Uttered Nonsense

Uttered Nonsense cover

Eight works of Mr Edward Lear, spoken with the utmost gravity by Mr Ivan Smith, and set to music of the most nonsensical nature by John Sangster. These eight word-pieces embedded within fourteen more instrumental excursions which take their titles and their inspiration from the Nonsense Books of Edward Lear.

The double LP, Uttered Nonsense (The Owl and the Pussycat), was published in 1980 by Rainforest Records Australia (RF LP001). Here are the opening pieces from Side Four, an instance each for the instrumental excursions and accompanied readings:

Closing the LP notes, John Sangster (1928-1995) wrote what he probably considered some sort of manifesto for Nonsense music:

From the enjoyment of and love for [Edeard Lear’s] works comes the Uttered Nonsense. Nonsense-Music. Goodness knows there’s not much of it about. Things being what they are nowadays. Nonsense-Music I guess should be at the same time provocative, silly, amusing, curious, thought-provoking, complex and direct, full of quotes and mis-quotes, puns, malapropism, musical spoonerisms, tight-ropes negotiated and bear-traps set up and then avoided, satisfying, adroit, nimble, fanciful, and above all entertaining and jolly.

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