Episode #170 – Celebrating Jon Lord – The Composer

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Lead up to the Album:

  • In the liner notes Paul Mann describes Jon Lord having his earliest musical experiences at De Montfort Hall in his hometown of Leicester listening to concerts by the Halle Orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli.
  • In his later years he saw Buddy Holly at the same location and the melding of both genres was already in his mind.
  • JAcky Paice and the Sunflower Jam team set out to assemble as many of the musicians Jon Lord had played with and come up with a programme that could honor him in the best way possible.
  • The Royal Albert Hall was picked as the obvious location where Jon Lord had debuted his Concerto For Group and Orchestra 45 years earlier
  • He had also had one of his last performances at the same venue about a year before passing away.
  • Mann tells the story of meeting Jon Lord there and walking around to find the entrance.  A woman stopped Jon and based on his appearance asked if he was playing there that evening (Eric Clapton was scheduled to play).  He said no and she said “Ah well, never mind – stick at it and you might get to play here one day.”
  • For the concert they assembled the 83-piece Orion Orchestra.
  • Deep Purple was obviously billed to play and they were able to get all the performers to play for free so they could donate the proceeds to The Jon Lord Fellowship.

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Bonus Tracks:

  1. Fantasia
  2. Durham Awakes
    • From The Durham Concerto which was written for the 175th anniversary of the University of Durham.
    • This is the second of six movements from the concerto.
    • The piece combines the Northumbrrian pipes with Lord’s Hammond organ.
    • The ending of the movement is inspired by Sir Malcolm Arnold, the conductor of Concerto for Group and Orchestra and also one of Lord’s favorite composers.
    • Cello – Matthew Barley
    • Northumbrian Pipes – Kathryn Tickell
    • Orchestra – The Orion Orchestra
    • Organ [Hammond] – Nigel Hopkins
    • Violin – Jacqueline Martens
  3. All Those Years Ago
    • Steve Balsamo
      1. A close friend of John’s who he’d worked with.
      2. Balsamo: “Jon called me one day and said, ‘I have and idea for a song and I want to call it All Those Years Ago. Come over to the house for a few days, dear boy, and we’ll have a bash.”
      3. Balsamo says the song is about the passive of time, the fearlessness of youth and looking back.
    • Micky Moody
    • Guitar, Soloist – Micky Moody
    • Orchestra – The Orion Orchestra
    • Piano – Nigel Hopkins
    • Violin – Anna Phoebe
    • Vocals, Soloist – Steve Balsamo
  4. Pictured Within
    • Miller Anderson
    • This was the title track of Jon’s album by the same name.
    • The quotes are variations from Elgar’s “Nimrod” to open each verse.
    • The piece was written in the late 90s after both of Jon’s parents passed away.
    • It was used during the Concerto Tour of 2000-1.
    • The song was also played at Jon’s funeral.
    • On those occasions it was sung by the man who it was written for: Miller Anderson.
    • Cello, Soloist – Matthew Barley
    • Orchestra – The Orion Orchestra
    • Percussion – Mario Argandoña
    • Piano – Nigel Hopkins
    • Vocals, Soloist – Miller Anderson
  5. Sarabande
  6. One From The Meadow
  7. Bouree
  8. Afterwards
    • Jeremy Irons
    • Paul Mann
    • Jon Lord often accompanied his friend Sir John Mortimer when they would have actors and musicians pair up to read poetry with music playing behind it.
    • One poem featured was “Afterwards” by Thomas Hardy.  Jon improved piano b=behind it.  Parts of this eventually found their place into Jon’s “To Notice Such Things.”
    • Orchestra – The Orion Orchestra
    • Piano – Paul Mann (5)
    • Vocals [Speaker] – Jeremy Irons

After this segment of the show was complete Bob Harris, the MC, took the stage and said, “After the Intermission we’re gonna rock.”

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For Further Information:

  • Liner notes by Paul Mann

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