Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Ted Jacobs’ CD ‘Back to the Garden’: A lyrical reflection of childhood

Ted Jacobs' Back to the Garden

Earlier today, multiple award-winning musician/composer Ted Jacobs released his newest CD, Back to the Garden - a pure lyrical and melodious gem that marries the beloved poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” with Jacobs’ gentle, reflective and contemporary Celtic-influenced compositions.

Back to the Garden is a natural extension of Jacobs' first two albums, A Child’s Garden Of Songs (1999), which was honored with a Parents’ Choice® Silver Honor Award, and The Days Gone By (2000), which received the prestigious Parent’s Choice® Gold Award, and was additionally honored by Parents’ Choice® as one of their “25 Best Albums of the Last 25 Years.” Both albums also received NAPPA (National Parenting Publications) Gold Awards. 

Ted Jacobs photo by Dina Douglass
Inspiration for Back to the Garden as well as A Child’s Garden of Songs began a dozen years ago when Jacobs was looking for a new musical project, something he could do purely for his own enjoyment. Jacobs explains, “A friend suggested I consider “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson, with an eye toward adapting the poems into songs.” Jacobs was familiar with Stevenson’s novels “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped” but had never read his poetry. He says, “I immediately went to a bookstore and purchased a copy. I opened the book, and what I saw was pure magic. The poems transported me back to my childhood – they were a treasure trove of simple joys, unlimited imagination, and the curiosity of our world seen through the eyes of a small person.”

The poems of Stevenson are sung either as solo or ensemble, and are presented exactly as the poet wrote them – nothing is repeated or deleted. Jacobs says, “I felt that if I were to undertake this album, I had a significant responsibility to these words and especially to their author.”  He adds, “A Child’s Garden of Verses” took hold of my heart, and I heard the music instantly.”

Jacobs’ melodies in Back to the Garden fit like a well-tailored glove and embrace everything from waltz-time and sea chantey, to jig and nocturne. The unique and contemporary relevance of the music served to reunite all of the original recording artists and instrumentalists who had contributed their top notch talents to A Child’s Garden of Songs.

The sounds of dulcimer, uillean pipes, mandolin, fiddle, penny whistles, accordion, and other acoustic instruments provide the perfect translation of Jacobs’ tunes and Stevenson’s words. Jacobs sums it up best by saying, “Now, twelve years later, it is an honor to play in Stevenson’s garden again. His poems are the best lyrics a composer could ever ask for.”

Preview sound samples of Back to the Garden, along with Stevenson’s poetry and Jacobs’ previous CDs are available through http://houseatthecorner.com

Back to the Garden retails for $14.00 and is packaged in an environmentally-friendly Eco-DigiPak and comes with a full color 8-page booklet so you can sing along with the poems.

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