Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.

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20220830

Focus in Cardiff

Photo Credits Barry Morris

Slipped down to Cardiff last Thursday to see Focus play. The venue was The Earl Hague Club, Whitchurch. A typical set but without La Cathedrale and  including  Focus 7 and a new Song for Bert in memory of the recently deceased former bass player. All the band played well, including Menno Gootjes, who I thought did better with his solo than sometimes in the past. The crowd enjoyed All hens on deck but were less sure about Focus 7 and the bass solo. I'm sure he has said it before but I noticed that Thijs referred to Pierre van der Linden in public as "The world's greatest drummer", which he is, of course.

20220801

Songs named for women

  1. Janis
  2. Euridice
  3. Sylvia
  4. Elspeth of Nottingham
  5. Tokyo Rose
  6. Anaya
  7. Winnie
  8. Victoria
  9. Hazel
  10. Song for Eva
  11. Song for Yaminah

20220331

Death of Bert Ruiter


We were sorry to hear of the death of former Focus bassist Bert Ruiter on March 24 in Blaricum, Holland. Bert was bassist in the heydays of Focus from the time of Focus 3. He went on to have hits with Earth and Fire in Holland, including a number one. Born in Hilversum in 1946, he was 75. He leaves behind his partner of nearly fifty years, Jerney Kaagman.
The message from the present band Focus was 'We will miss you Bert. Thanks for all your music. We wish Jerney a lot of strength with this loss.'
This is the second death of a bassist with Focus as the first one, Martijn Dresden, is no longer with us. First drummer, Hans Cleuver, has also died.

Focus at Powerhaus


Got to see Focus last week at the Powerhaus in Camden Town last Thursday. Our tickets had the wrong date and the wrong venue but the right band and so it all worked out well after a long, long wait. Everybody looked a little older but there was no diminution in the commitment and skill one associates with this great band and we had a two hour without a break beginning with Focus 1 Anonymus and ending with Hocus Pocus and an encore of Focus 3, Answers Questions Questions Answers. On the way there were many delights including a rendition of Brother dedicated to Bert Ruiter, former bassist, the news of whose death had reached the band earlier in the day and an ensemble version of Moving Waves that they are working on and that I had never heard before. Great stuff then on the whole despite what is now the familiarity of the set with nice solos and very tight playing. Decent crowd too. Claire Hamill kicked us off with her gentle songs and a version of Yes's Mood for a day by her guitarist.

20220316

Jan Akkerman at Trading Boundaries


It was my joy to be down in Sussex last Friday at Trading Boundaries to catch the first of three concerts by Jan Akkerman and his band - the first time in a while. The concert was in two halves and was more jazzy for the first half (a nice section Crackers to Angel Watch) and more rocky for the second (though Focus 2 and Anonymous are unique). The bass player has broken his leg and so had to sit and Jan didn't seem quite happy with his two Gibson guitars for some of the time. I got a little lost on Tommy's Anniversary but otherwise it was a great concert. Nice to meet Jan and Mrs Akkerman, looking after the merchandise. Jan seemed tired at the end of a long day. He is 75, of course.



20211230

Top 10 Focus Tracks According to Amazon UK 2021


  1. Sylvia
  2. Hocus Pocus
  3. House of the King
  4. Focus 3
  5. Tommy from Eruption
  6. Anonymus
  7. Focus 2
  8. Focus Instrumental
  9. Harem Scarem
  10. Avondrood

20211127

Latest Focus Tour abandoned


Focus have announced they have been forced to cancel their remaining UK and European tour dates on their Focus 50 tour after Thijs van Leer contacted Covid.
In a short statement, Focus's management said: "Thijs van Leer, whilst being treated in hospital for an unrelated issue, has been diagnosed with COVID. This means that the rest of the UK tour dates have been postponed. Updates on the rescheduling of dates will follow."
The band were due to perform in East Sussex, Dover, Chelmsford and London and European venues. Gutted to be missing them especially after Jan Akkerman pulled out of scheduled dates this month for similar reasons.

20210930

New Solo Album from Thijs van Leer

I thought it unlikely that Thijs van Leer would have been doing nothing during the pandemic. His new album is now out. All in French, Parce que is a set of ten vocal numbers with piano and flute from the maestro. Downloaded it recently and am enjoying it.

20210604

Track by track 164 Winnie

Archive number: 164
Title: Winnie
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 20
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Mosh Studios, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Length: 5:26
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Udo Panekeet – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017

Notes: Winnie is Menno's daughter. The track begins with a slow and atmospheric intro from the band (00:00-00:35) until the reverberating electric guitar takes up the lead. Just over the two minute mark a whistful flute comes in backed by piano, for half a minute or so before reverting to the guitar led theme for a while, but with the piano. At the 3:30 mark the flute comes in again until 3:49. The guitar then takes up the lead again backed by piano, drums and bass in the same whistful way as before. The reverbed guitar ends the track, alone for the last 20 seconds or so.

Track by track 163 Anaya

Archive number: 163
Title: Anaya
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 19
Genre: Bass solo
Studio: Unknown
Length: 1:53
Composer: Udo Pannekeet
Musicians: Udo Pannekeet - Six string Bass, percussion machine
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: Anaya is the 9-year-old daughter of Yaminah. This is another more lively solo bass piece from Udo Pannekeet with percussion machine and multi-tracking.

Track by track 161 Raga Reverence 5

Archive number: 161
Title: Raga Reverence 5
Main Album: The Focus Family Album (also on Swung Vol 2)
Track number: 17
Genre: Jam
Studio: Unknown
Length: 3:49
Composer: Menno Gootjes, Bobby Jacobs & Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Menno Gootjes - Guitar; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs
Engineer: Bobby Jacobs?
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2014/2017
Notes: This jam begins with a bass groove, soon joined by drums and guitar in a lively and brief manner. The guitar gets quite intricate before the set melts down and ends.

Track by track 159 Hazel

Archive number: 159
Title: Hazel
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number:15
Genre: Acoustic guitar
Studio: Unknown
Length: 1:56
Composer: Menno Gootjes
Musicians: Menno Gootjes – Guitar
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: Menno plays his guitar again.

Track by Track 158 Santa Teresa

Archive number: 158
Title: Santa Teresa
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 14
Genre: Sung Ballad
Studio: Wedgeview Studios(Woerdense Verlaat, Netherlands) Fieldwork Studios (Schoten, Belgium)
Skystudio and Bassbob Studios
Length: 6:00
Composer: van Leer
Musicians: Ivan Lins vocals, Thijs van Leer organ flute, Menno Gootjes guitar, Udo Pannekeet bass, Pierre van der Linden drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version:
Notes: A crash of cymbal and a chord in unison from the band begin the track and after about 20 seconds of Hammond dominated introduction, the singer (Ivan Lins) begins with the hymn like words below in Spanish. At 1:50 a flute breaks in and there is a flute led instrumental break. At 2:26 the vocal returns. By the 4 minute mark Vins has risen to something of a tuneful shout an the band takes over again, this time with the electric guitar leading. Then on the five minute marker Vins sings for thfinal time and the song comes to an end.

Lyrics: Santa Teresa Enamorada.
Santa Teresa Enamorada.
Maravillosa
Vas tan de prisa,
Camino a tu amado
Tómanos de la mano, Tómanos de la mano

Virgen del Carmen
Estrella de Chile
Tu hija Teresa
Es nuestra alegría.
Virgen del Carmen
Abre tu manto de gracias, de luces
Tómanos de la mano, Tómanos de la mano

Santa Teresa Enamorada
Santa Teresa Enamorada
Maravillosa
Vas tan de prisa,
Camino a tu amado
Tómanos de la mano, Tómanos de la mano.

Virgen del Carmen.
Estrella de Chile.
Tu hija Teresa
Es nuestra esperanza.
Virgen del Carmen
Abre tu manto de gracias, de luces
Tómanos de la mano. Tómanos de la mano.

Santa Teresa Enamorada
Santa Teresa Enamorada
Maravillosa
Vas tan de prisa Camino a tu amado
Tómanos de la mano. Tómanos de la mano

Translation
St Theresa, beloved, St Theresa, beloved.
Wonderful.
You go so fast
On the way to your beloved.
Take us by the hand, take us by the hand.

Virgin of Carmen, Star of Chile
Your daughter Theresa
It is our joy.
Virgin of Carmen
Open your mantle of graces, of lights
Take us by the hand, take us by the hand.

Virgin of Carmen, Star of Chile
Your daughter Theresa
It is our joy.
Virgin of Carmen
Open your mantle of graces, of lights
Take us by the hand, take us by the hand.

St Theresa, beloved, St Theresa, beloved.
Wonderful.
You go so fast
On the way to your beloved.
Take us by the hand, take us by the hand.

Track by track 157 Spiritual Swung

Archive number: 157
Title: Spiritual Swung
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 13
Genre: Drums
Studio: Unknown
Length: 3:02
Composer: Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Marlies Helder
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version: The same track is on Drum Poetry
Notes: This is another drum piece from Pierre van der Linden.

Track by Track 156 Birds come fly over

Archive number: 147
Title: Birds Come Fly Over
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 11
Genre: Sung Ballad
Studio: Unknown
Length: 5:30
Composer: Thijs van Leer, Rosalie Peters
Musicians: Thijs van Leer piano, organ, melodics, vocals, whistling; Menno Gootjes guitars, Udo Pannekeet bass, Pierre van der Linden drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Other versions: This is a version of Le Tango, which has appeared in several places
Notes: Before van Leer's singing comes in at 00:53 the atmosphere is built through an instrumental section that begins with drums and acoustic guitar but is then developed with flute, organ and a chugging electric guitar. The lyrics continue through the rest of the song, with instrumental interludes of varying short lengths. The piano is prominent but the melodica is in there and the electric guitar gets a good run just before a quieter section (out of a million overs, etc) where van Leer's whistling is present, 04:02-04:44.

The lyrics
I'm always watching sunrise
I have at least a life
And for my heart's desire I can die

And you my love, my good love
I see you live your life
But in my heart I've often seen you cry

I'm only waiting for the time to pass
How can I raise my voice or my hand
Birds come fly over to the sun

Out of a million lovers
One only could be mine
But there's a million others passing by

From sun up until sundown
This life is such a strife
And if you loose your love you loose your life

I'm only waiting for the time to pass
How can I raise my voice or my hand
Birds come fly over to the sun

Track by track 155 Let us wander

Archive number: 155
Title:  Let us wander
Main Album: The Focus Family Album 
Track number: 11
Genre: Solo instrumental (Flute)
Studio: Unknown 
Length: 2:33
Composer: Thijs van Leer 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – 1989 Muramatsu Flute 
Producer: Geert Scheigrond 
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond 
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings 
Date of recording/release: 2017 
Notes:  Thijs apparently wanders near a river playing his flute with aquatic and other background nature sounds.

Track by Track 154 Clair-Obscur

Archive number: 154
Title: Clair-Obscur
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 10
Genre: 
Studio: Unknown
Length: 3:53
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer piano, Menno Gootjes guitar, Udo Pannekeet bass, Pierre van der Linden drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Other versions: The track is also on Focus 11
Notes: We begin with the piano and electric guitar weaving a pleasant melody twice over before the snare -led drums and bass come in at 00:43. The tune meanders rather before the original tune reasserts itself and then meanders again. At 2:34-36 there is something of a ritartando on solo piano before the piece abruptly ends shortly after that.
Clair-obscur is the French version of the Italian Chiaroscuro, an art term that simply means light-dark and refers to the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures. Similar effects in cinema, and black and white and low-key photography, are also called chiaroscuro.
Further specialised uses of the term include chiaroscuro woodcut for coloured woodcuts printed with different blocks, each using a different coloured ink; and chiaroscuro drawing for drawings on coloured paper in a dark medium with white highlighting.
Chiaroscuro is one of the canonical painting modes of the Renaissance (alongside cangiante, sfumato and unione). Artists known for using the technique include Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Goya.

Track by track 153 Song for Yaminah

Archive number: 153
Title: Song for Yaminah
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 9
Genre: Solo instrumental
Studio: Unknown
Length: 1:53
Composer: Udo Pannekeet
Musicians: Udo Pannekeet – five string bass
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: Dedicated to his one true love, this pleasant piece finds the latest Focus bass player exploring his instrument with skill.

Track by track 152 The fifth man

Archive number: 152
Title: The fifth man
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 8
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Mosh Studios, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Length: 4:40
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars; Udo Panekeet – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: April 13 2014/2017
Notes: The track begins with ten seconds of distorted guitar riff before the drums and bass come in and then the Hammond at around 00:33. The whole band rocks with the riff until 01:41 when a new theme is picked out on guitar over the band. At 01:58 it is just guitar again for some seconds before the band kick in again. At 02:21 van Leer's jazzy Hammond takes the lead until at 02:42 the original guitar led riff comes back in, before we have the clear guitar again at 03:06 which then becomes a drum led band finale with improvised blues guitar and reversions to the themes until a sudden stop at the end.

Track by track 151 Raga Reverence 1

Archive number: 151
Title: Raga Reverence 1
Main Album: The Focus Family Album (also on Swung Vol 2)
Track number: 7
Genre: Jam
Studio: Unknown
Length: 6:24
Composer: Menno Gootjes, Bobby Jacobs & Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Menno Gootjes - Guitar; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs
Engineer: Bobby Jacobs?
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: This jam begins briefly with cymbals then a bass riff from Bobby with the drums joining in at 00:13 and the guitar playing over it at 00:20 forward. A second guitar appears to be overdubbed most of the way so that the high notes and the more chugging style compliment each other. We have something of a slowing down at 04:50 before the while trails away.
A note on jam session (based on Wikipedia)
This is a relatively informal musical event, process, or activity where musicians, typically instrumentalists, play improvised solos and vamp on tunes, songs and chord progressions. To "jam" is to improvise music without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements, except for when the group is playing well-known jazz standards or covers of existing popular songs. Original jam sessions, also 'free flow sessions', are often used by musicians to develop new material (music) and find suitable arrangements. Both styles can be used simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one participant, or may be wholly improvisational. Jam sessions can range from very loose gatherings of amateurs to evenings where a jam session coordinator or host acts as a "gatekeeper" to ensure that only appropriate-level performers take the stage, to sophisticated improvised recording sessions by professionals which are intended to be broadcast live on radio or TV or edited and released to the public.

20210603

Focus / 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976

 



9CD+2DVD box set

50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976 is a box set that contains the complete work of Focus between 1970 and 1976.
The set is curated by Focus/Jan Akkerman archivist Wouter Bessels whoe previously curated the 26 CD Akkerman box set. It features newly remastered versions of the first five studio albums all of which come with rare bonus tracks (single versions, alternates, rough mixes). Additionally, it includes the 1973 live album At The Rainbow, the Ship of Memories compilation from 1976 (which features 11 bonus tracks), the complete BBC In Concert 1973 gig taken from the original stereo master tapes and a disc of unreleased live performances.
Two DVDs (PAL, region-free) contain over four hours of audiovisual material taken from the archives of various TV stations around the world and include the first official release of the 1973 ‘Focus At The Rainbow’ concert movie, carefully restored from the original 16 mm film.
The box set comes with an inforative 80-page booklet with band history, liner notes and various memorabilia.

Wouter Möller


Classical musician Wouter Möller turns out to be the previously uncredited cello player on the very early track Happy nightmare (mescaline).

20210602

New Book on Focus


A new book has recently appeared on Focus in the Seventies. By Stephen Lambe, the book endeavours to guide the reader through the band's early history year by year, up to the end of the seventies. It deals with eight Focus albums song by song and gives the same treatment to Akkerman and van Leer's solo work 1970-1979. It claims to be a potted history of the band and an insight into the tensions which lead to such a creative - if short lived - peak and "an essential guide to the astonishing music the two men made while at the peak of their powers." Like so many books of this sort it labours under the difficulty of being so appallingly proof read (I'm not sure any attempt was actually made beyond using a computer spell check). The album by album analysis is not appealing to the casual reader either. The approach is to have Lambe voice his own opinion about the music, which is fine where you agree but more difficult where you do not. Apparently, Eruption is brilliant but Anonymus not so and the Introspection albums are too much of their time. It's nice to hear opinions I suppose. It's greatest achievement is to have persuaded me to buy the latest Focus Collection, the fifty year anthology. Anyway, if you are a Focus fanatic do buy it. PS Mr Lambe, please please let me proofread a second edition.

20210309

Track by track 150 Mosh Blues

Archive number: 150
Title: Mosh Blues
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 6
Genre: Prog Rock
Studio: Unknown
Length: 6:24
Composer: Thijs Van Leer, Menno Gootjes, Bobby Jacobs & Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Thijs van Leer - organ, scat, flute; Menno Gootjes - Guitar; Bobby Jacobs - Bass; Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: The track begins with a bass and drums led band groove, the Hammond coming in from 00:27. Hammond and lead guitar swap the limelight, the guitar eventually triumphing, At 3:18 van Leer gives us about 48 seconds of scat, 28 seconds of Hammond lead and 47 seconds of breathy flute. The band then playout the rest of the song, which lasts just over a minute until the final chord.

Moshing
(From Wikipedia) Also known as slam dancing or simply slamming, it is a style of dance in which participants push or slam into each other, typically performed to "aggressive" live music. Moshing usually happens in the centre of the crowd, generally closer to the stage, in an area called the "pit". It is intended to be energetic and full of body contact.
The dance style originated in the hardcore punk scenes of California and Washington, D.C. around 1980. Through the 1980s it spread to other branches of punk rock as well as thrash metal and grunge, which exposed it to the mainstream. Since then, moshing has occasionally been performed to energetic music within a wide variety of genres, including alternative rock, EDM and hip hop, while remaining a staple at punk and heavy metal shows.
Variations of moshing exist, including "pogoing", "circle pits", and "wall of death". Dancing can be done alone as well as in groups.
While moshing is seen as a form of positive fan feedback or expression of enjoyment, it has also drawn criticism over dangerous excesses occurring in offshoots. Injuries have been reported.

20201113

Track by track 149 Two-part intervention

Archive number: 149
Title: Two-part Intervention
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 5
Genre: Acoustic guitar
Studio: Unknown
Length: 1:21
Composer: Menno Gootjes
Musicians: Menno Gootjes – Guitar
Producer: Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Notes: Menno plays his guitar

Track by track 148 Victoria

Archive number: 148
Title: Victoria
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 4
Genre: Prog Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium (Mixed at B-Spot Studio; mastered at Tube Mastering)
Length: 5:28
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – Hammond organ, piano, flute; Menno Gootjes – Guitars, Vocals; Bobby Jacobs – Bass; Pierre van der Linden – Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs, Geert Scheijgrond
Engineer: Bram Bol/Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2012/2017
Alternative recording: This is an edit from the version on Focus X
Notes: See Track by track 128

Track by track 147 Riverdance

Archive number: 147
Title: Riverdance
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 3
Genre: Drums
Studio: Unknown
Length: 4:45
Composer: Pierre van der Linden
Musicians: Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Marlies Helder
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version: The same track is on Drum Poetry
Notes: This is a drum piece from Pierre van der Linden

Track by track 146 Song for Eva

Archive number: 146
Title: Song for Eva
Main Album: The Focus Family Album
Track number: 2
Genre: Jazz Rock
Studio: Unknown
Length: 9:31
Composer: Thijs van Leer/Lord Byron 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer - Piano, Organ , Voice, Menno Gootjes - Guitars, Udo Pannekeet - Bass, Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Geert Scheigrond
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings
Date of recording/release: 2017
Alternative version: Introspection 4
Notes:
Eva is Thijs's oldest daughter and he wrote this song for her. It was used as the theme (using the original version) to a 1978 Dutch TV drama called Exit 7.
We begin with piano and Thijs speaks the Byron poem below supported by the band. After about a minute the guitar leads with a repeated slow yearning strain that carries the main theme. This continues until 4:05 when a more jazzy guitar leads another passage, increasingly complex. This eventually blends back into something like the previous theme, which is repeated from 7:17. In the last 50 seconds the whole thing winds down in the manner that the section began at 4:05 but coming to a close this time.
Words (Lord Byron)

They say that Hope is happiness;
But genuine Love must prize the past,
And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless:
They rose the first - they set the last;

And all that Memory loves the most 
Was once our only Hope to be,
And all that Hope adored and lost
Hath melted into Memory.

Alas! it is delusion all:
The future cheats us from afar,
Nor can we be what we recall,
Nor dare we think on what we are.

Note Lord Byron (from Wikipedia) - George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, FRS (1788–1824), known simply as Lord Byron, was a British peer, who was a poet and politician. He was one of the leading figures of the  Romantic Movement and is regarded as one of the greatest British poets. He remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular. This poem is from the latter source.
He travelled extensively across Europe, especially in Italy, where he lived for seven years in Venice, Ravenna and Pisa. During his stay in Italy he frequently visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Later in life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire and died of disease leading a campaign during that war, for which the Greeks revere him as a national hero. He died at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Siege of Missolonghi.
His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as a foundational figure in the field of computer programming, based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, and possibly Elizabeth Medora Leigh.

20200926

Track by track 145 Nature is our friend

Archive number: 145
Title: Nature is our Friend 
Main Album: The Focus Family Album 
Track number: 1 
Genre: Solo instrumental 
Studio: Unknown 
Length: 3:14 
Composer: Thijs van Leer 
Musicians: Thijs van Leer – 1989 Muramatsu Flute 
Producer: Geert Scheigrond 
Engineer: Geert Scheigrond 
Label: In and Out of Focus Recordings 
Date of recording/release: 2017 
Notes: 
Thijs apparently wanders in the woods playing his flute with background nature sounds

Track by Track 139 Focus 1 GO

Archive number: 138
Title: Focus 1 GO
Main Album: Golden Oldies
Track number: 4
Genre: Progressive rock Instrumental
Studio: WedgeView Studios, Verlaat, The Netherlands
Length: 6:58
Composer: Thijs van Leer
Musicians: Thijs van Leer - Hammond organ, Menno Gootjes - Guitars, Bobby Jacobs - Bass, Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Bobby Jacobs
Engineer: Budy Mokoginta and Bram Boll
Label: Focus Music Ltd
Date of recording/release: 2014 CD also produced in vinyl format

Notes: A basic instrumental version of the oldest song still regularly in the repertoire. A vocal from van Leer at 2:55-3:20. It also has some Anonymus at the end.