Harmony of the Spheres

Neil Ardley based this 1978 album on the ancient idea of the Harmony of the Spheres, the idea that each planet produces a musical note related to its orbit. It was reasoned that, as everything in the heavens is perfect, the notes must sound together to produce a perfect harmony. Neil Ardley synthesized the actual harmony of the spheres, deriving the frequencies of the notes from the orbital periods of the planets. It can be heard in the all-synthesizer track Soft Stillness and the Night, and it is appropriately mysterious and dramatic.


The album features John Martyn on guitar over a rich orchestral sound mixing electronic with acoustic instruments and voices. Harmony of the Spheres was the subject of a 30-minute film directed by Peter Walker and shown on ITV's The South Bank Show in 1979.


Tracks    [Total time 46.25]

Upstarts All : Leap in the Dark : Glittering Circles : Fair Mirage : Soft Stillness and the Night : Headstrong, Headlong : Towards Tranquillity



Neil Ardley (synthesizers) : John Martyn (guitar) : Billy Kristian (bass guitar) : Geoff Castle (piano, synthesizer) : Richard Burgess (drums) : Trevor Tomkins (percussion) : Barbara Thompson (flute, soprano) : Tony Coe (clarinet, soprano) : Ian Carr (trumpet, flugelhorn) : Norma Winstone & Pepi Lemer (voices)


Produced by Martin Levan