Below are some brief notes relating to each of the songs on Room in album order. For those of you who might like a little more background information.

 

Beast

 

This is a new version, re-recorded specifically for inclusion on ‘michael-john azzopardi’. This represents a more folk-tinged version with extended/altered instrumental arrangement and with one less verse. The meaning of the song unaltered. Click here to read more

 

Instrumentation

Vocals, acoustic guitars and mandolin

 

Twa Corbies

 

This is a traditional poem/song from Scotland. When I was in my early teens in secondary school I came across Twa Corbies in a collection of poetry. The fact that it was written in an old Scottish intrigued me even more as I felt I could understand the meaning of the song. Twa Corbies means two crows and basically the song is about the two crows standing over a newly slain knight and talking about feasting on him and padding their nest with the locks of his golden hair. From as far back as I can recall I have been drawn to folk music from England, Scotland and Ireland. The melody of this version is based on a recording of the song by 70’s English folk rock group Steeleye Span’s album Hark the Village Wait. On this track I play a Mandorla which is an instrument I created by converting a steel stringed acoustic guitar into an 8 string (4 coupled strings). Similar to a mandola (bass mandolin) but with different tuning and spacing between the strings. I coined the term Mandorla from Robert A Johnston, a Jungian psychologist and author, who used the term to describe the shape created by the overlap of two circles which is almond shaped (as is he definition of the word in Italian I think). For me it’s a cross between a guitar and mandola

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and mandorla

 

 

Bells of St Andrew's

 

This is the second of re-recorded songs from Room. This is a somewhat stripped back version with an extended instrumental guitar intro. Again the meaning of the song remains unaltered. Click here to read more

 

Instrumentation

Vocals, acoustic guitar and mandolin

 

Lord Randal

 

This is my musical adaptation of a traditional English poem which, I read somewhere, may have been the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain. This is simply a mother asking her son where he has been and fearing he has been poisoned. As it turns out his girlfriend has poisoned him and he vows to see that she is hanged “for the poisoning of me” The music to this piece is largely improvised

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and acoustic guitar

 

The Little Drummer

 

I learned this song from a version I’d heard on Cold Blow and the Rainy Night by Irish folk group Planxty. A traditional Irish song which tells the story of a little drummer who falls for a society lady that he sees one day by the quay. He tells comrade who convinces him to ask her out. So the drummer dresses himself up and makes a pass at her. She, however, rejects him so he threatens to kill himself, so she agrees to marry him

 

Instrumentation

Vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin and wooden flute

 

Noodle #1

 

This is an improvised acoustic guitar instrumental hence the name. Noodle = fiddle around

 

Instrumentation

Acoustic guitar

 

Peter

 

Having always had a great love for storytelling in song, ballads, I one day decided I would try and write a ballad of my own. This was my attempt

 

Instrumentation

Vocals, acoustic guitar and slide mandolin

 

Dancing Moon

 

This is a longwinded totally improvised instrumental played on an alternately tuned acoustic guitar

 

Instrumentation

Acoustic guitar

 

Meet Me

 

This is a studio version of an original, which tends to go down well when played live. It features an improvised instrumental in the middle

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and acoustic guitar