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Harps of the Ancient Temples

Conceived and Performed by Gail LAUGHTON
The Hebrews 425 AD
Japan 375 AD
Pompeii 76 AD
Greece 300 BC
The Mayans 700 BC
Crete 1400 BC
Babylon 1500 BC
Stonehenge 1600 BC
Egypt 1700 BC
Lemuria 16,000 BC
Atlantis 21,000 BC
Gail Laughton (harp)
Rec. 1978. Remastered from original vinyl LP. ADD
LAUREL LR-811CD [28:26]
 



Gail Laughton aided only by wind-chimes and finger-cymbals plies the twists and turns of time all the way back to Lemuria and distant Atlantis. His is inevitably an exercise in imagination. As it says on the disc: A 23,000 Year Trip Back Through Man's Magnificent Past: His Temples, Deities and Rituals - Expressed Through the Sounds of his Favorite and Eternal Instrument.

What of the music? It is plangent and rhythmic (Hebrews), suitably oriental, alive with small bell noises and enigmatic (Japan), lapping with water (Pompeii), slow with a Ravel-like grace (Greece), shivering with tremolo (Mayans), shuddering with distant threat and distant ecstasy (Crete), darkly iterative (Babylon), surprisingly starry and serene (Stonehenge), a complex mingling kaleidoscope of de profundis figuration (Egypt), redolent of remote courts and courtly dances (Lemuria) and plangent and pearlescent with a shiver of cold illimitable ocean depths (Atlantis). 

Perhaps you know the Bernard Herrmann film score for Beyond the Twelve Mile Reef. If you do then this music often touches base Herrmann’s cue for the fight with the octopus.

This disc can be compared with the harp and ensemble music on Music in the Age of the Pyramids - Ancient Egypt – with music variously composed, arranged and conducted by Rafael Pérez Arroyo on Natural Acoustic recordings NAR001 (see review). That disc concentrates its speculative recreations on the Egypt of the pharaohs. It is therefore narrower in its fanciful mission. Oddly enough the longest piece on the Laughton disc is Egypt 1700 BC.

The playing time is short overall – not even half an hour - but this reflects the collection’s LP origin. In fact the disc was prepared from an original vinyl LP.

For those who delight in allusive speculative time travel or who must have every speck of music from the Ridley Scott film Blade-Runner (1982) which gave the disc brief celebrity.

Rob Barnett

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Laurel Records

 



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