Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Johnny Pearson Orchestra - Sleepy Shores (1971/ No. 8/ 15 weeks/ Penny Farthing)

The theme from Owen MD. No, me neither. It was something on BBC1 that starred Ian Cuthbertson, presumably as Owen. But like the themes from A Summer Place or Stranger On The Shore this piece has long become detached from its mysterious source, and has an autonomous life as a work in its own right.

It must be one of the quietest hits of its day. A piano tinkles back and forth while a string section undulates; waves, beach and sky. From time to time the thing pauses and slightly changes direction. Its very poised and unruffled. There is a tremendous sense of past and nostalgia to this music, inherent for me to the hauntological process of listening to television themes from before I was born, but surely also integral to the music itself. I can't ever imagine this sounding current, but working for the listener as an echo; the remembrance of the sea heard in a shell, a message in a bottle.

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