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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Music
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Magicfolk [a Witchvox Sponsor] ...
(by Michelle and Ben Glover)
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I came up with the guitar riff for this song quite a while ago, but it took me a while to get the right lyrics. But after a period of letting it rest and fallow, the subject and words came to me, and with the help of husband and co-writer we swiftly wrote the present lyrics and structured the song without much of a problem, sitting on the lawn in the sun, and scribbling it down with a natural flow.
And that process - of letting things fallow and then allowing them a later ‘rebirth’, is I guess what the song is about. Sun-worship and awareness of its apparent movements of rise and fall, when it brings the world into light and then settles it into a temporary darkness before bringing another new dawn, is the crux behind Heliopolis, which means “City of the Sun”.
Heliopolis was one of the most ancient cities of Egypt, five miles east of the Nile, and was the principle hub of sun-worship. It was also a great place of learning and wisdom, its schools of philosophy and astronomy apparently visited by Orpheus, Homer, Pythagoras and Plato, to name but a few.
And, interestingly, talking about fallowing, the present Heliopolis is now largely under cultivation, with remnants of its former glory - the “place of pillars” (the meaning of its Egyptian name) - hinted at by the ruins and walls which are still visible in the fields, as its materials have long since been used for the construction of medićval Cairo.
In fact some of its stones have been carried much further. Its obelisks - a set of three Cleopatra's Needles are now in London (Victoria Embankment) , Paris (Place de la Concorde) , and New York City (Central Park) .
Atum was the chief deity of Heliopolis. Later Horus gained prominence, and worship focused on the solar deity Ra-harakhty, which means “Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons”.
In our song there is also a reference to the phoenix, and here I was thinking of the Egyptian Bennu bird, the Egyptian version of the phoenix, said to be the soul of Ra.
Some of the titles of the Bennu bird are “He Who Came Into Being by Himself, ” “Ascending One, ” and “Lord of Jubilees.” The name also means “to rise brilliantly, ” and “to shine.” The Bennu bird is also associated with the rising of the Nile, resurrection, and the sun.
Isn’t this bird beautiful - such connections that it has with creation and renewal - the bird which created itself from a fire that was burned on a holy tree in one of the sacred precincts of the temple of Ra, and which rests on that fabled and sacred pillar of earth - the Benben-stone.
These resurrection themes, which appear in all the world's religions and philosophies, are what gives mankind not only hope, but - as the initiate is aware of - it also gives continued focus for always striving towards renewal - on any level of consciousness or existence - and it is these inspirations which are behind the words of our song.
Hope you enjoy this clip of Heliopolis - from our debut album. All of the tracks are inspired by some form of esotericism.
Recorded: Ashwood Recording Studios Norwich 2007
Guests/Players: Michelle - vocals, acoustic guitar
Ben Glover - bass
Geoff Charlton - drums
Miki Kovalkovic - keyboards
Tom Abbott - lead guitar
Josephone - bass clarinet
Rhea - additional bass clarinet
Technical Notes: Acoustic guitar, bass, drums, shakers, keyboards, lead guitar, bass clarinet
Artist Profile: “Genuinely something new for fans of esoteric folk, their lyrics sing of folklore and magic, evoking the mystery within the music." (Woven Wheat Whispers)
Magicfolk is a 6-piece British psychedelic-folk band based in Norfolk UK, producing their own blend of folk, rock, celtic and prog-rock with rich vocal harmonies and an assortment of instruments, in songs with mythological and mystic leanings.
"A raft of magical spells, a silver blade wrapped in lace" (Folkwords)
Their material touches upon a whole range of esoteric inspirations, including those found in Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, Hermetic, Shamanic, Wiccan and Pagan traditions, and more.
Their debut album is available direct from their website, or as a download from iTunes.
“Prog rock, celtic tunes and tight vocal harmony, spiked with prickly electric guitar. If you like Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull and Jefferson Airplane, you won’t be disappointed.” (Pagan Dawn Magazine)
“Memorable and beautifully arranged” (Radio Centraal Belgium)
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