aus / from: The Sunday Record, November 1971


One of the most fascinating releases of the current season is

It's a collection of 26 rounds written, as is Moondog's wont, in such diverse meters as 7/4 and 5/4, plus the more conventional 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4. The lyrics deal with the philosophies of Moondog's life and style, such as:

What's the most exciting thing about life ...?
I have to tell you, I can't wait.
It's l o v e, it's love ...

These little rounds, which Moondog says he enjoys composing as much as anything else in life, are sung in various combinations of voices in two, three, five and up to seven parts. Backup instruments include Moondog's collection of logs, chains, claves, and the like; the vaginal, a spinet-like instrument with one string to a note, popular four centuries ago; an antique harp; the shawm and viola da gamba; and various recorders, piano, harpsichord, antiaue Organ.

If I had to tell you in a phrase what the music is like, I'd have to say 12th Century Burgundian, but it's more complex than that.

Moondog - blind and born Louis Hardin in Kansas and subsequently creating his own identity - is a man ahead of his time. The 20th Century may be catching up with him at last, but I doubt that it will pass him by. And just because these pieces are of a few measures duration each - brief, in the way that a Japanese haiku is brief - is no reason that Moondog is one of the truly creative men of our time.