The Middle Kingdom is a dramatic spoken word with music album comprised of a selection of poems from the Elliott Murphy collection of the same name. Read by Elliott, himself, with accompanying music composed and performed by his long time musical partner Olivier Durand and mixed and produced by Gaspard Murphy, the result is a surprisingly powerful album whose provocative lyrical images are lifted to yet another dimension with sympathetic and moving musical themes.
The idea for this unique project was born during the coronavirus confinement in France when it was impossible for these two long-time musical collaborators to perform or record together, because Olivier Durand lives in Le Havre and Elliott Murphy in Paris. Elliott proposed that Olivier choose a selection of poems from Elliott’s second book of poetry The Middle Kingdom that he could relate to both musically and lyrically. After deciding upon 18 titles Olivier composed and recorded accompanying musical themes in his home studio in Le Havre. After contributing his own musical ideas to the title cut, producer Gaspard Murphy mixed the final album with state-of-the-art HD sound. The subject matter of the poems themselves go from rock ‘n roll “On The Death of Prince” and “Last Night I Dreamed About Lou” to the very autobiographical “The Middle Kingdom.”
With a career of nearly half a century Elliott’s done it all with over 35 albums of original music since his debut album Aquashow (1973), six published books including two volumes of poetry (40 Poems in 40 Nights & The Middle Kingdom), short story collections (Cafe Notes & Paris Stories), three novels (Marty May, Poetic Justice & Diamonds by the Yard), and a starring role in the feature film Broken Poet based upon his 1980’s short story The Lion Sleeps Tonight which includes a rare cameo appearance by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa. He’s also the subject of the award winning 2016 documentary, The Second Act of Elliott Murphy. and his journalism has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and other international publications. Elliott’s autobiography Just A Story From America will soon be available as an Audiobook.
In 2015 Elliott Murphy was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. In 2018, Billy Joel inducted Elliott into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, stating, “His songs are honest and literate and pure, and those songs have attracted audiences far beyond his country. I’ve long envied his bravery and integrity, and I’ve always admired his lyric skill.”
The Middle Kingdom is available on iTunes/AppleMusic/Spotify/Amazon and all streaming platforms. For more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.