United Diarees / Psychedelic PigMasstishaddhu // Shekinah (UK,1998)***°’
For this release Sedanye (Sean Breadin), hurdy-gurdy, crwith, percussion, formed a trio with Outside Bill (Mike Watson), cello, flutes, voice and Richard Rupenus, (also from The New Blockaders) on voice and gong.
The first track ‘For the dead and unborn’ is said to be a different version of the composition “Daghda” off the album “The Stones & Trees of the Small Palace”, an album which encompasses winter in a wide context, referring to its metaphors of death and rebirth. The second composition, 'Angels Gather Here Between Purity of Heart and Hopeless Despair' is also a different version of another track from the same album, which this time is called ‘For the Dead & The Unborn'. This was inspired after a lyric by Lord Ishmael Loomis.
The very good release in its complete score which sounds like a soundtrack from another world, is achieved by a trance-like visionary state of mind in music.
First composition is somewhat loose and free, developing a beyond-this-life powerful pulse through droning and gives a sense of a somewhat ritualistic music. The effect has something of the occult without a deliberate direction. It has a dark inner sense as if made in a sphere of the shadows of God and while the musical visionary mediumistic world shows itself as if from amongst the undead at first, within “His” presence this still has its vividness inside, as being not dead. The second track has more overtones, and shows a different “breath” from deeper inside this vision. More voices gather and seems to be one brooding organ, where the individuals have tendencies to come to life or some awareness, but mostly are just being adapted in the whole, musically and otherwise. Like the voices of the dead, not wanting to be in that state, they pulsate between being more than old, then almost cry like becoming a baby. Then the strings and drones take this brooding whole over, and bring the little partial underlying restlessness in its condition to peace. For me, an effective, acoustic “soundtrack”.
Very good ! Unfortunately sold out, because it was extremely limited.
PrivateSedayne : The Stones and trees of the small palace (UK,1987-1991 & 2001-2002)***°
CD1 : “Hunting and gathering”, with slow hand rhythm, flute-pipes and harmonic resonating bell, creating beautiful overtones, a spacey harmony of tones, starts this album (after a short “winter song” verse) with something of a true profane feeling of a gathering in respect to the most quiet starting place, becoming an area of meditation, or an accompany to some aspects on a higher plane. This 16 minutes and a bit track shows a hypnotic peace with beauty, which works brilliantly for its whole length without any obstacle. “Daghda 1” after that is a musical improvisation, a bit more earthly, less focused, atmospheric, with different, also more earthly musical instruments, like hurdy gurdy, some bowed instruments, combined with flutes. “For the Dead and Unborn” after that stays a bit in between the earlier meditation and the earth and air plane of improvisation. “unborn” here is more in the sense of a yet unborn creation of composition. The “Daghda 2” refocuses the ritual trance-effect and circular-like improvisation structure, and endows this influence on “For the Dead and Unborn 2”. “Gull Mass at Holy Island” has besides long distance carrying flute-pipes also water sounds, gongs and bells, creating an area as from an Island with a church or so. It is a simpler track which is a bit long for its expression. “For the dead and the unborn Part 3 & 4” holds the middle between all this. It has calmness, a breathing pulse, some overtones, and the mystical aspect becomes a calm foundation of accepted simplicity and peace within its “place of not be”. In some way it describes a similar travel of an astral mind as on Masstishaddhu // Shekinah, but on a more earthly plane, as this is a description of a state of small objects in nature, like indeed something like “stones and trees”, in its wintery state of being nothing more than itself in its place. I once described myself in a poem something like “in summer all leaves are in a struggle to become, in winter a tree just is". I also described the following thought in that same poem, which fits with this release and music as well : "At this point I'm glad with all that is lost, because things now have the opportunity to fall back on only what they exactly are, without their griefs caused by unfulfilled desires." It's in that way such a wintery state has the ability to purify.
CD2 : Second CD, called “The Onset of Winter” has three long tracks. It sets immediately the filmic scene with church bells, natural sounds, hurdy gurdy and other instruments. It starts from the same ‘nature field’ on which the first CD had set its astral-like visions. First as a kind of ‘herd gathering’, with bells, but also birds-like flutes it shows a larger group of creatures. Then it evolves with a Native-Indian like energy, but then with much more concentrated people and energy (as e.g. accompanied by various shamanic people’s voices in the back), in a tension like a bees' nest waiting to come out of its serpent’s like unrest, unfed. Then the musical camera moves to some other places in the surroundings. The birds share this unrest somewhat too. There is a certain tension as if something will happen, though not too soon. It might be the symbolic coming of spring, I’m not sure.. In any way it remains filmic. Just imagine a winter tree bowing down, heavy from water and ice. In the second part, odd flute harmonies are spread over a bed of hurdy gurdy with bird and birds-like sounds in the background, until it changes into a dancing like music of celebration. In the last part it is as if the whole nature of animals participates in this dance, together and successfully. In the background a voice then sings along with this concluding celebration, with something like a verse of a poem or a priest-like vision with a human aspect. Then the filmic scene shows just a very short time the active nature, solo. When the music comes back in, the flutes seem to have found their harmonies, and the rhythms their natural response.. When the hurdy gurdy drone rhythms seems to be no longer necessary, nature's sounds take over peacefully.
For those seriously interested in shamanic practice of astral imagination this musical trip is a perfect guidance.