Monday, 16 January 2012

Beyond words

   Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945) was familiar with tribulation: he lost his sight when his stepmother threw lye in his face, syphilis took his strength and having lost his house in a fire he continued to sleep in the ruins until he in turn was lost to malarial fever. Luckily for us Johnson managed to leave behind an intimation of the spirit that generally got him through in a musical reflection called “Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground”, a piece made all the richer by its lack of ornamentation;