Born in 1563 into an age of religious and political strife, English composer and court musician John Dowland has captivated performers and listeners alike with his serene and introspective music since the late 16th century. Composed primarily for lute but also for small ensembles, Dowland's music remains arresting in its simplicity, spellbinding with melancholy and joy. It is perhaps inevitable that Sting - one of today's most internationally acclaimed troubadours - would be drawn to revisit Dowland's work from a contemporary perspective, some 400 years after the composer's death. "The songs of John Dowland have been gently haunting me for over 20 years," says the Grammy Award-winning Sting, who had little knowledge of the composer until the gift of an exquisitely manufactured lute rekindled his interest in the Elizabethan musician. 'Songs From The Labyrinth' features Sting's yearning tenor accompanied by acclaimed lute player Edin Karamazov to perform Dowland's timeless songs, interspersed with recitations from Dowland's personal correspondence to offer insight into his life and times.
The program premieres on February 26, 2007 (check local listings); watch for the launch of the Web companion on February 19, 2007.