Beck Siàn | Luminous Wings & Unseen Things

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World: World Fusion Folk: Celtic Fusion Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Luminous Wings & Unseen Things

by Beck Siàn

A lavender-scented stroll through haunted gardens at twilight.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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1. Lavender's Blue
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2:13 $0.50
2. In the Greenery
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2:39 $0.50
3. The Garden Seat
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2:51 $0.50
4. I Just Am
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1:31 $0.50
5. Siúil a Rúin
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5:09 $0.50
6. Down by the Salley Gardens
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4:06 $0.50
7. In a Secret Garden
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3:32 $0.50
8. Bushes & Briars
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4:37 $0.50
9. Old Mr. Crow
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10. Tall, Waving Delphiniums in Storm-light
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11. Thornfield
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12. The Topiary Garden
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4:14 $0.50
13. She Moved Through the Faire
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14. Weep Ye No More, Sad Fountains
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15. Moss - LIVE
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16. Thornfield - Acoustic
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
'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.


Reviews


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Andrew

A musical gift from an angel!!
This is the second full length CD from Beck, who is the daughter of Kate Bush's cousin. I came across this album as a fan of Kate. This album grabbed hold of me almost from the first listen.

I find Beck's life story amazing and truly inspirational. She relates this much better than myself on her website, which also includes her moving notes on the themes covered in the songs.

I have very little knowledge of the folk music scene, but this album stands out to me in its eclectic mix of celtic, gothic, world music and other influences. Beck is a gifted poet, songwriter and has the most remarkable angelic voice.

This is music crafted with love. The arrangements are sparse and raw, yet lush and otherwordly. The natural environment is a strong influence on Beck's music, in this case themed on castles and their gardens.

Among my particular favourites are "Siúil a Rúin" where she sings with only the sound of a running stream for accompaniment. Also "Thornfield" with it's strong Jane Eyre imagery. Fans of traditional music will find "Lavender's Blue" and "She Moves Through the Faire" delightful.

I have just heard that Beck is about to start work on her third CD "Ye Old Silent Inn" and has plans for a few concerts and the yet further CDs. Can hardly wait!!

It has been a difficult year but this album has been an immense comfort to me. Will treasure this for years to come!!

Andrew Shaw

Find the faeries in Beck's secret garden.....
The second CD from Beck Sian, I came across this album as a fan of Kate Bush (to whom Beck is related), but
this album grabbed hold of me almost from the first listen. She proudly cites Kate's work as an inspiration (most noticeably for me in the opening words of "In the Greenery") however Beck's musical journey is very different having it's roots in folk music, yet interwoven with a vividly surreal mix of Irish, Welsh, Australian, gothic and world music influences.

Luminous Wings & Unseen Things is loosely based on the atmospheres and legends inspired by the various themed gardens of a haunted Welsh castle.

The arrangements are sparse, yet form lush tone poems, occasionally complemented by collaborator Chris Gill's haunting keyboards as in "The Topiary Garden".

Beck has a rare gift for creating evocative and original music, with lyrics often inspired by her own poems and musings as well as texts taken from classical literature. As an independent artist, she follows her own intuition - this is music made with love and care and as such works its way into your soul.

One of the most memorable songs is "Thornfield" with its strong imagery of Jane Eyre. Rather than focus on merely telling the story, Beck draws you powerfully into the hearts and minds of the characters and their dilemma: "lighting strikes and splits our tree. The fire rages, tries to take you from me".

Her voice has a remarkable range and power, pitch-perfect, at moments intimate and delicate, yet she is not afraid of using it as a musical instrument in a more experimental fashion as in "Weep Ye No More, Sad Fountains" and "Tall Waving Delphiniums in Storm Light"

She has gained a reputation for her vivid and spine-tingling reinterpretations of traditional folk songs, really getting "under the skin" of the songs, giving them new emotional meaning. In "She Moved Through The Faire" an old familiar supernatural ballad has never sounded so haunting and otherworldly.

In "Lavender's Blue" the strains of the opening tin whistle give way to a beautifully arranged madrigal style keyboard arrangement.

In "Siúil a Rúin", Beck gives this song a dreamlike feel, with the comforting sound of a running stream and birdsong only for accompaniment.

"Old Mr Crow" has a delightful almost maverick eccentricity. The song touches on one level with personal change and growth but I love it's humorous feel.

An album to treasure for years to come!!!