The Veil | Sophia Speaks

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World: World Fusion World: Celtic Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Sophia Speaks

by The Veil

Celtic-middle-eastern song and story; a mystical, poetic journey joining the acoustic and the electric, mythic themes and exotic sounds.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sophia Speaks
8:19 $0.99
2. The Cauldron
5:04 $0.99
3. My Heart Ia a Lion
5:58 $0.99
4. Beggar Man
6:40 $0.99
5. Fever Vision
5:56 $0.99
6. The Star of India
5:25 $0.99
7. A Single Note
6:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A flickering campfire, deep in the woods...shadowy figures leaping and dancing around and around it. Music from the fringes of your experience comes drifting through the trees, bearing the scent of exotic incense and half-remembered glimpses of ancient rituals and celebrations. The glimmer of silver and magical jewels, the rustle of velvets and laces...the lilt of strange, beautiful songs, telling of forbidden loves, ancient goddesses, distant seas. Now the music breaks into a lively, sinuous dance, and lithe figures dart and caper through the air...Unbidden, you are drawn closer, and your body begins to move with the beat...

Some say that a brief doorway to such places is opened when The Veil plays.

Celtic cohorts Mark Ungar and Deirdre McCarthy had spent years exploring and performing Irish and English folk music, working not only in a traditional acoustic context but also syncretizing the old sounds with the electric textures of rock. In The Veil, they are assimilating new influences and instruments while retaining their Celtic and rock roots. They decided to pursue a project in which music suitable for a ritual situation would be created, music which would summon and harmonize energies and allow listeners to reach an exalted state. Shortly thereafter, they met M....

Margarita Kovats brings her prolific and prophetic writing skills to the mix and a mesmeric, evocative narrative voice to the recordings. A member of a caste of poets from a far planet, she has brought her talents to our own for an extended stay. An adept at the lost art of Writing with Ink, her lyrics provide a matrix around which the members of The Veil weave their sensual vibrations.

Multi-instrumentalist Mark Ungar utilizes the droning, sonorous qualities of a 95-year-old mandocello named "Grampa" to provide both bass grooves and melody, as well as bass, electric and acoustic guitars, electric sitar, mandola, plectrum banjo, and vocals. Percussionist Deirdre McCarthy, long a respected player of the traditional Irish drum the bodhran, has been steadily incorporating a variety of other instruments into her kit, including doumbek, ashiko, tupan and bomba leguera. Deirdre also sings lead and harmony vocals, including lyrics in Slavonic and melodies gleaned from the liturgy of the Russian Byzantine Catholic church.

Scott Irwin lends his expertise on drum kit to the mix, and Cat Taylor adds her sinuous electric violin to several tracks.



to write a review

Gretchen Alder

Once you get used to it...'s really interesting. I bought this CD for the music, which is an amazing mix of Celtic and Middle-Eastern, but wasn't too sure about the spoken word part. I don't have a lot of experience with spoken word, and I wasn't sure I'd like it, but the songs on this album have been in my iTunes "shuffle" for a while now. I must say, the spoken word parts are really growing on me. And the music is extraordinary, in both its unusual sound and the technical excellence of its creators. I'll probably take it off shuffle and play it straight through from now on!

Alice Marie

Loreena McKennitt's Long Lost Cousins
The cover made me want to see and hear what's under "the veil," and what I found was Loreena McKennitt's edgy relatives. The Celtic and Middle Eastern influences make for an exotic and sometimes erotic mix.

Kyle Wohlmut

You don't find this album it finds you
This album grabbed me by the lapels and shook me out of my malaise over the whole neo-Celtic rock-influenced thang. The opening monologue on the title track 'Sophia Speaks' was so sexy I immediately made it the startup sound on my computer. The second track carried on with the merciless pummeling of the listener with the intriguing and fresh combination of spoken-word poetry and wall-of-sound rock. Next... do you like dissonance? Damn I sure do, and vocalist McCarthy sears you with a screaming sonic crescendo at the end of 'My Heart is a Lion.' By this time you might need to take a breath and the next track 'The Booger Man' gives you a chance to groove to a more conventional Celtic rock track with an ass-whomping backbeat and vocals by Ungar. Speaking of boogers, what is that sticky thing holding the disc in the digipak? Very distinctive packaging of this CD and spectacular layout. Anyway, the following track 'Fever Vision' returns us firmly to the frenetic poetry/pounding rock sound. The only weak spot I would point to on this collection would be the texture of the last two tracks, 'Star of India' and 'A Single Note'; a little too retro-sixties-hanging-out-with-Ravi-Shankar sounding for my tastes-- on the one hand, I want to say 'Don't you guys know, the Beatles already did this?' But on the other hand, we liked it when the Beatles did it, and we still like it...
Overall: This album should be arrested for 'Refusing To Obey.'

Sharon Knight

Reminiscent of 60's celtic rock, but with a distinctly Eastern flavor.
Sophia Speaks is a lovely first offering from The Veil. Made up of Bay Area music veterans, The Veil is reminiscent of 60's celtic rock, but with a distinctly Eastern flavor. They combine classic rock, Celtic traditional, and Arabic and Indian World music flavors very skillfully and interestingly. I particularly like 'My heart is a Lion' and 'The Beggar Man'. Insightful lyrics......'My Heart' is almost anthem-like, and I have listened to it over and over, singing along. I genuinely enjoy this CD and am delighted to have gotten a review copy! I will listen to it many more times for my own enjoyment. I've come to think of it as 'Steeleye Span on strong Morrocan hash!'