Guitarist Pete Hawkes describes his 2006 CD release as "chamber or folk/classical music". The album features his steel-stringed acoustic guitar, Louise Woodward's viola, Michael McClintock's violins and Gareth Skinner's cello.
Classical/folk music that sends a shiver up your spine. Music for the music lovers! This CD includes some of the finest ensemble players around Lush rich textures with beautiful melodies and harmonies. Each song carefully arranged.
Listen to Witchcraft Samples
In the Labyrinth of Lady Laura (2:27)
Wild Witches Dance The Ritual Rit (3:14)
Bronwyn's Enchantment (extract) (1:26)
The Warlocks Dream (extract) (1:50)
Warm and thoughtful, well-composed modern folk songs fitting equally into adult contemporary and mainstream folk.
Accomplished Folk Blues, reminicent of Nick/Drake at their best, this album was widely acclaimed around the world after its initial release on Festival Records. Reprinted now several times, the latest including a new song 'if time was an ocean'and a great version of Mr Bojangles.
Guest stars Dave Swarbrick ( ex fairport) and Phil Emmanuel. Includes the hit song ' A Housewife's Lament' - Review Dirty Linnen
Listen to a sample from Secrets, Vows & Lies
An Emotional Winter (3:34)
Double Diversity - A Delicious Double Disk!
How often does one come across a composer with the ability to transcend several musical genres and yet stay firmly focussed within his own perceived sound? Almost never! Pete manages to turn many genres into his own, making the listener feel they are witnessing something innovative and fresh, but still familiar to the feels and traditions of the genre. This latest double album, highlighting some of Pete's instrumental works over the last ten years is absolutely amazing! I have no doubt its going to be one of those remembered albums and I'm sure it will still be being played in years to come.
On 'Double Diversity' you will find airs, reels and Celtic influenced pieces; Delta Blues (for a unique 1930's Delta interpretation of McCartney's' Yesterday') and a cleverly written neo classical piece that just oozes Russia, 'The Moscow Gypsy'. It also includes some very finely arranged and well-executed Jazz with the bossa Nova 'A whispered Scream'. If that doesn't take your fancy then you can always listen to Pete's beautiful arrangements of some great classical guitar standards or alternatively relax with the innovative Cello compositions. Dig ragtime? then you have the 'Belly Laugh Rag' and 'The Boisterous Border Collie!' In fact there is so much here, in this record you need to listen to it a few times to digest all the ideas and nuances on both disks.
The word 'genius' I have always reserved for the greats like Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Richard Thompson and Louie Armstrong, but given the diversity, variation, number of musical genres, and the prolific number of high quality, original compositions of all styles of music Pete has put out on this record, and continues to produce every year, not to mention a back catalogue of finely crafted original songs (that always have something unique to say about the human condition), it's hard not to use the word for him here as well. If he is not a genius then he is certainly one of Australia's most creative and interesting composers for acoustic music to emerge in the last decade. Listen to the record and see if you don't agree!
Tony Bates `Musicologist/Reviewer' Station Librarian /Presenter
3WBC 94.1FM, BOX HILL Victoria
Listen to a sample from Double Diversity
The Boisterous Border Collie (3:38)
Initially written in Russia. this tune was conceived while waiting for the train at the Rizhskaya tube stop on the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya line in Moscow. A band of gypsies were playing at the stop trying to drum up cash. One of the children. a small boy came over to me, and of course, asked for money. He looked so sad, his eyes were huge pools of sadness and hunger. Bare minimum of clothes. He kind of summed up Russia for me really.
I gave him a thousand roubles, and he rushed over to his parents-they were so excited about the gift that they came over and thanked me (the father spoke fluent English) ...'for your kindness we will play for you our songs' he said - and the whole family played for me using fiddles, mandolin and guitar. They were great and the songs echoed through the tube, with others coming up joining us. We had a great time and ended up sitting around laughing and getting pissed together at the station.
I finished the initial idea later in my hotel in Arbart and recorded the guitar part with my friend/engineer Boris. The recording was then left for about a year and a half and finished at Ian Blake's 'Blue Bear' studio's in Latham, Canberra, Australia where we added Cello and Violin. I had to re-record the guitar part at the 'Blue Bear' in the end as the recording in Arbart was too poor to use for CD. The Russian equipment that we were using was very ancient - very very analogue, kind of taped together and wired up recording contraptions.
Listen to a sample from Melcancholy Cello
The Moscow Gypsy (2:37)
"DADGAD is now a well known guitar tuning used often by folk musicians. Initially invented by Davey Graham in the early sixties, it has expanded guitar music considerably and is used frequently by song writers, instrumentalists and traditionalists alike.
This open tuning played unfingered produces a 'D' suspended chord and the tunings advantage and beauty lies in the fact that it neither specifically states a major or a minor key. The tuning is perfect for traditional music that requires drones and various ornamentations and thus is used frequently by acoustic guitarists for renditions of such music (reels, strathspeys, airs, jigs etc).
This project involves all original compositions in this tuning. Here I have composed reels, airs and pipe tunes and have arranged the material for fiddle and guitar. The prelude/ending is a little DADGAD composition for guitar, violin and cello. Some great fiddling here by some very good players including, Gibbney, McClintock, Swarbrick and Thomson. There is a cameo appearance on a tin whistle by Ian Blake.
I hope you enjoy the recording.
Listen to a sample from Dadgad Files
The Irish Ladies Dream (Version 3) (2:56)