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Discography > Voyager

 
     


Voyager

Released: August 26, 1996

Recorded: Roughwood Croft, orchestra at Air Lyndhurst

Voyager cover

1. The Song of the Sun 4:32
(Bieito Romero)
2. Celtic Rain 4:40
(Mike Oldfield)
3. The Hero 5:01
(Traditional Arrangement by Mike Oldfield)
4. Women of Ireland 6:27
(Traditional Arrangement by Mike Oldfield)
5. The Voyager 4:23
(Mike Oldfield)
6. She Moves Through the Fair 4:05
(Traditional Arrnagement by Mike Oldfield)
7. Dark Island 5:43
(Traditional Arrnagement by Mike Oldfield)
8. Wild Goose Flaps its Wings 5:03
(Mike Oldfield)
9. Flowers of the Forest 6:01
10. Mont St Michel 12:18
(Mike Oldfield)

Written, Produced and Engineered by Mike Oldfield (except track 1)
Assistant Engineers: Gregg Jackman, Tom Newman
Technical Engineer: Richard Barrie
Arrangement by Robin Smith on 'Mont St Michel'
Additional Programming: Henry Jackman

Additional Musicans:
Maire Breatnach (Fiddle)
Choir: London Voices
Noel Eccles (Percussion)
Liam O' Flynn (Uillean pipes)
Highland Pipers
Seam Keane (Fiddle)
London Symphony Orchestra
Matt Molloy (Flutes, Tin Whistles)
John Myers (Tin Whistle/Fiddle)
David Spillane (Uillean Pipes/Low whistle)
Pat Walsh

Recorded at Roughwood Studios
Orchestra at Air studios (Lyndhurst) Ltd

Special thanks to: Clive Banks, Moira Bellas and Jeremy Parker

Mike Oldfield plays...
Nothing listed. Believed to be:
Electric guitars (including guitar synthesiser), Acoustic guitars, Mandolin, Keyboards.

Cover by Bill Smith Studio (photography by David Scheinmann)


Notes

In 1992, after leaving Virgin, Mike signed a three album contract with Warner records. Voyager, as the last of the three, was recorded to finish this contract off. The suggestion of doing a Celtic album came from the record company, who no doubt had in mind the popularity of acts such as 'Riverdance' at the time. Mike liked the idea, feeling that Celtic music was 'easy' for him, as his natural way of playing music is rooted in celtic playing styles. What emerged was a very calm, relaxed album, with this feel influenced by Mike's then recent discoveries of meditations and Tai Chi.

'The Song of the Sun' was written by Bieito Romero, piper of Galician group 'Luar na Lubre'. Mike first met the group in 1992 and has since had a good relationship with them. The tune of 'O Son do Ar' (the track's Galician name), stuck in Mike's head, making it seem an obvious choice for him to cover for the album. Take a look at the group's website for more information on them.

Händel's sarabande from his Suite no 4 for harpsichord in D minor is incorporated into 'Women of Ireland' (the tune is played on a guitar synth sound between 2:30 and 3:00). The piece, arranged for orchestra, was used as the theme music to Stanley Kubrick's film 'Barry Lyndon' which also featured music by The Chieftains, who provided the tune 'Women of Ireland', amongst others. Like with 'Dark Island', although 'Women of Ireland' is credited in Voyager's sleeve notes as being traditional, it seems that it was actually written by Seán Ó Riada, leader of 'Ceoltóirí Cualann', a group which featured several musicians who branched off to form 'The Chieftains'. 'Women of Ireland' first featured on Ceoltóirí Cualann's 1964 album 'Ó Riada Sa Gaiety', under its Irish name of 'Mná na h Éireann'. The Chieftains later played it on their fourth album (the imaginatively titled ' The Chieftains 4') in 1973. Mike Oldfield, being a fan of Stanley Kubrick's films, almost certainly heard the two pieces of music on the 'Barry Lyndon' soundtrack.

Though 'Dark Island' is listed in the sleeve notes as being a traditional tune, it seems that it was written in 1958 by Iain McLachlan, under the title 'Dr. Mackay's Farewell to Creagorry', a lament for a doctor on the island of Benbecula where McLachlan lived. Words were then added by David Silver for when the tune was used as the theme music to the 1963 BBC TV Thriller 'The Dark Island'.

© Richard Carter 2002


Personnel

Robin Smith (arranger)

Also appears in: The Millennium Bell, Light + Shade


Gregg Jackman (assistant engineer)

Also appears in: The Songs of Distant Earth


Tom Newman (assistant engineer)

Also appears in: Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Platinum, Five Miles Out, Islands, Amarok, Heaven's Open, Tubular Bells II, The Songs of Distant Earth


Richard Barrie (technical engineer)

Also appears in: QE2, Five Miles Out, Islands, Earth Moving, Amarok, Heaven's Open, Tubular Bells II, The Songs of Distant Earth


Maire Breatnach (musician)

Has played on all sorts of albums including those by The Chieftains and Riverdance, as well as releasing her own solo albums. Maire plays fiddle, viola, whistles, piano and keyboards, guitar and vocals. She probably contributes the fiddle to Voyager.


Noel Eccles (musician)

Irish percussionist who has worked with The Chieftains, Liam O'Flynn, Van Morrison and The Corrs, amongst others. Played percussion for Riverdance and has played on the soundtracks of numerous films including Room With A View and Mask.


Seán Keane (musician)

Vocalist and Fiddler. Has played with The Corrs, Mark Knopfler, James Galway and currently plays with the Chieftains. Brother of Irish singer Dolores Keane. Also played in the band Arcady, alongside Johnny 'Ringo' McDonagh, who played Bodhran on 'Exposed'.


Matt Molloy (musician)

Highly regarded Irish flautist and Tin Whistle player, who has played with artists like The Chieftains (the band which he is currently with), The Bothy Band, James Galway and Van Morrison.


John Myers (musician)

Whistle player and Fiddler, once played with Shane McGowan's group 'The Popes'. He may have played either tin whistle or fiddle on Voyager.


Liam O'Flynn (musician)

Uillean piper. Has released several solo albums and has also played with the likes of Kate Bush, Enya, Mark Knopfler and The Everly Brothers. Founder member of 'Planxty'.


Davy Spillane (musician)

Player of Uillean Pipes and Low Whistles, born in Dublin, Ireland, founded the band Moving Hearts before going on to become a solo artist. Davy has played on numerous soundtracks and also featured on Riverdance, as well as having collaborated with many other artists, such as Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Steve Winwood and Enya. Davy Spillane also makes his own pipes and whistles.

Davy may have played either Uillean pipes or the Low whistle on Voyager.

Also appears in: Man on the Rocks


Pat Walsh (musician)

Information on Pat Walsh seems to be a bit thin on the ground. The AMG All Music guide lists him as having done vocals on the album. However, as it lists all the musicians as being vocalists, and also claims that Bill Smith (designer of the cover) played guitar on the album, I would rather question its accuracy (and not for the first time...).


Henry Jackman (synth programmer)


Bill Smith (cover artwork)

Also appears in: Tubular Bells II, Tubular Bells III, Guitars, Tres Lunas



Instruments

Miscellaneous stringed instruments
Mike Vanden 'MJV' F4 style Mandolin Originally bought from John Alvey Turner's music shop. Sold via Chandler Guitars in December 2007.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Percussion instruments
Bodhrán 18" bodhrán decorated with a St John Eagle from the Book of Kells. The bodhrán (pronounced as bough-rahn or bow-rahn) is an Irish frame drum made from goatskin, played with a beater called a tipper or cípín. [?] There is bodrhán on the album, but it's not clear whether this was played by Mike, one of the Irish musicians, or was just from a set of loops.
Electric guitars
1961 Fender Stratocaster, fiesta red Mike once said in an interview (The Raft) that this was his favourite guitar and that he'd never sell it. However, he finally decided to part company with it in December 2007 and sold it through Chandler guitars, fetching £30,000.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
PRS Custom 24 Modified by Chandler Guitars and Richard Barrie to include a built-in Roland synth pickup. Sold by Chandler Guitars to an English fan in February 2006.
Photo Photo Photo Photo
PRS Signature A particularly high grade, limited edition, version of the Custom 24. In Vintage Yellow.
Photo Photo Photo
Nylon-string guitars
1974 Ramirez 1A Classical Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Steel-string acoustic guitars
Martin 00-21NY Sold via Chandler Guitars to a Scottish fan in December 2007.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
[?] Likely used for some of the album's acoustic melodies, as Mike seems to have favoured its focused sound for this kind of task.
Guitar effects
Roland VG-8 Guitar modelling processor, able to model the sounds of different guitars and other instruments. It uses a GK-series synth pickup to provide the unit with an uncoloured signal, but the VG-8 is not technically a synthesiser as it purely remodels the signal from the pickup. One was sold via ebay in December 2007, but he lists one as having been used on Tubular Bells 2003, so presumably he had a spare!
Photo Photo
Pianos
Steinway Model C Grand piano. The notes for Tubular Bells 2003 list an 8 foot Steinway grand. The model C is 7'5" 1/2", the Model D is 8'11 3/4" - it could be either of those! The frame was from the 1920s, but the piano was rebuilt. [?]
Synthesisers
Korg Trinity [?]
Roland JD-990 Rackmountable module version of the JD-800, with slightly enhanced synthesis engine, but missing its numerous sliders! [?]
Roland JV-1080 Digital synth module. [?]
Roland XP-50 Digital synthesiser workstation. [?]
Microphones
Bruel & Kjaer 4006 Small diaphragm omnidirectional condenser microphone.
Photo
Bruel & Kjaer 4011 Small diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone.
Bruel & Kjaer 4040 Large diaphragm omnidirectional condenser microphone. Serial Number 001.
Loudspeakers
Coastal Acoustics Boxer T4
Meyer HD-1 Nearfield monitors.
Tape recorders
Sony PCM-3348 48 track digital multitrack tape recorder, recording to Ampex 467 1/2" oxide tape.
Photo
Mixing desks
AMS Neve Capricorn 33238 Digital mixing desk.


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Articles

I Feel I Bring My Ideas About The Future (1996)

Voyager Review - Divishow Online (1996)

Mike Oldfield: Trip from Cosmos to Ibiza (1996)

Life is an Achievement as such (1996)

Voyager Review - Beat Magazine (1996)

Le voyageur (1996)

Tubular Bells III Review - BBC CEEFAX (1998)

Two Sides Sleeve Notes (2012)




Lyrics

  • Dark Island

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