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Digamma Cottage with Andrew King & AimA - Ulysses/Cor Cordium

Digamma Cottage with Andrew King & AimA - Ulysses/Cor Cordium coverYou will know Andrew King as a singer of folk songs and ballads couched in harmonium drone, captured on albums such as The Amfortas Wound and Deus Ignotus. Andrew King's repertoire focusses on traditional folk songs but occasionally his voice has proved an effective vehicle for renditions of the words of poets and writers such as Kipling, Housman, Blake and M.R. James. On the first side of this collaborative single with Enzo Loffreda's Digamma Cottage they provide a setting of Tennyson's mythic and heroic poem 'Ulysses'. It is performed majestically with stately guitar playing over strum and soft orchestral arrangements. King has been silent recently, and this, and the other track, have had a protracted evolution from its original recording over a decade ago. The effect isn't dimmed though. On the contrary in the intervening period caused by the demise of labels, general life and the pandemic these songs have been adapted and re-edited resulting in something transcending what would have originally appeared. Andrew King is in great form on this extended monologue; his voice poised, spirited and dramatic drawing out the emotions of this poem about old age, experience, and the ever-questing nature of the human spirit. It's a mini sonic drama performed with sympathetic passages involving tumbling picked guitar, mandolin styled flourishes rings, swelling and shadowed by orchestral strings. Emotionally moving, 'Ulysses' is a song of experience and one that rates as of the finest works involving Andrew King.

'Cor Cordium' is much more medieval sounding with a cyclical chiming harpsichord melody and the layered atmospheric voices of AimA and Evor Ameisie undercut with soft bass tones. 'Cor Cordium' is a collaboration between Digamma Cottage and Italian artist AimA with a contribution from Andrew King who delivers a repeated two line excerpt from Wordsworth's 'The Thorn' basking in the ringing strings and entwining chorus of angelic harmonies. Though failing to hit the heights of 'Ulysses' it possesses an enchanting beauty.

These tracks reach back to 2013 when Andrew accepted an invitation from the Italian group Digamma Cottage to contribute vocals, and began working on this collaboration, which included a live appearance at the Villa Festival in Italy in 2014 where they performed nascent versions of these songs. These 2 tracks may have had a protracted evolution but it's been worth the wait. The package is just as striking as the music; two tracks playing at 33rpm housed in a spine edged sleeve, adorned with beautiful artwork, and a 4 sided insert with photos and lyrics. Limited to 300 copies which are available from 4iB Records