Nigel Shaw & Carolyn Hillyer

The roots of this album are natural recordings of forest sounds and birdsong from surviving ancient woodland on Dartmoor. Gentle improvisations of flutes, whistles, keyboards and voice evoke the delicate beauty of our lost forest.

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Willow, alder, hazel… a great forest once rolled in vast unbounded waves across the old land, an immense changing sea of damp shadow and green light, pouring out over the soil.

Birch, thorn, ash… the roots of the ancient trees reached into the deep heart of everything and their branches were locked in a perpetual dance. The forest nurtured all life within its wide enbrace.

Oak, yew, beech… then the world briefly turned away, and in that time the body of the forest was sacrificed until only its spirit was left. Now the few trees that remain grow within a ghost forest. But the murmur of ancient sap rises in their veins and the hidden memories of the great ancestor trees are held within their seed.

Holly, elder, rowan… the ghost forest is still here. It breathes sweet winds across the flat dry fields and its whisper echoes into the empty corners of the land, echoes of the ancient forest.

The roots of this album are natural recordings of forest sounds and birdsong from surviving ancient woodland on Dartmoor. With gentle improvisations by Nigel on wooden flutes, traditional whistles, keyboards; with improvised voice and sung prayer by Carolyn.

TRACKS: Willow, Birch, Oak, Holly, Willow
Album length: 65 minutes. Released in 1996.