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Llewellyn interview with MUSICAL DISCOVERIES  

Musical Discoveries: What was the inspiration behind the album Sacred Circles?

Llewellyn: To create an album of thought, dance, spiritual uplifting and a raising of the energies to direct to one's ambitions and goals. A theme based on the same young druid girl that featured in my album Moonlore who is now into womanhood and onto a path of self-belief by creating sacred circles.

Working closely with Carolynn Clare Townsend (Pagan Federation), I wanted to produce an album that not only takes the listener away into a romantic world of Celtic mystical imagery but essentially offers a visualisation journey. Like Moonlore, it features many tracks that celebrate the feminine and the Triple Goddess. Specially composed "working" tracks and accompanying inlay notes by Carolynn Clare Townsend offer another key aspect to the album.

Musical Discoveries: The production style on Sacred Circles sounds fresh, more modern and commercial compared to Moonlore. Was this a major decision?

Llewellyn: It was my intention to make Sacred Circles have the same feel and imagery as Moonlore but not be afraid to move forward musically and incorporate more modern sounds and exciting forms of production with great performance. I didn't want to fall into the safeness of just producing another soundalike album. I think it's important for an artist to always move forward and try new things even if it means sometimes stumbling and potentially taking market risks.

Musical Discoveries: What is the meaning behind the lyrics in the opening track from Sacred Circles?

Llewellyn: The album opens with a soft chanting mystical song "Stardancing - Into the Light". "Into the Light" prepares the young woman to focus on specific goals in her mind and direct the energy to them with love. The message in this opening track is clear: work with this energy which surrounds us all and whether it be through song, chant, or dancing always do good and bring beneficial change.

The village has long suffered with illness, poor harvests and infertilty. It is her intention to change this. The album was initially called Stardancing. I wanted to dedicate the album to all those wonderful magical people who draw energy down from the moon on those wondrous starlit nights. To many they are known as the Stardancers.

Musical Discoveries: You always seem to include a lot of natural sounds in your music. How important was the use of natural sounds in Sacred Circles?

Llewellyn: In Sacred Circles the young woman seeks a feeling of oneness with other living things, with animals, trees, the ocean, sun, moon, and earth. She understands the forces of nature created within our physical bodies and that it's creative abilities and powers are ALWAYS within us. The more she feels connected with her Goddess, the greater her belief and making the seemingly impossible tasks for her village come true. The worship of the Goddess (Moon) casts the circle as an intrinsic part of ritual. The Circle cast for this purpose is the only circle with four corners: East - South - West - North or Air - Fire - Water - Earth.

Therefore natural sounds play a major part in the "Casting the Circle" track. The piece took weeks to create and mix. I wanted it to have a continuity with a strong repeating musical refrain but intergrate the vibrations of the key elements within the track. Natural sounds really helped to achieve this. To me, it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. Water sounds also played a major part in the track "Release." The young woman learns how to release her negativity through cleansing and blessing techniques. She simply uses her mind to imagine bad energy flowing away from her like water and releases it into the universe without harm to any other living thing.

Musical Discoveries: The final track on the album "Silver Wheel" is a very celebratory and upbeat song. What exactly is the "Silver Wheel"?

Llewellyn: After twelve months (The Wheel of the Year) the young woman has learned much about the power of creating sacred circles. Lady Silver Wheel is also known as Arianrhod. She appears as a beautiful full moon and the young woman gives thanks to this wonderous moment that she has been waiting for. The village suffered much loss but now she can see the positive changes that have happened. The village is healthier and strong. The harvest was one of the best on record and the church bells now often ring out in celebration of another birth in the village.

For the young woman, this moment is one of celebration and a self realisation that much can be achieved by focusing on specific goals in her mind and directing the Energy to them with love.


Musical Discoveries: Finally, I notice that Juliana features vocally on many of your albums. How important are the vocals in your music?

Llewellyn: Juliana has a beautiful soft vocal. It is very pure and clear. She has a natural gift for creating harmonies and because her voice is so soft and gentle, the multilayered harmonies create the most incredible soft choir sounds. Her voice can literally raise the hairs on your neck. Our voices also blend together well and we created a wonderful 'Clannad-esque' sound on "Stardancing."

I love writing songs as well as instrumental pieces although lyrics can nail down and limit the potential of the music for visualisation purposes. Therefore I tend to avoid lyrical vocals on my more healing/meditational titles. However, you will still often hear Juliana multilayering her charactristic "oohs" and "aahs" in the reverberated and dreamy background.

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