In Gowan Ring – The Twin Trees

The Twin Trees was the second album of In Gowan Ring, released by World Serpent in 1997. Of course it was long out of print, and it has now been reissued by Shayo. It contains one extra track, ‘Still water bonne’, previously available on the ‘Terra Serpentes’ sampler. I’m happy with this release, since I regard The Twin trees as one of the best works by B’eirth and his people.

The rich instrumentation of the songs is really striking. B’eirth himself plays a few dozen (often self-built) instruments, and about ten other musicians are involved. Nevertheless the music is always subtle and restrained. Like on other albums, In Gowan Ring makes dreamy, nature-inspired folk music with psychedelic or medieval/renaissance touches. There are references to apocalptic folk, but also to troubadours like Nick Drake.

The songs really patiently build up, each one lasting for at least six minutes. The first pieces are timeless ballads. which give you a really serene, drowsy feeling. In the middle of the album the tracks are more experimental in nature, like the excellent ritual soundscape ‘Stone Song III’ or the almost jazzy title track. Towards the end we are treated to shimmering folky songs again, like the highly moving ‘Still water bonne’.

artist: In Gowan Ring
label: Shayo Records
details: cd, 9 tracks, 2006 [shayo 009]