Magic and Myth

(See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons: "Sorceries from Astra Castra")We’ll explore the magical and mystical on this week’s edition of At Water’s Edge, with a new work by Cousin Silas, and featuring the album “Tales of Knights and Magic” by Megatone, as well as a variety of works centering around magic, sorcery, mythology and fantasy.


1. Psicodreamics – Unicorn’s Dream (The Beginning) (6:04)
(Fantasynth, Witches on the Radiowaves, 2009)

The Unicorn’s Dream
from At Water’s Edge (Rebekkah Hilgraves) 

Of what does the unicorn dream?
Does he envision virgin princesses,
pure and sweet
Trusting and innocent
With scented lap and gentle fingers?

Or crystal castles with vast stables
and endless meadows,
with sweet clover and spicy sorrel,
peopled with hands content to brush
and clean and worship the bright creature?

Or does he dream of darker things,
of war and separation,
of his virgin princess laid bare and ruined,
or his stables burned and raided?

Or does he dream at all?

Is it that he is so pure that he needn’t dream
Because he exists only in dreams?

Psicodreamics was created by Spanish musician Salva Moreno and inspired by fantasy tales and mythology. The album Fantasynth, released in 2009, delves into a world of fantasy where contemporary instrumental music combines with rhythm and percussion.

2. Ancient Future – Magic Rain (1:12)
(Natural Rhythms, Ancient Future, 2005)

Ancient Future’s classic second album was reissued on CD to rave reviews by Philo/Rounder in 1994 to commemorate 15 years of Ancient Future history. The reissue made The Beat magazine’s World Music Top 10 of 1994 List (#4). Upon its initial release on LP Natural Rhythms received two 1984 N.A.I.R.D. “Indie” awards in the fields of World Music and Album Cover Design.

Making their debut on Natural Rhythms are the remarkable and delightful frogs of Bali, Indonesia, and the Valley of the Moon, California, featured in live improvisations with the members of Ancient Future. A total of 12 different musicians contribute their talents, introducing Balinese gamelan, koto, marimba, and violin to Ancient Future’s diverse ensemble.

3. Of A Star – Rain Spell (3:00)
(Finding Gaia, Archaic Horizon, 2010)

John Glaunert, the man behind the moniker, recorded nearly the entire album organically, including percussion, vocals, guitar, synth, keys, field recordings, as well as other odds and ends.

4. Adam Fielding – Atlantis (5:10)
(unreleased,, 2004)

5. Orion’s Belt – The Image of Time (30:36)
(Ecumenicals ~ The Mysteries of Time, Dark Duck, 2010)

Orion’s Belt (aka Jim Brenholts and Darren Rogers) teamed up again for their album Ecumenicals ~ The Mysteries of Time, recorded during the spring and summer of 2009 and completed just one month before the untimely death of Jim Brenholts. With that event, the album firmly grasps the concept of time and the urgency of life.

This CD was dedicated to the memory of Jim Brenholts and his love and passion for music and the music makers in the ambient and spacemusic communities.

6. Streamline – Gaia’s Embrace (7:15)
(The Earth Ambient, Blue Water Records, 2006)

Streamline is New Jersey-based artist Gary Mulford. Flowing and formless, this album was created in 2006 as a calm and peaceful tribute to Mother Nature.

7. Bernard Reeb – Into the Deep Sky (14:30)
(Lumina Magica, Jamendo, 2009)

In the album Lumina Magica, Bernard Reeb offers us a pure ambient album between Berlin school space music and contemporary music.This LP was the first offering of “Carte Blanche” (CB), a series of releases that features guest artists out of the LCL netlabel.LCL (LibreCommeLair) is a french netlabel, distributing mainly electro dub, but also occasionally electronica, abstract hiphop & other downtempo sounds.

8. Dan Pound – Under Her Spell (5:08)
(Medusazoa, Pound Sounds, 2011)

Inspired by the movements of fluidity and bio-luminescent colors of the jellyfish, this is an all out analog excursion of ambient liquid space. Based and built from analog modular synth drones, patches & effects, this is magic of the sort you find underwater: Made to accompany the fluid movements and colorful bio-luminescence of the jellyfish, flowing and drifting with the currents.

Dan Pound composes and produces ambient electronic, new age, world/shamanic, space-music soundscapes.

9. Clookai – Faerie Magic Incantations (7:27)
(Spirits of the Faerie, Paradise Music, 2011)

This entire album tells a story of a visit to the faerie realm and a gathering hosted by the Faerie Queen herself. In producing the album, Clookai and Chris Conway used light musical textures to create a light feeling to the music. They assure us,

“We particularly didn’t want the music to sound twee, but instead be evocative of a magical place. Celtic music was an influence here and there too.”

Clookai provided the flute, tin Irish whistle and vocals, and producer Chris Conway provided keyboards, acoustic 9 string guitar, low & tin Irish whistles, kalimba, zither, wind chimes and percussion.

10. Cousin Silas – The Magician Performs (17:13)
(unreleased, 2012)

Cousin Silas, bless him, created this track specifically for this program, and wrote the following:

The idea of believing in magic, as a child, is like childhood itself. It offers wonderful and exciting things, innocence being perhaps the most precious. As we get older the magic we once believed in becomes tarnished and fragmented. I can remember the look of wonder and excitement when we had a party for my two children (and their friends) and we hired a magician. As he began, their expressions changed to pure joy, belief and a special magic in itself.

Like childhood, all these qualities begin to dilute and the only way we can truly appreciate what we once had, is to see it on the faces of children, reliving it through their expression and our memories.

To create this track, Cousin Silas used Reaper with Dimension Pro and Sonik Synth 2. The main background was a soundscape he made earlier, but processed it through Izotope Iris, and a variety of tweaks in Soundforge.

11. Psicodreamics – The Sorcery (5:13)
(Azhdark Passion, Psicodreamics, 2004)

Once again we hear from Spanish musician Salva Moreno, this time from his 2004 album Azhdark Passion. Since he began composing in 1990, Psicodreamics has composed several albums and singles, including this one, all inspired by tales of magic and fantasy.

12. Lumina Magica – Heaven (12:11)
(Searching for Heaven, Lumina Magica, 2010)

Bernard Reeb, from whom we heard earlier in this show, decided to focus solely on this style of ambient music, and has been creating music under the moniker Lumina Magica ever since. Searching for Heaven is one of the three volumes in a new arrangement of his previous albums.

13. Marc Enfroy – The Magic Garden (3:34)
(Awakening, Marc Enfroy, 2009)

Inspired by the death of his sister from melanoma, Marc Enfroy began teaching himself to compose music in 2006. He interweaves piano melodies with orchestral arrangements in a style he calls Cinematic Piano Music.

Megatone: Tales of Knights and Magic
(Megatone, 2010)

14. Prelude 1 ~ Seashore (4:10)
15. Prelude 2 ~ White Pearl (5:54)
16. Before Departure (1:19)
17. Sea Crossing to Ephyra (3:25)
18. Stars of Tortuga (3:39)
19. Land of Midgard (3:16)
20. Andromeda (2:41)
21. Battlefields of Aurora (2:55)
22. Youth Without Elderness (5:14)

Written and produced by Marcel Gherman, Tales of Knights and Magic is a collection of original orchestral compositions inspired by Japanese fantasy role playing games. The album also includes a fragment from Marcel Gherman’s new fantasy novel “Prince Indra’s Space Quest”.

23. Spheric Lounge – Magic Gloves (7:22)

(Session 72, 23 February 2007, Spheric Lounge, 2007)

Spheric Lounge is a longstanding live ambient collective based in Munich, Germany, releasing more than 300 titles so far under creative commons license.

24. Lucette Bourdin – Finding Ganesha (20:10)
(Seeking Ganesha, Earth Mantra, 2008)

The late Lucette Bourdin was a visual and music artist who was a native of France, growing up in the villages and towns near the Doubs River in the eastern part of the country. Marrying an American, she came to the States and pursued both art and music.

Lucette once said:

“The closest analogy to how I experience both the act of painting and a finished work of art is music. While I am painting I feel like music is streaming through me on to the paper. It is difficult to say whether I am playing the music or the instrument being played. My experience is the reverse of music however, because the performance is done privately in my studio while the completed score in its entirety is what I show the public. There is another interesting distinction between the two mediums for me as well. Music is played in a line, it is linear, but it creates an atmosphere that continues after it has been played. A painting is a whole piece of music sounding all at once and which the viewer replays by looking at it. As the eye wanders around a painting the colors, forms, textures and their relationships are “sounding” within the viewer creating an experience or mood or atmosphere.”

Lucette passed away in February of 2011, but her unique perspective on music and art lives on.

More about Lucette…

25. Torley – Magic Hours (3:38)
(Ambitizers, Kahvi Collective, 2010)

26. TTM – THE MAGICIAN: Master Of Time And Space (4:20)
(Eight From the Deck, Atomic City, 1994)

27. Ran Kirlian – Summoning Spell (1:42)
(Selected Works I, Jamendo, 2008)

from Love the Haven of Peace (Rebekkah Hilgraves)

My heart beats in my breast and bursting, cries,
Each breath I take trails fire along my skin.
Your face before me when I close my eyes,
Your touch imagin’d, conjur’d from within,
My senses all awaken’d, now aflame,
And straining forward, ‘cross the distance call,
Alive with passion, whispering your name,
All reason gone, into your spell I fall.
Now thus invok’d, such magic do I feel
That music to my lips unbidden fly
And sing until you stand before me, real,
Inhabited by love’s eternal cry.
Affection, passion and desire now blend
With love and strength, a broken soul to mend.

28. Arcticology – Perfect Fantasy (10:38)
(Looking for Satellites, Earth Mantra, 2008)

29. Phillip Wilkerson – Fantasy Drift (8:29)
(Fantasy Drift, Phillip Wilkerson Music, 2006)

30. Psicodreamics – Unicorn’s Dream (The End) (5:46)
(Fantasynth, Witches on the Radiowaves, 2009)

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