'Luminous Wings & Unseen Things' is the enchanting new album from Australian singer/songwriter Beck Siàn, who is currently based in mid Wales, United Kingdom. Beck Siàn has been influenced musically by her Australian upbringing, Celtic family and by English singer Kate Bush, to whom Beck is related.
Step out of the 'Haunted Forests' of 'Unfurling (Beck Siàn's debut album), and into the formal gardens of a castle. 'Luminous Wings & Unseen Things' is composed of 16 songs set within different castle gardens - secret gardens, a topiary garden, and of course, haunted gardens. Crows 'caw', a bumble-bee drones past, dragonflies dip their wings in the still, dark waters of the pond. The scent of lavender is on the breeze and a storm is rolling in. A ghostly game of hide-and-seek is being played between the ancient yew hedges.
"There are three main influences for this concept album. First of all, 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett was one of my favourite books and films as a child (it still is actually) - I especially love the '70s version by the BBC. So the Robin Redbreast, who was an integral part of the story, makes a guest appearance on my CD.
Also, I'm currently living a few miles away from Powis Castle in Wales, which is famous for its magnificent terraced gardens, spooky misshapen yew hedges and its ghost stories (many, many ghosts haunt the castle and grounds).
From childhood I have been drawn to ghost stories. My Irish nana firmly believed in the supernatural and had seen ghosts. Her stories, plus the influence of 'Wuthering Heights', 'The Ghost & Mrs. Muir' and 'Dracula' when growing up, all combined to spark my intense interest in ghosts, vampires, werewolves, faeries - anything mysterious, unexplained or paranormal.
There were ghosts around the edges of some of the songs on my 'Unfurling' album, but they only popped up here and there. 'Luminous Wings & Unseen Things' definitely features a lot of ghosts - they came creeping into the lyrics, into the music, into the song-gardens.
The third influence for the moods and concepts on 'Luminous Wings & Unseen Things' is my love of Celtic and Folk ballads - especially those with a supernatural element! So I selected a few traditional ballads that are special to me and that would fit the garden theme, and placed them lovingly between my original songs.
I hope that the end result takes the listener on a stroll through castle gardens at twilight, with the scent of lavender on the breeze. The mood is soothing and beautiful, but at the same time, a bit haunting and unsettling, with occasional glimpses of 'Luminous Wings & Unseen Things." Beck Siàn.
"Charming... enchanting... there are faeries and wraiths in this music... a little bit odd... a little bit terrifying in its strangeness... and very, very, very beautiful..." Faerie Magazine.