyrinth of Lady Laura” enfolds the listener with a beautiful melody and lush sound and then leaves them in contemplative rest.
“Revelation of a Rubicon” hints at a new commitment to something unknown.
“A tender farewell for a beautiful spirit” is a gentle musical poem for a subtle presence.
The final track, “Delree’s spell” is a collaborative effort, with the tune written by his musical friend, Darrell Payton who plays guitar on the piece, but it is arranged and over-dubbed by Pete.
The album as a whole weaves a fine spell.
The expert playing, strong melodies, ongoing theme and consistency of instrumentation give it coherency and musical interest.
For me, it is a classical album with a folk sensibility and that gives it an enormous amount of charm!
With this album, Pete Hawkes has established himself as an interesting composer, as well as a fine musician, arranger and producer of music.
It is not easy to live by one’s musical wits in Australia, and Pete deserves to succeed in his efforts to do so.
His writing and performance scope now includes folk, jazz, blues and classical playing, and he has a fine singing voice and poetic lyrical style as well, although these are not featured on this album.
Something to look forward to in the future perhaps?
Witchcraft will appeal to those who enjoy good music well played!
Pete Hawkes – Witchcraft CD review by Katherine “Nana Mex” Juestel, Downunda Thunda Radio Pty Ltd With Witchcraft Pete Hawkes has once again proven that he has earned his place among the great composers of all time. Pete weaves a tapestry of passionate intricacies in sounds and colours, wedding the rich sounds of a well tuned cello with the romance of Spanish infl uenced guitar, serenading violin and bass into their musical arms. There is not a single note out of place, nor one note more than is necessary to capture and hold the attention of the listener and to draw the listener deep into the impassioned heart of the music. The listener becomes as much a part of the composition as the instruments themselves. In the Labyrinth of Lady Laura listeners will fi nd themselves wandering through the maze, negotiating twists and turns, making new discoveries, experiencing a heightened sense of awareness as the music weaves itself in and out of the Labyrinth of sounds. Revelation of a Rubicon feels like questions and answers in the journey of self discovery, forcing the listener to examine their own choices in life and seems to carry the message that one should not be seduced by old ways while waiting for the new to come in its time. Each time I listen to the music of Witchcraft I discover something not heard in previous listens, as if the music is being remixed, refi ned and rediscovered with each experience. Even the seeming discord of Covenant of the Coven is redefi ned with each listen, each thread of the piece fi nding its place naturally. Witchcraft is a Masterpiece.
4 in stock (can be backordered)