Take eighteen William Soutar poems, add three composers, a little bit of folk and jazz, and an acoustic ensemble; and the IN A SMA ROOM album is what you get. It is a project that is first and foremost about the beautiful poetry of William Soutar which inspired Debra Salem, Kevin MacKenzie and Paul Harrison to compose these eighteen songs.
William Soutar (1898-1943) was a twentieth-century poet who wrote in Scots and English. Critically acclaimed during his lifetime, he is now better known for his courage and good humour under extreme diversity. He suffered from ankylosing spondylitis, a form of spinal arthritis, which kept him bedridden for the last thirteen years of his cruelly shortened life. During this time, he drew on memories, the conversation of his many visitors, and the view through his sickroom to inspire the poetry he wrote.
This CD includes a booklet of the original poems from which the song settings have been drawn.
An accompanying IN A SMA ROOM Songbook has also been published, and includes a biography of William Soutar, information on the original project, the poems and the sheet music for all the songs.