In This Life – Virgil Donati

by Les Walkling on July 11, 2013

Virgil Donati

My dear friend Virgil Donati is about to release his new album, ‘In This Life’. It has been more than a year in the making and I contributed the album’s liner and track notes:

IN THIS LIFE: In analyzing the relationship between music and narrative it is often supposed that meaning resembles a ghoul or vampire attempting to drain the work of its life, that any incursion, thinking or analysis despoils its ‘purity’ or plunders its treasures.  Yet the plastic and visual arts have long partnered with narrative and description, of both form and content.  They have also worked in partnership to prevent pictures and objects from vanishing into the abyss of indifference or commercial oblivion, where words animate them as something other than products for financial gain or mere amusement.  Though works of art might not want to be merely a packhorse of culture, carrying or fetching messages and meanings, arguments and morals, they nevertheless excite and inspire in our lives a sense of their significance.  They impress themselves upon us, affecting us, and so become woven into our deeds, dreams and memories.  They become us, and once shared, displayed or played they also become a discourse, and then like all lives lived, beg interpretation, compassion and understanding.  Such is the narrative force of life itself.  Often the richest associations, innovations and clues evolve from the mere interaction between ourselves and those works of art that defy our reasoning.  We certainly don’t have to bludgeon the work into a literary submission.  Nor does the fragility of music, images and objects need protecting, for great art stands on its own even in the worst of times.  But imagine a life without words, or thoughts without conversation, or stories without nouns and verbs – how largely reactive that life would be without the reason and mindfulness of its articulation.  Our judgments don’t have to pillage, nor do our thoughts have to undermine, for our presumptions can remain speculative, our destinations unknown, and our beliefs filled with the hope of desire. We should just investigate and see what happens.

RED AIR: Maps like musical scores show us where we have been – recollections of earlier explorations and charts of potential adventure. Thus we discover there are two musics, each with their own history, aesthetic and purpose; there is the music we listen to, and the music we perform.  Between them resides something inaudible yet profoundly musical, that prefaces every thing and presumes nothing; that unites body and soul.

The album will go on sale from 23 July 2013 and can be pre-ordered as a download or CD Digipack now from here:



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