Gary Brooker writes to 'Beyond the Pale' (16 May 2012):
Roland / Been having a 'clear out' and found
this and I'm sure Carole M. Hassan wouldn't
mind if it had any use on the website. Hope you and yours well. Best to Jens GB
As I sit here in this gray government building, I felt it most appropriate to devote my break time to express my appreciation and admiration to you who have created such strange excursions into the twin world of fantasy/morbidity.
Being an art student, my imagination is largely visual, and thus your lyrics interwoven with the melodies have provided me with much food for vision. I listened and build pictures in my head (which is exactly what one is not supposed to do when listening to a musical work) and in a sense have a film in my head for each of your songs.
I am a fairly recent admirer of yours; I became an avid devotee after the release of Home. The song that captured me was The Dead Man's Dream which was very Gothic in feeling and very Lovecraftian in its strangeness. On the whole, the album is very morbid, and being morbid myself, I enjoy any artistic manifestations of morbidity that I can find.
One album led to another and at length I was confronted with choosing between the familiar Whiter Shade of Pale [this was indeed an album title in America] and the unknown (to me) Shine on Brightly. I decided to venture upon the Unknown and was richly rewarded, for it became (and remains) my favorite album.
After listening to Shine on Brightly for a time, I became caught up in the idea of illustrating the songs in the hope of crystalizing [sic] some of the rich poetic and melodic imagery. Moonbeams particularly intrigued me with its magical atmosphere. But being notoriously lazy, nothing much was accomplished until I chose In Held 'Twas in I (my favorite song) as a subject for a college term paper. The essay isn't worth repeating (it was sandwiched between an art history thesis and an explanation of the pluralist model of American government) but I wanted you to see the drawings I made for the report, in the hopes of giving something to you in return for the enjoyment I have received from each of your artistic works. Incidentally, In Held 'Twas in I hasn't finished with me yet --- I still want to capture and express its mood with more originality than I have yet achieved. My next project will be to paint a whole sequence of its images in soft watercolors on a large circle of wood, with each image blending and intermingling with the next so the whole has a dreamy, twilight quality that does not sink into sweet sentimentality. But enough of this rambling --- all I really want to say is Thank You and hope you like this small token of appreciation for your fine music
Carole M Hassan
We'll scan the pictures and exhibit them in weeks to come!
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