Solstice

The sun's cycle has had a profound effect on humanity since the first moment of awareness. Hunter gatherer and later, agrarian festivals/seasons would have been roughly divided by the solstice and equinox events.

Whilst the higher spiritually of these moments were of obvious importance, other festivals, including the 'fire festivals' at Samhain and Beltaine were more concerned with human survival,the earth,its crops and animals. The Samhain track is announced with three notes depicting the importance of the number in celtic mythology. The sound evokes the image of a druid sounding the magical horn.

I was inspired by the recent local revival of 'Green Man' ritual, (releasing the spirit of summer etc.) on Mayday as well as the traditional Sussex 'Bonfire' festivals (Samhain), and in particular the fire shows at the 1998 Earth Spirit festival. These festivals mark the return of tribal drumming to the places of power and magic in Sussex.

New World Music
Solstice

Album Details

Released 1999 by New World Music.

  1. Summer Solstice (9:23)
  2. Embrace Of The Sun God (7:36)
  3. The Voice At The End Of The Rainbow (5:33)
  4. Samhain (8:58)
  5. Winter Solstice (8:16)
  6. While The Green Man Sleeps (4:40)
  7. Awakening (6:47)
  8. Beltaine (11:41)

    For more detailed track notes, please click here.

Instrumentation

  • Phil Thornton - keyboards, synthesiser, vocoder, string acoustic guitar, e-bow guitar, recorders and percussion.
  • Grant Young - fretless bass and hand drum.
  • Ben Paley - violin.
  • Simon Williams - lead guitar.
  • Simon Cowburn - percussion.
  • Dave Roberts - hand drums.
  • Hannah Burchell - flagolet (low D).
  • Jan Thornton - analogue synth performance.
  • Special thanks to:
    Rupert Clarke for Groaning Dama Dama, Richard Bendall for Psychik Consultation and Harvey Summers for Druids Horn.

Music composed, arranged and produced by Phil Thornton except track 2 co-written with Grant Young.

Recorded at the Expandibubble studio, Sussex, England.

Mixed at the Expandibubble and Medium Moose studio, Sussex, England.

Produced by Phil Thornton.

Post-production (pro tools, finalizer, treatments, etc) Phil Thornton and Harvey Summers.

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