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Tears of the Moon

Tears of the Moon CD CoverEach piece resonates with echoes of past ages and distant lands...

Tears of the Moon is an evocative work which stimulates the imagination and gives a real sense of journeying through space, time and the elements. Its intriguing variety of moods and styles makes it perfect for encouraging creativity in writing and the arts; for visualisation; and for relaxing listening at home, at work, or while travelling.

Each composition by Symbiosis is like hearing the atmospheric soundtrack of an imaginary film, with echoes of distant lands and ancient civilizations. The mythic quality of the music is reflected in the album's title, taken from a South American Inca legend which refers to the precious metals gold and silver as "Sweat of the Sun; Tears of the Moon."

The album features concert and ethnic flutes hauntingly played by John Hackett and Clive Williamson; soothing Latin-tinged acoustic guitar work from Richard Bolton; and beautiful ambient soundscapes counter-pointed by serene oboe and cor anglais (Sarah Devonald), violin (Nicki Paxman), and gentle global percussion. (Plays for 74 minutes)

Tracks: On the Wing; Treading on Thin Ice; Salvador; The Stars, Like Dust...; A Secret Place; Ice Crystal; Pale Fire; Detective Theme; The Journey; Water Garden; Early Morning; Alchemy from the Depths of Despair; In Wistman's Wood; Bird of Paradise; Meditation; The Citadel; Honey Ant Dreaming; Tears of the Moon; plus bonus tracks... Snake Charmer and Amazonia (Album originally released 1988 - CD reissue 2001)

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'... this spine-tingling album...' (Mind Body & Spirit Book Club)

'This album captures a lifetime of musical ideas - it is still our most creative in terms of sound design!' (Clive Williamson, Symbiosis - 2005)

Heartsong Review said:

Tears of the Moon: A successful atmospheric tapestry of music ***
Over an hour of wonderful synth sounds with flute, violin and cor anglais that is strongly evocative, with a wide range of distinctive, successful sound. Overall meditative and calming, compositions are interesting, sounds rich and variant. Slow jazz and classic touches flavour this fine album. 'Tears of the Moon' suggests the dropping tears, with expansive segments that delight and uplift. Cello and guitars make appearances. This music is like an abstract tapestry with unexpected textures and colours. Its strength as meditative music is in its seeming spontaneity that is always musical and integrated. Symbiosis is a pleasing departure from the usual. (Review by Acacia)

About the album… sleeve notes:
Symbiosis blend the natural timbres of flutes, guitars, woodwind and voices with shifting textures and gentle percussion to create soundscapes that are either calming and refreshing, or thought-provoking and atmospheric. The resulting music is by turns restful, eerie, seductive and evocative, and since its official launch in September 1990, Tears of the Moon has provided inspiration in the performing arts and education, for relaxation, and has often been featured in both TV and radio soundtracks.

A Fusion of Nature and Technology
The driving force behind Symbiosis is Clive Williamson, who sees the sound studio as an integral part of the music. His production uses state-of-the-art digital techniques to bring both acoustic instruments and synthesizers to life, giving each piece of music a character of its own.

Making the Album
“As we worked,” Clive says, “two distinct styles emerged, so we divided our first album, Tears of the Moon, into a set of moods or 'atmospheres' – images in sound really – and some more meditative, 'ambient' pieces, which can be listened to at a variety of levels. They can have a peaceful and calming effect heard at home, at work, or while travelling. You could say they are the perfect antidote to the stress of modern life!” Some of the atmospheres are more jazz-based and musically developed, offering more active listening and transporting the listener to another place, “Maybe flying over a mountain range, or walking on a wind-swept sand dune. It’s like music with pictures, only you don’t need a television: just your CD player or walkman!” Some haunting synthesizer moods are beautifully counter-pointed by the joyful and serene performances of oboe and cor anglais player Sarah Devonald, Flautist John Hackett (a classically-trained musician perhaps best known for his work with brother Steve Hackett from Genesis) and by lyrical guitar from Richard Bolton.

A Sense of Peace and Tranquillity
Rhythm plays an important part in the music of Symbiosis, but its pulse is by no means overt! Gentle Latin and African hand percussion are featured, but sometimes the rhythm is an unspoken slow pulse. The ambience tracks are almost subliminal in their ability to impart a sense of peace and tranquillity to the listener.

Tears of the Moon Photo Gallery: Clive Williamson with windsynth; Richard Bolton, Clive and John Hackett at Cecil Sharp House; John & Clive with violinist Nicki Paxman; Sarah Devonald; Richard with guitar; John & Clive; bassist Rupert Flindt; Clive with Indian flute.

The Symbiosis Line-up
The musicians involved in Tears of the Moon are the previously mentioned wind players John Hackett and Sarah Devonald; jazz guitarist Richard Bolton on the innovative STEPP guitar synthesizer, acoustic and electric guitars; violinist Nicki Paxman; and Rupert Flindt on fretless bass. Clive Williamson sings wordless vocals, whistles, and plays a variety of global flutes and percussion, keyboards and synthesizers. His favourite instrument is the quena, a large, five-note flute from the Andes which has a wonderful breathy, haunting quality. It’s heard on A Secret Place on Tears of the Moon and Dragon Teasing on Song of the Peach Tree Spring, and it comes from the land which gave birth to the title for this album. 'Tears of the Moon' is the name given to the precious metal silver in an ancient Inca legend, and although modern musical influences and technology have played their part in the creation of this album, there are certainly echoes of past lives and civilizations in the music of Symbiosis.

Top Photos: Clive with windsynth; Richard, Clive and John at Cecil Sharp House.
Middle: John & Clive with violinist Nicki Paxman; Sarah Devonald; Richard.
Bottom: John & Clive; bassist Rupert Flindt; Clive with Indian flute.

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