Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Singers Love the Lady of Shalott
Why do so many singers love the Lady of Shalott? Several months ago I got it into my head to try to recreate the famous Waterhouse artwork in a photographic self-portrait (I haven't yet tried it), and searched the internet to see if any other photographer/model had done so, with no luck. I did, however, discover that several musicians have interpreted the artwork for their CD covers or music videos.
A few examples?
Of course, there's Loreena McKennitt, who has been my favorite singer for 14 years, and through whom I discovered the Pre-Raphaelites in the first place. She sings a version of the Tennyson poem.
Enya as the Lady of Shalott
A Fine Frenzy as the Lady of Shalott (a bit more of a stretch, but...boat, white dress?)
Emily Ovenden of the group Celtic Legend, in her music video "The Boatman"
And Patti Rothberg on the cover of her album "Candleabra Cadabra" (album title is cleverly written in the place where Waterhouse wrote the Lady's name on the boat)
I keep seeing new examples of singers using the Lady of Shalott as inspiration, so I'm sure there are more out there. Perhaps it's the fact that the Lady herself was a singer, with her voice as the only means by which her art could be expressed to others when she was trapped in the tower. Perhaps those musicians who use the Waterhouse art as a model don't even give it that much thought. But it is deliciously ironic.