Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Land of Merlin
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop, Rock
In 1988, New Zealand composer, Jon Mark, paid tribute to his Celtic roots on The Standing Stones of Callanish. These elegant synthesizer sketches capture the mystery and the simple beauty of the British Isles.On this re... more »
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In 1988, New Zealand composer, Jon Mark, paid tribute to his Celtic roots on The Standing Stones of Callanish. These elegant synthesizer sketches capture the mystery and the simple beauty of the British Isles.On this release, Mark delves even deeper into his English heritage as he takes listeners on a musical tour through the Land of Merlin. Cornwall, the most westerly part of the British Isles, has from time immemorial been known as the Land of Merlin. As King Arthur's birthplace and home to his fabled Knights of the Round Table, it has inspired countless artists and storytellers through the ages. Mark is no different. Much of his childhood was spent traveling through the enchanted landscapes of Cornwall with his godparents, and the memory of these journeys continue to inspire the English-born synthesist.However, it was quite some time before Mark felt ready to translate King Arthur's story into music. The enormous catalogue of novels, poems and academic research on this legendary character was daunting. Yet after considerable research, Mark rediscovered T.H. White's chronicles of Arthur's childhood, The Once and Future King. There he found a more personal connection with his subject. As Mark observes in the liner notes, "I was struck by the fact that my emotional involvement with Arthur's story was with him as a child and with England as he would have seen it in his time, his early meetings and journeys, unaware of his future destiny. In the same way, our potentials lie quietly waiting for us to bring them to life."With a subtle grace reminiscent of The Standing Stones of Callanish, Land of Merlin is Mark's attempt to depict the magical countryside of Cornwall through a child's eyes. At the same time, his spacious melodies and breath-like chords whisper of a distant past, a time of unicorns, magicians and a young man named Arthur who realizes his destiny as the Once and Future King of England.
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A Rose-Coloured Portrait of the Age of Merlin and Arthur
Daniel R. Greenfield | Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | 12/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Monet put his impressionistic images on canvas with paint. Mark puts his on disc with synthesizers. Both artists share many common characteristics. However, Monet was a true pioneer, a genius and a trail-blazer. And that is what makes his art truly great. Mark, on the other hand, is a premier new age impressionist. There are no new trails being blazed here. This is truly beautiful music, however, even more beautiful than his earlier album, 'Standing Stones of Callanish'. In particular, I especially enjoy track 7, "A Perilous and Mystical Journey", with its haunting bell that tolls mournfully in the background throughout much of that movement. Truly beautiful music, nostalgic, richly layered, and melancholy. If you like romantic impressionism, and if you want a rose-coloured portrait of the age of Merlin and Arthur, then look no further: you will love this album."
Listen to it almost every night.
Daniel R. Greenfield | 11/26/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is extremely peaceful, soothing and pleasant"
Romantic and haunting
Second Attention | England | 01/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The same sonic treatment as 'The Standing Stones of Callanish', Land of Merlin has all the atmosphere (crying gulls, waves crashing on the shore) but it seems a little diluted compared to TSSOC. Jon does experiment more with textures and this does benefit a couple of tracks with a magical feel, 'Merlin and the Unicorn' in particular. However, Merlin is the start of a collection of albums Jon Mark has produced using the same musical formula and, to be honest, it all gets a bit samey.
If you are a fan of TSSOC then Merlin is certainly a worthwhile purchase. The later albums are debatable but if you love Jon's 'sound' then go right ahead."