Above and Below World Tree Music The best thing about being addicted to MySpace is that you get to correspond and sometimes even meet in person new friends with mutual interests and tastes.  John and Gretchen Cornwall, the married couple who are World Tree, share my love of Celtic music and medieval history not to mention my passion for spirituality and prayers for world peace.  If you don’t, this CD isn’t for you.  A beautiful, friendly, talented couple based in Margate, Kent, England with such diverse musical influences as Fleetwood Mac, The Moody Blues, Cole Porter, Jefferson Airplane, Mannheim Steamroller and Loreena McKennitt to name a few, World Tree is a synthesis of classical, ambient, folk and rock music with strong Celtic connotations.  John and Gretchen chose the name World Tree “as a symbol for its depth of meaning across the myriad cultures of the world.” Listening to Above and Below transports me to the time and place that inhabits the pre-Raphaelite paintings hanging on my bedroom walls including: “Godspeed” and “The Accolade” by Edmund Blair Leighton, “Fair Rosamund” by John William Waterhouse, “Romeo and Juliet” and “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by Sir Frank Dicksee, “The Meeting on the Turret Stairs” by Fredrick William Burton and “Aucassin and Nicolette” by Marianne Stokes.  Yes, I have a rich, detailed, recurring fantasy about a knight in shining armor finally appearing to rescue me from a loveless life.  World Tree now provides the soundtrack for it. John Cornwall bestows composition, guitars and virtual instruments on the recordings of this album and Gretchen Cornwall writes the lyrics (on the non-traditional songs), supplies sweet melodies and infuses her gorgeous, ethereal soprano on all the tracks.  Their powerfully Celtic fusion creations include romantic renditions of such classic traditional Celtic songs as “Greensleeves”, “She Walks In Beauty” and “She Moves Through The Fayre”. The album opens with the dramatic “Overture: Above & Below”, immediately reminding me of The Moody Blues.  From there it morphs into the medieval ballad “Greensleeves” and then effortlessly transforms into the lovely, original 70’s Brit rock inspired “Moving On”.  Its lyrics perfectly reflect where I’m at right now: “New dreams, new hope, new life… Don’t be afraid to search again… Take a chance, place your bet Spin the…spin the wheel…the wheel of life” And I can only pray that: “Like a shooting star at night The sunrise lifts your eyes…to see… Another lover will come and melt The coldness in your heart… Moving on…move on…” Gretchen’s version of “She Walks In Beauty” is exquisite and literally moved me to tears, making it one of my favourite songs on Above and Below.  “The Beast Within (Swallow Falls & The Anfac)” opens with and is laced throughout with a flute that Jethro Tull would envy and is accompanied by what sounds like a primal and well-traveled bodhran.  The only throw away track on this collection is “Alana’s Song” which is a female child’s rendition of “Skidimerink a dink a dink, Skidimerink a doo, I love you.”  I don’t understand its placement here as it doesn’t fit.  “New Song For You” invokes early Jefferson Airplane and is essentially a tree-hugging, 60’s hippy-dippy (and I say that with affection) song of pagan spiritual hope.  “Entangled – Entre Nous” is a flighty instrumental track highlighting what sounds like a gong, harpsichord, drums, guitar and organ peppered with John & Gretchen’s “la da da da da de dums” and soaring abstract vocal notes, ending in a succession of thundering heartbeats. Gretchen’s renaissance voice is perfect for another favourite track of mine, “She Moved Through The Fayre” which they took the liberty of changing to “We Moved Through The Fayre”.  “The Water Goddess” is a picturesque original song that could easily pass for a medieval classic with its images of flowing water, lost cathedrals and a goddess and her unicorn.  The final song, “Crossing Over” is a haunting love ballad that starts with “a night out with friends” and ends at “the Chaucer Hotel in the shadow of the Great Cathedral in the heart of Canterbury”. This is a very specific genre of music even if does come from various influences so if you think the music of World Tree would move you as much as it moves me, please visit their official website at www.worldtreemusic.com to say hello and let them know what you think. Christine Bode
World Tree Music
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Review by Christine Bode of Scully Love Promo
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The following review was written for our first CD which we titled Above and Below.  It has been re-mastered with new songs and is now called She Walks in Beauty.  There are a few songs that Christine references which are being held back for a future CD.  Click here for the CD