"Flame on the Hearth" presents a glimpse of how Christmas can kindle a deep sense of recognition of the profundity of the Christ's continuing Event on Earth. Can it be anything but natural that a time of such wonder be adorned with a tradition of poetry and song, two of man's dearest and most meaningful forms of expression and enjoyment? The deeply intuitional poetry of Kenneth G. Mills, united with the musical delights of the Star-Scpe Singers and instrumentalists, reveals glimmerings of newness decking the theme of a tradition so loved by all. The poet-philosopher Kenneth Mills speaks extemporaneously of what is universal and fundamental to all men and women. His lectures and poems are given verbally at a moment of inspiration and then transcribed. Dr. Mills' life is devoted to his Work called "Unfoldment," and it is shared with all who ask to hear him speak.
The recording of "Flame on the Hearth" began after Dr. Mills and Star-Scape had already completed an all-day recording of their album, "Alive at Ontanaka." Save for teh very last selection, "Flame on the Hearth" finds Dr. Mills reading a collection of verse that is charmingly appropriate to the season. The poems originally unfolded on a variety of occasions and are now the focus of this inspired performance of readings. Some are accompanied by new choral arrangements of well-known Christmas carols by the same title. Others are embellished either by original music written by Kenneth Mills, Christopher Dedrick, James, Roedl, and Lorrained Nelson, or by sensitive improvisations performed by some fo the Star-Scape instrumentalists. For instance, "The Hobby Horse" (done in one take!) is an astonishing "duet" for poet and piano (played by James Roedl) that presents an intriguing recitation, accompanied by an imaginative and technically brilliant keyboard improvisation. "Sounds from the Mountaintop," which resounds with a mellifluous guitar and piano musing based on the theme of "Silent Night," is followed by "The Voice of the Shepherd," decidedly the most exhilarating selection on the album. In this last piece, both verse and music unfolded spontaneously at the close of the exceptionally rare and uplifting recording session that occurred in Dr. Mills' home in the country.
The current that prevails during all of Star-Scape's recordings with Kenneth Mills is electrifying. An interesting note about "The Voice of the Shepherd" is that, during the performance and before anyone else, Dr. Mills heard an oncoming train and its whistle in the distance. He immediately conducted a great crescendo and simultaneously gave the poetic line "drown out the noise of duality" (two train tracks)! When it was finally over, no one was able to say a single word. No one dared to disturb that ineffable silence that a moment ago had been carrier to such a profoundly introspective instant of eloquence and rhythm. That mystical silence, however subtly disguised, emanates throughout "Flame on the Hearth." How fascinating, yet isn't it so: Truth can only be truly heard through the silence of the Hearth. The head need only to bow in praise of that eternal Flame!
Enjoy Kenneth Mills' offering for the season as he and the Star-Scape Singers unroll tonal tapestries of poetry and song in celebration of the festival of Christmas.
"Philosopher-poet Kenneth Mills, whose universal themes revolve around Wonder, Light and Love, has caught the essence of the Seeds of Life."
- Emslie Dick, Canadian Journalist
"Dr. Mills has a tremendous voice. When he speaks, he sings!"
- Marcel Marceau
"A feeling of a divinely inspired creative process at work."
- Magical Blend magazine
"Not simply a sound, but a tangible presence."
- Lex Hixon