David Paul Jones - live review - The Scotsman

20 February 2008
The Scotsman
Joyce MacMillan
4 Stars

DAVID Paul Jones is probably best known to Edinburgh theatre audiences as the man behind the music for site-specific shows by the Grid Iron company.

In truth, though, he's a pianist, singer and composer of immense lyrical talent and depth, exquisitely explored in this recent cycle of nine songs about "love lost at sea", which played over Valentine's weekend at the Traverse. For an hour, Jones sat at his lone piano, under a single light, and washed his audience with ripple after ripple of rich, rocking cadences and textures, shifting from slightly sinister minor keys to sunlit major and back, as he returned to the sea again, and its Davy Jones's locker of drowned dreams.

The style of Jones's music is fiercely postmodern, full of melody and an almost filmic descriptive quality; his sound-poetry lyrics create a sense of mystery and incantation that links romantic desire with spirituality and faith. But whether this intense lyrical quality is to your taste or not, there's no denying the sheer technical brilliance and sustained intensity of Jones's performance, or the courage with which he refuses the emotional bleakness of musical abstraction, and insists on continuing to explore the deepest, most romantic waters of human yearning and vulnerability.

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