A version of Bob Dylan’s “Ballad in Plain D” recorded at the WFIT performance studio in 2015 by the university’s Artist in Residence and a guest vocalist received high praise in The Financial Times’ Life of a Song series.
The monthly series, where the UK-based publication’s music critics and contributors discuss the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions, focused on the Dylan song from his 1964 album, “Another Side of Bob Dylan,” in an article April 25. (The article is behind a paywall.)
Journalist Phil Davison cites a version of the song recorded in 2015 by Paris Conservatory pianist Paul Anquez, who was at Florida Tech as Artist in Residence, and Swedish vocalist Isabel Sörling, whom he had asked to travel to the Melbourne campus to record an album and perform a concert. The resulting cover of “Ballad in Plain D” was “the most memorable post-Dylan version,” Davison wrote, more so than a 1998 version recorded by one half of the Indigo Girls, Emily Saliers, and several others.
“My first encounter with this song was at a friend’s wedding,” Sörling told Davison. “I was immediately blown away, felt struck by lightning. I felt that I absolutely had to try to get under its skin.”
The song was part of the album “Rivers,” which was produced by Kevin Burke and featured artwork and photography by Youngju Sohn, both of whom remain on faculty at the School of Arts and Communication.
“When I listen to Rivers, I believe the recording sessions of Paul and Isabel reflect a lot of deep intimacy for the patient listener,” said Burke, an associate professor of music. “John Marsden (the Orlando-based sound engineer) had a lot of respect for Paul and Isabel’s collaboration.”