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MP3 Tom Byrne - The Last Druids

An instrumental journey through the fall of the Celtic civilization and the dawn of the Dark Age, centering on profiles of Taliesin, Merlin Emrys, Aneirin, Llywarch the Aged and Wild Merlin. Inspired by ancient British writings.

6 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Celtic, ROCK: Progressive Rock

"The Last Druids" CD by Tom Byrne is an instrumental journey through the dawn of Dark Age Britain focusing on the characters of Taliesin, Merlin Ambrosius, Aneirin, Llywarch the Old and Merlin the Wild.

Track Listing:

1. The Region of the Summer Stars (Taliesin) - Following the ravages of the Yellow Plague, Taliesin leaves the courts of the dead king Maelgwn. He reflects that in stumbling blindly through life''s bog we must be careful not to follow any will o'' the wisp in the mist. Calling himself together he remembers that the whole of history is a struggle for the fragments of God to find their way back home - to the Region of the Summer Stars.

2. The Dragons of Dinas Emrys (Merlin Ambrosius) - Merlin tells the allegorical story of the interment of the Dragons of Conflict by the legendary King Lud. The Dragons coalesce in their struggle, are trapped and sealed at Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia, guarded by the Pheryllt, a Druid brotherhood. When conflict returns to the land and Dinas Emrys falls into disrepair and collapses despite the efforts of King Vortigern to shore it up, the Dragons are released and once more rage across the land.

3. The Battle of Badon Hill (Aneirin) - The first section is a lament over the Gododdin, a British tribal army slaughtered by the Saxons at Catterick. The next section recalls the great British victory under Arthur at Badon Hill. Although that time is past, its lesson of determination and struggle in the face of overwhelming odds provides a permanent contribution to legend.

4. The Conflagration - The old civilisation recedes under the twin onslaughts of raiders and missionaries. The Last Druids retire to the forests, reflecting that the new religion of meekness, submission and comfort is more suited to chaotic times.

5. A Short Life (Llywarch) - A lament for Llywarch''s son Gwyn, killed in his youth. "Were I blest he would have escaped". A short life may still be remembered and cherished, and have more impact than many that are longer. This piece is dedicated to my son Gerard, 1987 - 1999.

6. Knowing Another World (Merlin the Wild) - Having been driven mad at the terrible battle of Arderydd where the pagan King Gwenddoleu was defeated by the christian King Rhydderch, Merlin hides in the forest of Celidon. While mourning the passing of the old world, he prophecies that one day the Dragons will once more be subdued, and people will remember that their home is indeed in the Region of the Summer Stars - and perhaps then they will recall the dim stories of the Last Druids.


"Byrne is certainly no slouch as a composer..." - The Green Man Review

"The Last Druids by Tom Byrne

Did you think that concept albums had died in the 70''s ? This new album from Tom Byrne makes Camel''s Snow Goose and Yes'' Tales From Topographic Oceans look like the work of amateurs. It is based upon Preiddeu Annwn by Taliesin, a 6th century poet, and is set in the period of Arthur and Merlin as the Angles and Saxons gradually took control from the Britons over what was later to become England and Wales.

The six pieces are instrumental with all parts played by Byrne. Although the theme is basically a lament for what was lost, the music is far from mournful, being full of melodic themes and varying dynamics throughout. You can, if you wish, ignore the concept and just enjoy the music alone but you will gain more enjoyment still from reading the copious sleeve notes. These provide not only a track by track breakdown but also a biography of each of the main characters as well as poems on the theme written by Byrne himself.

This is a moving and fascinating work, produced by an intelligent mind. " (David McCloy, York, UK)

"The CD is wonderful. It arrived just in time for my
class on different healing techniques....it has incredible healing energy!!" (from Texas, USA)

"The Last Druids, I absolutely love this cd. It is both ethereal and breezy with a strong celtic feel to it, bringing the druids and the whole period of Arthurian legend to life. When I listen to it I am right there among the people of legends, the feeling is so real. The music is filled with emotion, which evokes a mirroring emotional response within me as I listen. I would definitely recommend this cd to anyone. It is wonderful." (from Illinois, USA)

"Tom Byrne''s ''The Last Druids'' is a delightful mix of mood and style, seamless and brilliantly arranged. The music is at times contemplative and haunting, at times boisterous and joyful. I must admit that my imagination does not call up the images suggested in the track notes, but frankly, the music stands on its own merit, with or without literary theme. One dances through a landscape of colour and movement...a Celtic Kitaro meets Wollenweider without the harp, as it were, but nonetheless never derivative. Each time I listen to this CD, I discover another colour, another rhythm, another delight, and I am left with a refreshing elation that makes this a favourite." (from Avon,UK)

"''The Last Druids'' - I have played it several times and enjoy it more and more with each playing." (from Norfolk, UK)

"''The Last Druids'' - I am 100% impressed!!! It is an incredible collection of beautiful music!" (from Melbourne, Australia)

"''The Last Druids'' - I think this CD is great! I look fwd to playing some stuff over the air soon..." (from Los Angeles, USA)

"''The Last Druids'' - I''m listening to it as I write. I can''t criticize it! It''s brilliant and beautifully packaged as well." (from London UK)

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