Review of ‘Song of the Sidhe’ – One World Music
Review of Lia Scallon’s Song of the Sidhe
Steve Sheppard – One World Music
“When you are presented with an album like this, it’s best to listen to its utter majesty in its entirety first, to allow all that has been created to sink in and fully flow within your energies. Lia Scallon has been on our radar since the release of The Luminous Pearl, Songs of Mystery, Beauty and Light, back in 2013, that album has a special warm place in our hearts as it was one of the first ever played on One World Music Radio and now Lia is back with this outstanding and glorious new release called, Song of the Sidhe, The Fairie People Arise From The Mists Of Time.
The opening of this album simply entitled Prelude, is a call to reunification between the Faeire realm and humanity, it is a stirring and wonderfully narrated arrangement to wake up the slumbering hearts of humanity, to cast away the fear and insecurities and join once again with the other realms to create an age of peace and real purpose. Scallon’s audio here is film score in quality and something I would have loved to have done; you will never get a better start to an album than this.
Now it’s time to rest in the arms of a magical realm, allow yourself to float in tone and listen to Queen Tea’s Plea. Scallon’s channelled vocals of the Faeire realm here are so moving, so passionate and so deeply felt. If we could all just stop for one moment, and before our next action, allow ourselves to listen to what is beyond our comprehension, you can do just that with this quite breath taking opus as a soundtrack for your new perception.
Feeling moved, feeling a deeper awareness open up, we now arrive at the next dimensional musical portal entitled King Heremon’s Return. The Celtic influences here are now even more pronounced, Heremon heeds the call of Queen Tea and thus begins his return across hill and valleys green and even the smallest of creatures can feel his presence as he passes. The depth of this piece is stunning, the manifestation of a wonderful energy of regal essences is strong here, and all the while Scallon’s voice flows like the ever dark rivers of Ireland’s lands, calling her King home.
Albums like this are a complete treasure, they are a concept, a long tale told over the eons of time, whispered in the hall ways of the holy and enjoyed by masses of humanity, those who truly enjoy the nature of a grand musical voyage. That sojourn into this outer world’s musical realms is continued within this next piece called The Fairie Portal Opens. The half way marker has been breached and this amazing opus is now before us, the strings here are so beautiful to flow with and manifest such a fluidic dimension of style, it is a literal pleasure to bathe in its energies. Scallon’s voice is the key to this most majestic of portals and we can simply just trust and be at total peace as we watch it open in total bliss. This was one of my personal favourites from the album, the multi instrumental nature of the arrangement is sublime and multi-faceted too, one that seems to drift like an alternate reality of minor and major merged as one.
As we move into the latter half of the release we come across something truly remarkable called The Rising of the Sidhe. Once more the strings set the scene and the piano narrates a gentle landscape of tone all around us, then the artist connects once more to her inner Fae and brings a perfect vocal performance, listen to the flute of (Shakimra) in this composition, it is so moving, the combination of the violin of Simon McMenamin added to Scallon’s vocals will move you to tears of absolute bliss.
Now I know this next piece has been featured on various shows on One World Music Radio and I can see why. Enchanted Crystalline Lake is simply dreamy and takes the listener across the smooth mirrored and mystical pools of a beautiful green lake. We can be totally entranced by the vocals of the artist, but also by the amazing flute of Shakimra and the delicate dance of the fingers on the harp by Joy Zahner, and the Viola of McMenamin seals the deal and manifests the stand out track from the release.
As the mists of time and tide clear from our view, we arrive at the penultimate portal of this wondrous musical realm. The mystical majesty here is literally stunning, I found it difficult to move whilst listening to this piece, I nearly forgot to breath, not a good thing! Stone of Destiny is one of those pieces that demands a place in a movie and has to be one of the most powerful and inspiring pieces I have heard from the artist. There is a vast energy about this composition that is so very appealing and one could easily get lost in its numinous charms, now this is what I call instinctual genius in full operation.
Our voyage of musical bliss is nearly at an end, but before we depart this realm of enchantment, the artist has one more gift of tone and timbre for us to take with us on our journey. This melodic moment of masterful magisterial bliss is simply the perfect end to the album and called Tara’s New Reign. The backdrop of keyboards creates a delightful calming energy to the offering and one also has to applaud the soft percussion from Ben Hakalitz, indeed Mark Mannock’s work on keyboards draws such a sweet refrain when partnered with Scallon’s vocals, it manifests a heartfelt sense of emotion.
Hats off to all who performed on this breath taking release, including those whom I have not mentioned thus far, Nigel Pegrum, Christine Jackson and Kirk Steel, whose contributions on this superb release are outstanding in all ways and very much appreciated by this music writer.
Song of the Sidhe is a splendid album indeed, if you allow yourself to go on this voyage of wonderment with the artist openly, you will return happier and fuller filled because of it. I had eagerly awaited this album, the eleventh in the series, and I will say without hesitation this is by far Lia Scallon’s best work. Brilliantly produced, lovingly created, Song of the Sidhe is an album that demands to be part of the top shelf, of your musical greats.”
Steve Sheppard – One World Music