PETER YORK ~ there you are : songs and instrumentals

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Reflections from Steve Messer

Recorded in 1995, THERE YOU ARE was Peter’s fifth album, his first to appear in CD format, and mingled original songs alongside several adventurous instrumental pieces. 

The songs are sometimes intense, sometimes whimsical, always honest reflections on the day-to-day realities involved in honouring marriage vows and raising a family while keeping a weather-eye on life outside the front door. "There You Are" was written with a nod towards poet-jester Bob Dylan’s influence.

 

Two versions of "You and I” appear, both valid and memorable inclusions, but the spare, haunting waltz-time version seems to better represent the song’s theme, holding in tension lament for falling short of love’s ideals with the desire for “till death parts us” permanence. Adding to the album’s lustre are the string arrangements deftly composed by Peter himself.

The instrumental tracks represented a new development for Peter, allowing fuller expression of the compositional inventiveness that had always characterised his music. Echoes of Irish, ragtime and folk music are heard in these carefully crafted counterpoints to the songs, variously grand and sombre, playful and jolly. Particularly delightful is the stately “Wedding Joy”.

Integral to the project’s variety of textures and moods was the multi-instrumental versatility of Darryl Thompson who, in addition to contributing electric and acoustic guitars, accordion, piano, keyboards and vocals, assisted Peter with studio engineering. Darryl always seems to know just what a song needs from the moody organ of “Don’t Be Afraid” to the appropriately searing electric guitar solo on “Fire”.

 

Darkness and light, good cheer and heart-cries, this collection is varied yet cohesive. Peter and I were discussing potential album titles one day. I told him to call it, “Out From the Inside: Songs and Instrumentals”, but, “There You Are”.

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