Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review: Ghosts CD by Llewellyn: Music inspired by true ghost stories of the UK.

Ghosts CD by Llewellyn: Music inspired by true ghost stories of the UK. Paradise Music. www, 2009

A truly different idea!

Though you may imagine from the title, that this CD might sound like a bunch of spooky scary, music it is anything but.

Each song is created to tell a musical story centered around the ghost the song is based on.

For instance, the first song - “The Piper” we are treated with the forlorn sound of a pipe as its player seems to be traveling along a path – a path that led him to the gallows outside of Inveraray Castle. As the drummers kick in, we know he is ending his travels and has reached his destination. Though his death is lamented by the crowd, his pipe is soon heard being played again – though now a more ghostly piper is the musician.

Other tracks on this CD include:

2) Lady Hoby –Lady Hoby lived in Bisham Abbey (a Tudor House that Anne of Cleves had been given by Henry VIII), and shortly after murdering her own son, she died herself. In this song you can her ghostly wail as she searches…perhaps for the son she killed.

3) The Hooded Maiden- Near Ardfen on Loch Craignish a woman appears who is thought to be awaiting the return of her love. In this song the Hooded Maiden appears to carry on her sad, endless, lonely search.

4) The White Lady – The story of Marrion de la Bruyer at Ludlow Castle. Though Marrion had fallen in love with an enemy of Ludlow – her lover was only using her to gain access to the castle to attack with an army. When Marrion discovered his deceit, she killed him with his own sword and then threw herself from the battlements. In this song, the sound of waves gives in to the woman lamenting the betrayal she suffered

5) Borley Rectory – According to some, this may be the most haunted house in England. Reports of a ghostly nun and the remains of a young woman buried in the cellar, make up the story of this rectory. In this song, you can practically hear the nun floating regally through passageways, and she most definitely does not seem very happy to be in her current state as she calls out to anyone who can hear her.

6) Jenny Spinner – Said to have been imprisoned in Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, she worked all day long at a spinning wheel and died after going insane. The spinning of her wheel can still be heard even though the room she was imprisoned in was demolished 200 years ago. In this song, “Jenny Spinner” sits at her wheel making the most beautiful threads.

7) Babes in the Wood – Wayland Woods in Norfolk is where two children were left by their uncle’s servant. The spirits of these children are said to be seen walking hand and hand are often heard crying in the woods. In the song, you can feel the children skipping along in the woods, but then feel them turn scared and desperate as they try, unsuccessfully to find their way out again.

8) Hinxworth Place – When a frightened nursemaid accidently kills one of the boys she is watching, a young boy becomes the ghost of Hinxworth Place. In this song the young boy is heard playing – perhaps attempting to look over his younger brother. There also seems to be some remorse in frightening the nursemaid in the first place. Is he truly sorry for his actions – or just sorry that he ended up dead because of them?

9) The Ghost Ship – The ship Lady Luvibund was purposely caused to wreck by first mate John Rivers in a fit of jealous rage after the woman he was obsessed with married the Captain – Simon Reed. Everyone the ship were lost at sea. In this song we here those drastic moments when the ship is ripped to pieces and the souls ripped from the bodies of all aboard.

On the back of the CD, it says that song 9 (The Ghost Ship) is the bonus track. However when playing in Windows Media Player a tenth track is listed but only as track 10. No title or other information is given for this song.

The linear notes included do give a small bit of information about each ghost and the location it haunts, and two books are recommended if you would like to learn more about these famous ghost stories from the United Kingdom.

Even without knowing the stories behind these songs, each is beautiful in its own right. Llewellyn once again combines the sound of nature with modern techniques and creates a wonderful CD with music that would work well for meditation, yoga, or just plain relaxing.

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