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Songs of Innocence and Experience

As a major new exhibition of William Blake’s work opens at the Tate Gallery, Verity Sharp shares music inspired by the visionary painter, printmaker and poet.

As a major new exhibition of William Blake's work opens at the Tate Gallery, Verity Sharp shares music inspired by the visionary painter, printmaker and poet.

The exhibition will be the largest survey of work by Blake in the UK for a generation, bringing together over 300 remarkable and rarely seen works. His work has been fertile ground for musicians through the 20th and 21st centuries, with Songs of Innocence and Experience in particular frequently set to music by the likes of Allen Ginsberg (in a recording featuring jazz musicians Don Cherry and Elvin Jones), and Jah Wobble. Jerusalem, too has made it beyond the church pews and sports stadia into the music of The Fall and, more recently, a Late Junction collaboration session with Ross Sutherland, Matthew Kaner and The Golden Age of Steam.

Produced by Chris Elcombe.
A Reduced Listening Production for BBC Radio 3.

(Image courtesy of the Tate: 'Newton' by William Blake)

21 days left to listen

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Sven-David Sandström

    To See A World

    Choir: The University Chamber Choir in Piteå. Conductor: Erik Westberg.
    • To See A World.
    • Studio Acusticum.
  • Sparklehorse

    Sad and Beautiful World

    • Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot.
    • Capitol Records.
  • Pierre Bastien

    Smart Lilt Rams

    • Tinkle Twang 'n Tootle.
    • Marionette.
  • Unnamed

    Wagogo Soothing Song

    • East Africa - Ceremonial & Folk Music.
    • Nonesuch.
  • Ross Sutherland, Matt Kaner & The Golden Age of Steam

    Jerusalem

    • Late Junction collaboration session, recorded at BBC Maida Vale Studios, 2016.
  • Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek

    Hopla Bico

    • Live at End of the Road 2019.
  • Henri Pousseur

    Trois Visages De Liège: Voix De La Ville

    • Early Experimental Electronic Music 1954-61.
    • Sub Rosa.
  • Jah Wobble

    Auguries Of Innocence

    • The Inspiration Of William Blake.
    • All Saints.
  • Steve Martland

    Horses Of Instruction

    Ensemble: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble.
    • De Waan Van De Dag.
    • NBELIVE.
  • Jenny Hval

    Accident (feat. Laura Jean)

    • The Practice of Love.
    • Sacred Bones Records.
  • Ján Baláž

    Fujara Free Improvisation

  • William Blake

    Introduction/The Shepherd

    Singer: Allen Ginsberg.
    • Songs Of Innocence And Experience.
    • MGM Records.
  • Luca Forcucci

    Blendings

    • B​(​L​)​(​E​)​(​E​)​(​N​)​DINGS.
    • LFO Records.
  • Esperanza Spalding

    Little Fly

    • Chamber Music Society.
    • Heads Up International.
  • David Axelrod

    A Dream

    • Song Of Innocence.
    • Capitol Records ‎.
  • William Blake

    Laughing Song

    Singer: Allen Ginsberg.
    • Songs Of Innocence And Experience.
    • MGM Records.
  • Juan Cabanilles

    Pasacalles I

    Performer: Sophie Yates.
    • Spanish and Portuguese Harpsichord.
    • Chandos.
  • 9T Antiope & Siavash Amini

    Purple As In Pain

    • Harmistice.
    • Hallow Ground.
  • Gwilym Bowen Rhys

    Arenig

    • Arenig.
    • Sbrigyn Ymborth.

Image courtesy of the Tate: 'Newton' by William Blake


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