Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) lived whenever possible in Providence, Rhode Island (although a short-lived marriage dragged him scraping and screeching to NYC for a jaunt). He grated through poverty, obscurity, frustration, nursing his personal obsessions and shaking his fist at a world he didn’t and couldn’t order. He wrote prose, poetry, and an overlooked bulk of journalism and nonfiction, almost all of it devoted to creeping, suffocating horror, too-sensitive and/or over-inquisitive folk pulling down the fabric of sanity, emerging only on occasion with their own minds.
H. P. Lovecraft's "Case of Charles Dexter Ward"
...read by William E. Hart
Lovecraft often dropped only a hint of what lay beyond reason, but over time and tales, hints formed the shape of what his followers call the “Cthulhu Mythos.” In brief: ancient monsters and wretched gods sit out there beyond time, space, and the human mind. Don’t wave. They might see you. Of course, somebody always got bold (or stupid). Lovecraft needed story upon which to pin his warning.
A straight-up racist and snob, H.P. often blamed such demented meddling on lower bloods. We should never ignore this, but his poetry at least points to more palatable visions. Here, Graham Plowman’s music symbiotically swirls around William E. Hart’s tone of perpetual intrigue and, most shocking of all, exaltation: “…of a rift in the horizon’s wall/ Opening to worlds where only gods can be.” And those don’t signify gods of foulness, either. “Yet sunken deep where alien polyps throng/ The old towers miss their lost, remembered song.”
He churned out fiends. But he also waited, dreaming, of better things.
Album: H.P. Lovecraft’s Fungi From Yuggoth and Other Poems
Artist: Read by William E. Hart, music by Graham Plowman
Label: Fedogan & Bremer
Songs: 50 tracks, including the entire “Fungi From Yuggoth” sequence