Will Pound : A Day Will Come08 May 2020 : Lulubug Records
'A day will come when the only fields of battle will be markets opening up to trade and minds opening up to ideas. A day will come when bullets and bombs will be replaced by votes, by universal suffrage of the peoples, by the venerable arbitration of a great sovereign senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, what this diet is to Germany, what the Legislative Assembly is to France. A day will come when we will display cannon in museums just as we display instruments of torture today, amazed that such things could ever have been possible.' - Victor Hugo, 1849
A Day Will Come is a celebration of Europe - as its ringmaster Will Pound has stated, 'for all Europeans - wherever you come from and whatever you believe in.' It is an album about identity, music and home.
Will's flair with harmonica and melodeon has led him to a flood of awards and accolades; the ensemble he worked with on these recordings (Patsy Reid, Jenn Butterworth, Jude Rees & John Parker) match his masterful skills note for note.
Arts Council England funded the research (which included many trips abroad for Warwickshire-based Will) and recordings. It was a complex project, and presented a challenge as much as an opportunity, as Will has stated,
'When I received the news that the funding had been awarded I was sat at Hong Kong airport having played Hong Kong Arts Festival, awaiting a plane to Japan. It’s fair to say I was fairly emotional as this is a subject close to my heart - but I was also daunted by the challenge of learning 27 tunes from the different EU member states and making them work on a record.'
There are fourteen tracks, each named by pairing tunes and using their countries of origin as a title, with one individual track simply called Ireland - a fast and furious set of jigs and reels ignited by guest American fiddle player, Liz Carroll. The CD (which echoes an EU passport) has a booklet which details the background of each piece.
Will can rest assured, knowing he has achieved a jubilant outcome from a long, iterative process.
As he and his cohorts dance from place to place, exhilarated by the musical inspiration found there, A Day Will Come is transformed by joy into a transcendent, raggle taggle riot around the continent.
It is an even album, the highlights arriving when the pace pauses for reflection for two spoken word pieces, and when it detonates into an effervescent instrumental duet between Will & Dame Evelyn Glennie.
Poland's first slam poet, Bohdan Piaseck, delivers the poetry.
His opening piece, Szum, was written after interviews with EU Nationals who have settled in England. Its initial stanza is an immediate reaction to the Brexit vote, followed by a heartwarming sketch of a family's migration hopes. The second, The List, has a harsher, affecting tone of rejection.
The two tunes representing Romania and Bulgaria performed with Evelyn Glennie form a cartwheeling, percussive, time-signature-shifting musical rush; the first a piece Will composed after studying Romanian music, the second a Rachenista - a traditional Bulgarian dance.
A Day Will Come is a hard first listen, because of context. In bleak times music that expresses this much joie de vivre takes a moment to adjust to, but it is worth the effort - the album is a voyage of discovery, a full pelt, thrilling trip around a Europe of musical rapture; a fitting commemoration of an art form that denies borders, and revels in commonalities.
Will Pound's A Day Will Come