Avalon, by Heather Dale
CD Baby, 19 tracks, 2010
It’s clear that the musical and mythological world invoked by Heather Dale’s new album Avalon is the world where the artist feels most at home. Arthurian mythology provides a rich field of inspirational stories, and so they have been rendered into music many times before; in that respect Dale’s musical project is ambitious and challenging. Can she do something with the mythology that has never been done before? My answer is Yes. Dale’s album accords to the stories the space to reveal themselves in their own way, as if she is working in true partnership with all the various writers who contributed to the literary sources. At the same time one also hears the unique and unveiled sound of her heart. Continue reading
Sacred Sounds of the Female Orishas: Rhythms of the Goddess, collected by Raul Canizares
Destiny Recordings, 1-59477-071-9, 60 mins., 2005
Raul Canizares, who collected and produced the recordings which are the basis for this CD was the head of the Santeria Temple Orisha Consciousness Movement in Manhattan, and the author of Cuban Santeria, as well as the producer of another CD , The Sacred Sounds of Santeria.
The emphasis of this collection is the female aspects of divinity. It helps to know some of the stories associated with these strong female images, although it isn’t absolutely necessary. The liner notes give a little sense of the strength of these goddesses. There are no shrinking-violets in this collection. Even the orishas associated with love are strong, independent figures. Their songs convey this as well. The rhythms are forceful and compelling. You can feel their presence and power as their songs are sung. Continue reading
The Angel Almanac: An Inspirational Guide to Healing & Harmony + cd, by Angela McGerr
Quadrille, 9781844006403, 255 pp., 2008
Unlike a standard almanac, this one doesn’t cover a specific year. There is information for each day of the week and for the eight “solar festivals” of the year, but there is nothing specifically for Tuesday October 21, 2008, for example. There is information on Tuesday, and correlations for each day of the year (from 1940 to 2013, with tables for each day of the week), but nothing which specifically ties the two together.
The author links angelology and Ascensionism. As these are both area which form only minor parts of my own experience and training I found myself learning more than I anticipated, although there were some parts I had trouble with. Continue reading
I Walk with the Goddess, by Kellianna
CD: Kellianna.com, B000WMG5GE, 41 minutes, 2007
I said, in the conclusion of my previous review of Lady Moon, that Kellianna’s music ”…was a real treat and held the promise of more to come. I have no doubt that promise will be fulfilled in future recordings.” I was correct. The passage of a few years has done nothing to adversely affect her music. It has merely brought forth even more appealing lyrics and music. Continue reading
Lady Moon, by Kellianna
CD: Kellianna.com, B000CAG8MW, 35 minutes, 2004
As I find myself in the midst of a spate of CD reviews I feel it necessary to make a couple of confessions. First, I am an old-style Pagan, born and raised in a time when music told a story – both in mainstream society and in the Pagan sub-culture. Therefore, I am not a huge fan of techo-style music, much preferring ballads and chants. Second, as my family and friends can testify, I can’t carry a tune to save my life. Therefore, you won’t get profound statements about rhythms and tonal relationships from me. I’m not interested in the technicalities of music, merely whether it appeals to me personally.
While I am often in a mood for instrumental offerings, especially as background for ritual, I truly enjoy kicking back with a relaxing drink, slipping on my headphones, and losing myself in a world outside the day-to-day humdrum, which can be provided by lyrics.
Thus, when this disc (and “I Walk with the Goddess”) landed in my mailbox I could hardly wait to slip it into my player and see what I would find. Continue reading
Odin’s Booty Live, by The Dragon Ritual Drummers
CD: Labyrinth House Publishing, B001P810JG, 2009
This CD consists of five live performances by a group which never fails to stir their listeners. If you can hear these guys perform and not feel your pulse rate go up, check into the nearest morgue – you’re dead.
After a compilation of introductions they move immediately into a performance in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. Continue reading