You may be interested to learn that we’ve just published Peter Mills’ remarkably thorough and erudite study of Van Morrison, Hymns to the Silence.
Neither biography nor chronological trawl, Hymns to the Silence is a detailed investigative study of Van Morrison’s remarkable career. Peter Mills engages with his subject in a fresh and accessible style – often challenging the received wisdom. He looks at Morrison as a songwriter and specifically as an Irish writer, yet one who has worked primarily with American musical forms. Key themes and motifs are examined, as well as the ideas of place, home and exile and Morrison’s periodic use of through-composition in major case studies of four of his best-regarded albums. Each section is full of detailed scrutiny and illuminating examples drawn from right across his recording and stage career, including his 2009 return to Astral Weeks. The book is also studded with fresh and original quotes from people who know about the music, including Maria McKee, Kevin Rowland, Kate Rusby, Ben Sidran, and Fiachra Trench.
Hymns to the Silence is a passionate, eloquent study of the complex and influential art of one of the giants of popular music.
Interesting, too, that our book published at exactly the same time as Greil Marcus’ study of Van Morrison, When That Rough God Goes Riding.