Life and Love
As is often the case with a song, Life and Love began with the simple melody of the chorus, a melancholic expression acknowledging the passing of a friend at that time. The rest emerged from there, revealing a contrasting journey of Life's ever-present movements with the heart's longing to Love and be Loved; a many-layered texture of passionate union, letting go and calling forth the beloved in human form and beyond. After Marshall wrote the music, Melanie surprised him with her evocative spoken-word passion which became the basis for the rest of the lyrics. “Having received this beautiful guitar melody that galloped through the mountains and meadows of my mind and heart as I listened, I sat by candlelight, and what emerged in lyrical story was the clear perception of that which we long most for, albeit in different forms in our minds, there on a distant hillcrest, beckoning me forward, touching the humanity and this life once again. This conversation of beckoning flows throughout the song in spoken word and verse, gently converging with the echoing chorus.”

This is a beautiful melody from Nepal, an invocation to Durga that is traditionally sung and played at festival time. Marshall learned this when he met Manose and Homnath in 1998, from their album Tarang. The brillance of their playing on this track brings a deeply traditional musical presence to our contemporary version with guitar and hammered dulcimer. Manose's alap (opening improvisation) itself is beyond words.

Wazadi (The Dance of the Queen)
Sometimes just lyrics and melody initially come through Melanie that convey a particular sentiment and movement, in this case the story of the queen, Wazadi, dancing for her king in the court. Theirs is a passionate and sensual devotion, nothing provincial or stoic. Wazadi dances her seduction in the court, then sings her intimate longing into the deepening night. With lyric and melody in hand, Marshall composed the guitar accompaniment to illuminate the candlelit dance of the royal courtyard.

Drinara d'Andayo
Inspired by Eastern European folk music, Melanie wrote the music for Drinara d’Andayo well before the lyrics. “I really liked the melody and had been playing it for over a year while awaiting the lyrical muse. These lyrics tell the story of a Teacher who emerges, eternally, from the sea to teach us about who we are. As in much folk music, they convey simple ideas in simple ways:

She comes to us
She blesses us
Teacher from the Sea

She comes from the sea
She touches us with her wisdom

On a Ray of Light
She comes dancing

The Great wave
Brings her to us

With pure sight
She sees what’s True

She knows where we’ve come from
And Why We’re Here

On a Ray of Light
She comes dancing

The Great wave
Brings her to us

The multiple vocals are inspired by the European folk style of singing, with the image of the village coming together to create music that conveys the myths and stories of their culture. The Bulgarians often sung of mythological legends and human experiences, wonder tales of nature spirits, warrior women and beguiling characters who were powerful and heroic. “I like the combination of the humanity and the archetypal metaphor that myths present, a creative and sometimes exotic way of relating to our psyche, maybe bypassing our mental constructs that might otherwise keep the message out. These mythological stories touch me at a level of feeling, stirring my emotion rather than my thought.”

... previous