Michel Griffin's work redefines the boundary between poetry and song; his music is lyrical, telling, poignant.
A compelling on-stage performer, he began writing songs as a teeenager and rapidly gained acclaim in the UK, appearing weekly on BBC Radio and regularly in clubs and concert-halls. Michel has now settled in the wilds of the french countryside, where he composes and records lovely, intimate, reflective and often inspiring music.
There are a number of themes running through the CD 'Echoes, Waves or Ricochets' - from the haunting story of unrequited love told by 'Deep Inside the Night' to the pre-occupation with the passage of time evinced by the title-track, and by 'Freeze the Moment'.
Michel's track by track summary:
America, Come Weep is a country ballad about a waitress in a diner, who is longing for the open highway, and lamenting the missed turnings on the country's road toward the American Dream. There's some lovely slide-guitar work.
'Freeze the Moment' is a gentle ballad that bids the listener to 'Take the time to feel alive'. The lyrics interweave observations about the fragility of our existence and the effects of the time-tunnel we all travel: "Lost in the freefall of your look, I see you through a kaleidoscope of all the pasts we've already shared that are shining from your face ...."
'Echoes, Waves or Ricochets': A driving beat underpins a narrative that evokes turning-points in the passage from 'the long grass of our childhood, to the loneliness of our end'. Perhaps our real legacy is the effect we have on other people.
'The Valley Time Forgot' is a lilting hymn of praise for the lovely Lot valley in France. Musically, it's a cross-fertilisation between country-folk and baroque, with soaring strings, and even a hint of harpsichord.
'Für Elise' is a love-song for a very special person. Two guitars trade riffs that evoke the hook in Beethoven's piece by the same name.
'Deep Inside the Night' paints a portait of a vulnerable lady looking to the horizon for a better deal. The musical treatment (acoustic guitar, cello and violin) is very spare, and hauntingly beautiful.
'Don't Step on my Smile' changes the mood: a jaunty, upbeat tongue-in-cheek duet. 'When the newscaster casts his news, it's enough to give an optimist a dose of the blues ...'
'Travelling Man': 'Freedom is only for the strong'. A song for everyone who feels the tension between the lure of the open road, and the safety of a loving relationship. Some lovely harmonies, too.
'She' - A bouncy love-song which tries to capture the flamboyance of the lady whose life I share - 'She's a pirouette, an arabesque/ A swallow's swirl around its nest/ She's the moment just before the smile/ Breaks into a laugh ...'
'Man and Boy': As every woman knows, there's a boy that walks behind the face of every man. This somewhat dark song summarises some of his more fragile moments ...
'Dreamer' is an affectionate portrait of someone who is always waiting for someone else to take the initiative. Swirling organ, crystal 12-strings and a gentle beat.
'Pour La Première Fois' A french love-song that starts softly and climaxes with a wild horn solo set against lush strings.
'Alice in Dixieland' is a light-hearted series of caricatures, given a Dixieland treatment.
'Evensong' - The CD finishes with a gentle, laid-back song for the end of a perfect day.
The lyrics to all the songs on the CD are freely available at www.michelgriffin.com