Graham Dunnington is like a modern day Mike Oldfield in that he plays all the instruments on his albums himself – apart from violin. He writes the lyrics, composes, programs/plays the music and sings.
Graham is a friend of the Grimniens although he hasn’t had much time to ‘play’ with them for a while.
I asked him how the name, Looking-Glass Lantern came about and he explained:
“My wife and I were up until 3:00 AM one night, trying to put a name together which conjures up an atmosphere. As I’m sure you know, a looking-glass is a mirror, and a lantern is an old-fashioned lamp… It’s designed to feel like a ‘window’ onto a bygone era, which is precisely what my third album is all about”.
Asked about musical influences he tells me that Genesis and classical music in general are his main influences then adds that he has always been a fan of Steve Hackett because he’s produced such a variety of music over the years.
Graham, who has a PhD in Victorian Popular Music, used to play in a classical rock band and also has a love of classical music. The music of Looking-Glass Lantern is the result of this combination of influences.
Dr. Graham Dunnington
“The music business has changed beyond all recognition compared to even a few years ago, largely because of the opportunities offered by the Internet. It is exciting to be picking up fans literally on every continent!”
His debut album: A Tapestry of Tales (2013) is the first of two albums featuring songs based on some of the famous adventures of Mr Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson.
Listen here to the brilliant title track from the album ‘A Tapestry of Tales’:
“Graham Dunnington, a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, has conceived and delivered an album that takes the “classic” prog rock style and marries it with the underlying influences of classical music. The outcome of putting those two styles into the “music blender” and pressing “very gentle mix” results in an amazing album, across which majestic music and excellent lyrical content abounds.”
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
The following synopsis is an extract taken from the LGL website:
A word about the two ‘Holmes’ Albums
The two Sherlock Holmes albums were conceived as a pair The first album A Tapestry of Tales is concerned with a selection of the short stories, and the second album with the most famous Holmes adventure The Hound of the Baskervilles. In order to connect the two albums musically, themes and rhythms from the first album can be heard in the second album. For example, the first album opens with Holmes playing his violin. The second album ends with Holmes safely back in Baker Street, playing the same violin tune.
The following song is a musical tribute to the marriage of Dr John Watson and his wife Mary:
Six Pearls to Mary (from the album A Tapestry of Tales
It seems that Doctor Dunnington plans everything meticulously down to the finest detail because the release date of the follow-up album ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ – 13th October 2014 was chosen purposely because this is the 125th anniversary of Dr. Watson’s first report from Dartmoor to Sherlock Holmes in London!
” If you are looking for new progressive rock based on classic 70’s UK conceptualised storytelling then Hound Of The Baskervilles ticks every box.” from: http://strummerlive.net/2015/02/13/looking-glass-lantern-the-hound-of-the-baskervilles
You can listen to tracks from the second album here:
When I caught up with Graham for a chat he told me that the timing was perfect because he has just been interviewed for a radio show which is going to be broadcast on Easter Monday.
I asked him how this came about and he told me:
“After my dad died in December 2014, I was invited to contribute a track to a charity ProgRock album, in aid of the The World Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance. Here is the website:
The cd was released last autumn.This was really exciting, if emotionally hard, but the really exciting aspect to the album is that the former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett also contributed a track!! The guy who put the album together recently put me in touch with a radio presenter, looking to feature ‘Hidden Gems’ on a prog rock show going out on Easter Monday. We did the interview last week, and he’s also going to play an LGL song. It’s on Meridian fm between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon. Twitter link is @GuyB_rockshow.”
So would Graham like to play live with a band again?
“Yes, it would be exciting to play live, but for the moment I’m concentrating on getting my material together and building up a following via Twitter and various radio stations – not to mention kind people like yourself who want to write about what I’m doing!
I’ve been working on the next (third) album for the past few months, and the writing is very nearly finished. It has nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes, but it’s going to be all about the Victorian ‘world’. I’m working towards a 2016 release, and I hope to be announcing more information about the album later this year”.
And what are Graham’s interests away from music?
“Away from music? I never am away from music!! Apart from when I’m reading a book about art history, which I love. We’ve been to the Louvre in Paris, and also love going to Italy. Since I acquired the LGL Kindle I’ve been catching up on all the classic literature I never got around to reading There may be scope for another prog rock adaptation somewhere…”
You can follow Graham on Twitter: @glass_lantern
Thank you SO much for your time Graham. It was an absolute pleasure chatting to you. To me you will always be a sorbet (delivered on a silver platter by the scullery maid) …….see what I did there?