Apple Pentacle

About this album

On the day when the green fields

Are a colony goldenly ruled by Apollo,

May the sensation we have of life

Be a dance within us.

Fernando Pessoa

louisajohnkrol-applepetacleGreen Twin of my previous CD AlabasterApple Pentacle heralds Persephone’s return to fertile realms amid flowers, wild rambling vines and The Apple Tree Man / The Face in the Leaves, revisiting also our beloved themes of parallel lives and faerie trysts.

The Green Man, spirit of the Greenwood, roves through the ages as Puck Robin, Robin Goodfellow, Robin Hood, Garland / Harvest King, Jack-in-the-Green, Herne, Bucca, Spanish Bosgou, German Woodwose, Sumerian Enkidu, Egyptian Osiris (The Great Green), moss-clad Tapio of Finland, Arcadian Pan, Dionysus, Roman Bacchus, Attis, or Rex Nemorensis.

My Welsh ancestors knew him as Atho, Ardhuu, Gruagagh, or Pwca (Puge in old Danish, Pukje in Norwegian). He is Tolkien’s Treebeard and The Knot Wisdom (Solomon’s Seal) of Morris Dancing. The Face in the Leaves peers from foliate heads or sprouting masks.

The Koran honours Al-Khidir the Green One. Further East he appears as Krishna or Rama / Vishnu. Ancient Mayan, Aztec and Hopi Indian cultures celebrated him, eg. as Kokopelli.

Pacific Islanders and Australian Aborigines also had legends of The Wild Man.

His European consort is the Spring Maiden, Flora, May Queen, Green Faerie Absinthe, or Lady Bercilak, wife of The Grim Man in Green in the 14th century romance, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Arthurian poem of love, sex, honour and magic. Beneath its medieval courtesy was an ancient battle between Summer & Winter, a struggle between the waxing & waning Moon. Gawain’s shield bears a pentangle. The pentacle or pentagram (star in the apple) signals protection, luck, creative energy & immortality.

It is also the sign of the Illuminati.

 

Tracks & Lyrics

Part One: Atho

# 1. Atho

Duration: 0:22

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

Atho, we go whirling over

Atho, we go whirling over,

Atho we go…

#2. The Windrow

Duration: 4:27

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol

The Yarra of Warburton

clashing cocoons ripping through the

Mirrors of what we see

glancing upon the screen of promise

 

Which one is your world?

Which one are you sure about?

Take all your favourite dreams

arrange them in patterns plenty

No matter how deep you dive

into wells of circumstances

 

Windrow, Windrow,

Drift like a curtain – Speak like thunder!

 

Teapots at Yarraglen

masking mountains leaping clover

Caravans in the dawn

carting musk and sandalwood

 

Which one will you choose?

Which one knows and questions you?

 

Hazelnuts in the breeze

carrying embers of delusion

Why don’t take your drum

and unleash the memory of you?

 

Windrow, Windrow,

Drift like a curtain – Speak like thunder!

#3. Which of these Worlds?

Duration: 4:50

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol

And here’s a world in which I can fly,

and here’s a lake I skim like a mermaid,

here’s a world where I’m imprisoned,

here’s a pentagram of spells

that take a shape and burn like fire,

and here’s a world where I beg for my life,

and here’s a pleasure screamed with delight,

and here’s a street I stalk as a vampire,

here’s a world where I am a queen,

and here’s a world where love reigns supreme,

and here’s a world where I cannot walk.

And which of these worlds will I cry for?

And which of these worlds will I yearn for?

And which…. world did I choose?

And which of these was I thrown into?

And here’s a lever lowering a bridge

that’s leads to castles far in the wood,

and here’s a carriage in which I ride

to my demise, my execution,

here I dance with daggers of steel

and here I run with wolves to the sea,

and here’s a plate where poison is placed,

a gun to end the life of a rebel

here is snow where a life did expire,

and here’s a banquet filled with mirth,

and here’s an edict that would make

a billion people into slaves,

and here’s a hole that leads to my freedom,

here’s a shroud concealing a grail,

and here’s a flag, and here’s a sail

to take me to the next galaxy.

#4. Spin

Duration: 2:28

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol

Moon stay: in your eyes I swim…

Tune fray: tell me where you spin?

Down in the valley of size

Where the treasure slips by

The roving eye finds –

You sway to me:

Spin one more day.

#5. Birch Wandering

Duration: 4:19

Music / Lyrics: Mark Krol / Louisa John-Krol

Did I hear you say they’re wandering?

They’re rendering the seas and seasons

And I hear they are wondering why

They would wander to their home in the sky –

O’ the wandering, O’ the sundering

And for the rendering, the hopes ‘n’ horses

When my feet are tired on moss an’ grasses

O’ the wandering, O’ the sundering

Soon, o’ how soon the Autumn comes along!

Here, yes even here, no-one will know you.

Over me the loneliness of trees

Rest ‘n’ rustle rolling over me

O’ the wandering, O’ the sundering

And the humming of your hopes ‘n’ horses,

For the tendering and wondering why –

O’ the wandering, O’ the sundering

O’ how soon, how soon…

Part Two: Ardhuu

#6. Escalder’s Tree Ride

Duration: 4:03

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

You want me down darling, let me be!

For I am in love with the Lord of a Tree

And I’m riding to the good Sir Malder….

 

Saraway told me he was lithe as the wings of bees

But he got his blood from the Mountain –

Told me I’d find him in the body of Tree

Where his blood flows back to the Mountain –

 

So I stole through his spirit

Like a beetle in the shivering seas,

I was lost in here for centuries – for the love of Tree!

Of the seven seas inside you, Time is only one:

I stirred them all as I floated through

And then my fingers touched the ground.

 

You want me down darling, let me be!

For I am in love with the Lord of a Tree

And I’m riding to the good Sir Malder.

#7. Canterville

Duration: 4:42

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

When a golden girl can win

prayer from out the lips of sin

When the barren bough bears

and a little child gives away its tears

Then shall all the house be still

and peace come to Canterville.

 

A golden girl can win

from the lips of sin

Come to Canterville!

And the ghost spoke again

And his voice was the wind

#8. The Green Pentacle

Duration: 3:20

Music (guitar chords & vocal melody): Jenni Heinrich

Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

Bow, your shield’s at ease,

How many virtues are these?

Count round your pentangle down to three:

Which courtesy would you now break for me?

Now, I’ll hunt to kill!

Your every wish to fulfil.

Master’s out, and the servants are all asleep!

I’m… your love and shall be still.

Keep my girdle green,

Dream, we are not who we seem:

So a good knight would have claimed a kiss

From the wife of the Grim Man in Green.

Face in the Leaves… leave the hunting to me!

I’ll ride you down, I’ll ride you free….

#9. Ceracini

Duration: 2:23

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

Ceracini dance in me

Hear the children playing in the street

Where the nut and brown berry speak

Ceracini laugh and leap

Down the muddling chestnut trees

Marble echo under my feet

Some were known and some never seen

Sister-father, mother me.

#10. Poppet Plum

Duration: 3:02

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol

He is on the stair, he knows you:

Take your seats inside the tune.

The marionettes are there, listening through you,

Human dreams hang in this room.

 

Believe their faces, they know you,

Their souls are waiting by their feet

To hold your graces, and your failures,

Not so far above the street.

 

Poppet Plum, stamp and run

Bobbing thumb, swing your drum

Hand to hand, son to son

Till the Human Tale is done.

 

Old as this town, old as this man,

With a bagpipe and a bell

Tin-tap, lights go down:

Time for dancing hands!

They can show what we can’t tell.

#11. The Witch in the Wood

Duration: 3:34

There’s a red briar, in my garden

Dressed in fruit she carries but once a year

There’s a changeling, in my cradle

With a phantom laughter and pointed ear

There’s a black crow, at my window

With the hollow eyes of a seer – oh!

Tell me, do you know the Witch in the Wood?

Come Robin, tell me – have you seen the Witch in the Wood?

I’ve a stable, by the old tree,

And her walls of spiderthorn tangle my hair

There’s an ocean, in my cauldron

And the earth’s belly is aching for more

There’s a piper, on our hillside

If you won’t follow I’m going alone – oh!

Tell me, how to find the Witch in the Wood…

Come plover, show me – if I am the Witch in the Wood:

Oh seer, you’ll wake the witch in my blood!

For I am, mother, oh I am the Witch in the Wood.

Finale

#12. Kunmanngur

Duration: 7:16

Music / Lyrics: Frederic Chaplain / Louisa John-Krol

Down in deep of dawn, where bough was horn

a word was born

roam in rune of rain, your reel is flame

we call your name –

 

Curlew and Eagle

Pulloo-Pulloo, Karan

Kar Kork and Weirk

Tarduk… Darimun

Kunmanngur! Kunmanngur!

 

Inspirations

The other thing is the Queen’s character. Perhaps a modern psychologist would have explained her by saying that she lived in an imaginary world. The people of Lothian only noticed that she did not live in their own world, and so they called her a witch.”

T.H. White: The Witch in the Wood

Song Notes

‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’ is from my tale Elderbrook, in which Escalder the Green Lady – a waterwitch – dives inside a tree, to meet her lover Thelderbrin and his brother Sir Malder. Earlier she visited Love Sessions Vol 1, Prikosnovenie, in ‘Escalder’s Spellbinding’. She returns in our 2013 book-cd Elderbrook.

‘Poppet Plum’ is a tribute to José Géal, puppet master of the Toone Theatre in Bruxelles, Belgium, which I visited in 2003 to see the play ‘Macbeth’ presented in an old Flemish dialect. Puppets from earlier decades hung from the rafters, watching with us. Below was a museum of earlier plays, tracing the company’s history at the birth of Bruxelles itself: http://www.toone.be/

‘The Witch in the Wood’ alludes not only to T.H.White’s books but also to my own little tale of a woman who seeks a wood-witch, only to discover that it’s herself. Please refer to Poetry & Fables for my story ‘The Witch in the Wood’.

‘Kunmanngur’ is a serpent from an Aboriginal tale, The Flood and the Bird Men, told by Kianoo Tjeemairee of the Murinbata tribe, in a book entitled Australian Dreaming (compiled by Jennifer Isaacs; Ure Smith Press). There are many names for the Rainbow Serpent in Aboriginal mythology, depending on location and language. It’s a symbol of fertility and creation. Several words in the song are names of birds, such as the curlew.

Applelore

Dare to say what you name Apple

Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus (13)

An apple cut in half through the middle, as if along a planet’s equatorial line, shows a five pointed star. In the Word Ogham of Cuchulain, the apple is described as an emblem of protection. The top point symbolizes spirit; the other four, elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. The star (apple core) shows the spirit bringing elements into harmony, as taught by Empedocles, circa. 475 BC.

The symbol of ‘Man the Microcosm’ by Hermetic magicians was based on the pentacle, which Pythagorean mystics worshipped as a reference to goddess Kore. This Pentalpha interlaced 5 times and referred to life or health. It was also the star of Isis or her underground twin, Nephthys.

Wassaile the trees, that they may beare

You many a Plum and many a Peare:

For more or lesse fruits they will bring,

As you do give them Wassailing

Herrick

British Crab-tree / Wild Apple (Pyrus malus) is the ancestor of cultivated apple trees, abundant before the Norman Conquest, probably introduced by Romans. The apple family, with some 6,000 species, is about 80 million years old. It’s possibly the leading fruit tree in France. Bartholomeus Anglicus, circa 1470, wrote:

‘Malus the Appyll tree is a tree yt bereth apples and is a grete tree in itself. . . it is more short than other trees of the wood wyth knottes and rinelyd Rynde. And makyth shadowe wythe thicke bowes and branches: and fayr with dyurs blossomes, and floures of swetnesse and Iykynge: with goode fruyte and noble.”

Gentlemen, we’ll see ourselves with apples again,

the infant will go by at last,

the expression of Aristotle fortified

with huge wooden hearts

Vallejo

Music from an Otherworldly apple tree soothes the soul. In Ireland, in a quest for wisdom you pursued a white doe by a wild Apple tree. Deliberate felling of this Tree was punishable by death.

I still feel the emerald lymphe of the thousand leaves I have swallowed.

And I sing.

Francesca Nicoli (Ataraxia): Arcana Eco 2005.

Three Apples fell from heaven.One for the teller, One for the listener,And one for the one who took it to heart.

Armenian folk ritual for story ending

Deities linked to apples include Cerridwen, Olwen & Morgan le Fay (Celtic); Idunn & Freyia (Norse); Apollo, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, Gaia, Zeus (Greek); Diana, Pomona, Venus, Cupid, Jupiter (Roman); and Ishtar, Astarte, Shekinah, Ashtaroth (Middle Eastern). Idunn, keeper of apples, fed Norse gods ambrosia of apple nectar as an elixir of youth. Apple wands were also helpful in love rituals. Gaia gave Hera an apple tree when she married Zeus; it was kept in the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by a dragon, Ladon. A task of Hercules was to pluck one of its apples. Paris signalled judgment of the fairest goddess by giving Aphrodite an apple.

The Apple as key to dreaming, enchanted slumber and immortality: 

In ancient Silesia (now in Poland), the Apple was a “dream tree”. Apples in medieval fairytales could provoke enchanted slumber, as in Snow White. For Celts, Avalon was known as the Avallach, Isle of Apples, ruled by Morgan le Fay. Apples are part of the Celtic Ogham tree alphabet, Quert. They are buried to feed the dead and symbolize rebirth. Thomas the Rhymer, of Ercledoune, in 13th Century Scotland, was warned not to eat the Otherworldly Apple offered by the Faerie Queen. In medieval Connla the Fair, an Irish prince fell in love with a Faerie, who offered him an apple from her realm, binding him to her: they sailed to her isle where apples bestowed eternal youth. Elsewhere in Irish lore, the God Óengus offered three apple trees from the forest of Bruig na Bóinde (New Grange) as a wedding gift for the Milesians: one in full bloom, one shedding blossoms, and one in fruit. In the Welsh Câd Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees), the Apple symbolizes poetic immortality. The sacred Druid plant, an t-uil-oc (Mistletoe), is often found on Apple trees. In The Voyage of Bran, a woman appears with an apple branch laden with bells, entrancing Bran with tales. In Druid lore, essence of three sacred apples on the Tree of Knowledge came from three drops from Cerridwen’s cauldron, corresponding with the Druid’s Three Rays of Light. Merlin toiled in an apple grove shown by Gwendolleu. He received the Faerie Queen’s gift of prophecy by eating one of her apples, and took shelter by an apple tree during madness. Bards (poets) & Ovates (shamans) carried apple branches (Craobh Ciuil) with bronze, silver, or gold bells.

Un aval melon a blij din, Un aval melen pe arc’hant,

Pe ar verc’h henan mar d’eo koant!”

(I’d like a yellow apple; a yellow apple, or money –

or the eldest daughter if she’s pretty!

Breton carol

The oldest tree in an orchard is the Apple Tree Man. In him, fertility of the grove resides. He may bestow fortune on respectful mortals, though treasure buried among his roots may be symbolic. He could be a manifestation of The Green Man, of whom I have written elsewhere. The apple also attracts unicorns…

More about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Bibliography of folkloric sources

The Green Man – J. Matthews

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – Tolkien & Barron translations

By Oak, Ash and Thorn & Wicca – Conway

The Witch in the Wood – T.H.White

Australian Dreaming – Jennifer Isaacs

Aboriginal Myths and Legends – Roland Robinson

The Canterville Ghost – Oscar Wilde

Three Romances (Love stories of Camelot) – W. Rosen

Puck of Pook’s Hill – Kipling

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare

Neruda & Vallejo – Selected Poems – edited by Robert Bly

Absinthe – La Folie Verte – music by Blood Axis & Les Joyaux de la Princesse

Green Witchcraft – A. Moura (Aoumiel)

Wild Witchcraft – Marian Green

Witch Crafting – P. Curott

Wicca – Cunningham

The Mist-Filled Path – Frank MacEowen

The Moon on the Lake – Caiseal Mor

The Faery Queen – Spenser

The Symbolism of Tarot – Ospensky

The Mythic Tarot – J.Sharman-Burke & L. Greene

The Castle of Crossed Destinies – Italo Calvino

The Apple Branch – A path to Celtic Ritual – Alexei Kondratiev

The Lord of the Rings – J.R. Tolkien

The Secret History of Kate Bush – Fred Vermorel

The Crock of Gold – J. Stephens

The Wiccer Man – film directed by Robin Hardy

Dictionary of World Folklore – Larousse

Dictionary of Classical Mythology – Zimmerman

A Dictionary of Fairies – Katharine Briggs

Websites for Robin Hood, The Green Man, or Applelore

http://www.mikeharding.co.uk/greenman/

http://www.stonecarver.com/greenman.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/apple044.html#his

http://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-apple

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/p/pentacle.html

http://www.tarte-tatin.com/english/page/collectif-en.html

“Full fierce he was to sight / And all over bright green” 

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

 

Credits

Label

2005, Prikosnovenie, France

Composition

Music / Lyrics: Louisa John-Krol / Mark Krol, except:

‘The Green Pentacle’: music by Jenni Heinrich, lyrics from medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

‘Kunmanngur’: music soundscape by Frederic Chaplain (Lys), recorded in Clisson, France & embellished by Brett Taylor; lyrics allude to a myth from the Aboriginal Dreaming, ‘The Flood and the Bird Men’ told by Kianoo Tjeemairee of the Murinbata Tribe (for more info, see Inspirations)

‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’: Dulcimer & Guitar arranged by Harry Williamson (set to Louisa’s Vocal melodies)

‘Which of these Worlds?’: initial Vox pattern bouncing idea by Olaf Parusel, later forming rhythmic basis of Mark’s melody for lead Vocal & arranged instrumentally by Brett Taylor

Lyrics of ‘Canterville’ allude to a story by Oscar Wilde, ‘The Canterville Ghost’

Performance / Instrumentation

Vocal (lead & backing): Louisa John-Krol

Mandolin (‘Birch Wandering’), Angel Harp (‘Canterville’), acoustic Guitar (‘Windrow’, ‘Poppet Plum’), Tibetan Bell, Triangle, Rainstick, Wind-chimes, Clay Puppet Feet Bells, : Louisa John-Krol

Harpsichord (‘The Witch in the Wood’): Louisa John-Krol

Wurlitzer, Bass, 2nd Acoustic & Electric guitars, male backing Voice (‘The Windrow’), Mellotron, Piano (except ‘The Witch in the Wood’), Synth, String arrangement, Melody Bells / Chiming Fruit, Drums, other Percussion, Loops, Samples (‘Which of these Worlds’), classical Guitar (‘Spin’), excepting other players, H.W. & J.H., credited elsewhere: Brett Taylor.

Hammer Dulcimer & 12-String Guitar (‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’), Synth (‘The Witch in the Wood’), Harp (‘The Green Pentacle’), Paper Drum (‘Canterville’), Charango, Tiple (‘Poppet Plum’): Harry Williamson.

Piano arrangement & performance (‘The Witch in the Wood’): Richard Allison (embellishing Louisa’s Harpsichord riff)

Viola & Classical Guitar  (‘The Green Pentacle’): Jenni Heinrich

Hurdy Gurdy (‘Spin’): Bronwyn Lloyd (instrument made by Tim Guster)

Production

Part I: Atho + Finale: Brett Taylor, Pilgrim Arts, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Part II: Ardhuu: Harry Williamson, Spring Studio, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Except: repeating vox motif of ‘Which of these Worlds’ and ‘Spin’, recorded by Olaf Parusel of Stoa, in the Stadtgottesacker, Halle cemetery, Germany, developed by Brett, Mark & Louisa later in Australia.

Mastered by Brett Taylor, Australia 2005 & Fred Chaplain, France 2005

Visual Art

Cover picture & design: Sabine-Adelaide, Prikosnovenie: http://www.sabine-adelaide.com

Photograph of Louisa: Catherine Goss

Thanks in addition to above credits

For promo, websites or faery news: Arno Pellerin, Richard O’Donovan, Theodore Wohng, Frederic Cotton, Mary Vareli

Friends, family, fey, including all our collaborators on this & other projects…

In memory of my Welsh father, Michael John, who told & sung of Robin Hood.

May we all meet again in the Green Glen.

 

Reviews

“Louisa John-Krol is supremely talented but severely under-rated. Her record company is French, her fans include European Goths and American Industrial music devotees. But to define her music… ‘ethereal elegant Pop influenced by literature and folklore’ is nearest I could get. Prikosnovenie suggest ‘Faerie Dream-Pop’. Apple Pentacle is Louisa’s… most Pagan… dedicated to the Green Man archetype… Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Canterville Ghost are also inspiration…. Memorable melodies, enchanting vocals… ‘The Windrow’ and ‘Which of these Worlds’ reminiscent of early Kate Bush. ‘Birch Wandering’, ‘The Green Pentacle’ and ‘The Witch in the Wood’ more folk-rock, ‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’ psychedelic folk… Apple Pentacle demonstrates the full range of Louisa’s imagination and talent.”

Michael Shankland, Pentacle Magazine, Beltane 2006, England
(Available in England from www.musicnonstop.co.uk)

“Louisa John-Krol’s new album is inspired by the Green Man and… carries all the weight of the myth. Her voice and artistry come to the fore… ‘The Windrow’ is the spirit of English folk with psychedelic leanings. ‘Which of these worlds’… echoes Laurie Anderson’s vocal coos in ‘O Superman’. The music is progressive rock, the mellotron is just one of many proggish instruments… ‘Canterville’ based on Oscar Wilde’s tale of the restless ghost a delightful soft hush… shades of Kate Bush ghostly and eerie. ‘The Witch in the Wood’… convincingly haunted. Apple Pentacle is a masterful work by a great artist.”

Anna Maria Stjarnell, Collected Sounds (once webzine, now blog) & www.musicnonstop.co.uk, Sweden

“quinto lavoro dell’apprezzata cantautrice…Riunito il artistico, comprendente il marito Mark, il produttore Brett, Harry e Fred, la sirena dà vita ad un disco vario... Tanto spazio all’intimo aspetto acustico come dimostrano le melodie delicate e le percussioni etniche della suadente ‘The Windrow’, mentre Louisa conferma le sue grandi doti vocali (su tutte l’innata dolcezza) nella ballata folk ‘Birch Wandering’ e nella fiabesca, meravigliosa ‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’… sognante, sospesa ed eterea “Ceracini” e, soprattutto, dalla favolosa ‘Which Of These Worlds?’: una perla ammantata d’elettronica con una melodia vocale sublime ed un refrain groovy da capogiro che… definiremmo un fulgido esempio di ‘pop spirituale’. Tra riferimenti letterari (da Matthews a Tolkien, passando per Wilde ed una favola scritta Louisa) e musicali il disco scorre piacevolmente fino al conclusivo mantra elettronico di ‘Kunmanngur’… rimanendo fedele ad un suono più fatato e sognante e mantenendo inalterata la propria dimensione poetica.”

Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi, Rockhard Magazine, www.indiemerchstore.com, Italy

“esoteric dream-pop… ambient, world music, folk, trance… well known comparisons: Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Clan of Xymox, Kate Bush or Loreena McKennitt. Louisa though has a singular voice and artistic vision… curious areas of fairies…half revealed, hushed… emanate from the ether… themed around ‘green man’ folklore in Herne the hunter, Robin Hood, Puck and 18th century literary romanticism of Pan… short intro (then)…‘The Windrow’: 70s sounding slow folk rock… rippling electric guitar, soft electric piano and space for vocal, an innovative pop song… lyrics consider reality; that there might be alternates…a theme continued in ‘Which of these worlds?’ Backwards pianos herald marvelous melody behind highly unusual lyrics. Versions of Louisa sing alternating lines of an increasingly dramatic song exploring multiple versions of a person – which is the ‘real’ one? ‘Spin’: medieval drones from hurdy-gurdy, as though Mary Margaret O’Hara had been beamed back many centuries… ‘Birch Wandering’: chiming Spring’s hope. ‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’: stunning folk melody over etheric resonant dulcimer, intoxicating lyrics ‘his blood flows back to the mountain’… Louisa is making music I always hoped for. ‘Canterville’: dreamlike, echoing vocals and whispers over angel harp… from Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost it has a spectral feeling… at the edge of perception. Central song ‘The Green Pentacle’: sombre, mournful with classical guitar spiraling over cello and mysterious vocals, almost creepy… witness to an enchantment… ‘Ceracini’… a girl’s dream, similar to Jane Siberry’s ‘The Walking’ or Kate Bush’s ‘The Ninth Wave’… instruments (as) drone for vocals to fade into view around the stereo field. ‘Poppet Plum’, full of simplicity and grace… spirits watching a child… toy melodic quality like a clockwork ballerina… ends with the old Robin Hood song… Our childhood friendship with the green man remembered. ‘The Witch In The Wood’: piano, harpsichord, whistles and flutes join a stately dance with siren vocals… strong Kate Bush-like narrative without being derivative… the witch as force of liberation and empowerment… ‘tell me how to find, the witch in the wood’. ‘Kunmanngur’ combines electronics, bell and wood rhythms magically.… Her version of Robert Grave’s ‘The White Goddess’… Louisa made not just a suite of songs but a place of sanctuary. I will be returning to her greenwood.”

Mark Coyle, The Unbroken Circle, UK

”Su voz es etérea, de las que antes se habría encuadrado en las heavenly voices y ahora, que las etiquetas proliferan, se apellida ‘feérica’, por aquello de las hadas. Las discográficas pocas veces aciertan cuando dan otras referencias como método de orientación, pero en este caso Prikosnovenie da de lleno al sugerir Lorena Mc Kennitt y Kate Bush (véase ‘The Witch in the Wood’). Cabría añadir también a Mónica Richards, de Faith and the Muse, en cortes como el fantástico ‘The Green Pentacle’, quizá uno de los más redondos del disco. Las similitudes, sin embargo, no son imitaciones. Se trata, simplemente, de canciones cuyas raíces cercanas a ciertos folclores le imprimen unos aires característicos.”

Sonidobscuro, www.myspace.com/rockhard_italy, Spain

“Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang collected European myths and folktales, retold them… grouped them according to theme… Louisa John-Krol has a background as storyteller, and like Lang, found a common theme… Green Man (as) cross-cultural archetype… snippets of tales, sung with such delicacy and precision, they are inseparable from music. LJK’s soprano swoops through pieces that meld folk, progressive pop, electronica and new age… After an ethereal invocation of opening ‘Atho’, Wurlitzer-heavy ‘The Windrow’ plays like vintage Jefferson Airplane. ‘Which One of These Worlds?’ begins with Laurie Anderson-like vocals before descending into propulsive trance electronica. ‘Spin’ and ‘The Green Pentacle’: medieval folk, with hurdy-gurdy, harp, acoustic guitar… closing ‘Kummanngur’ is a drone-filled tribal song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Delirium album. One of the pleasures of this album is how disparate musical set pieces fit like a puzzle. You barely see the joinery between modern touches… and archaic instruments… LJK reminds one of Loreena McKennitt and Kate Bush, and like those women… follows her wild muse wherever it leads her. She does bring a darker, if not gothic, aspect… that grounds her flights of fancy. This dark, dreamy album is the aural equivalent of the fairytale art of Edmund Dulac and Gustav Dore.”

Craig L. Gidney, www.myspace.com/ethereallad, USA

“Il nuovo lavoro di Louisa John Krol è inspirato allo spirito della Foresta Verde… ritrova in diverse mitologie… Da Osiride a Robin Hood, da  Bacco a Krishna secondo la Krol l’Uomo Verde ha rappresentato un riferimento imprescindibile per ogni cultura… ed ora è il motivo di ispirazione per la sua nuova raccolta… Musicalmente il disco si muove tra le maglie di un pop venato di folk, che si bagna di volta in volta dei suoni delle culture che racconta. La differenza la fa la voce incredibile di Louisa John Krol, spesso doppiata nelle canzoni per accentuarne la duttilità. Apple Pentacle è un modo di favole e sogni, diviso in due parti: nella prima, ‘Atho’, le canzoni mostrano una verace brillantezza pop… spazio anche per un cameo di Olaf Parusel degli Stoa (‘Which Of These Worlds’); nella seconda parte, ‘Ardhuu’, più folk, emerge al contrario l’aspetto intimista e più liquido della musica di questa bravissima cantautrice.”

di Roberto Mandolini, www.losingtoday.it & www.rockerilla.com, Italy

“Louisa John-Krol offers fairyesque Apple Pentacle dedicated to green spirits of nature… inspired by fairy histories and mythologies… viola, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, tibetan bell, triangle, windchimes, rain stick, piano, dulcimer, harp, earth percussions creating enchanting, bewitching other-worldliness…”

Music Non Stop, www.musicnonstop.co.uk, UK

“La fée australienne… un pur moment d’émerveillement, un instant de bonheur et de paix unique et parfait. Une échappée belle dans une immense forêt où règne la quiétude et qui appelle au recueillement, c’est d’ailleurs un opus consacré à un être fantastique que Apple pentacle est dédié, L’homme vert, protecteur de la nature… Superbe, Louisa est une magicienne.”

Brown Jenkin, The Sentinels of Time, France

Approximate translation of a portion of the above:

“The Australian fairy… a pure moment of amazement, one moment of happiness and perfect peace. A beautiful escape in an immense forest where reign quietude & meditation, opus devoted to the green man, protective of nature… Superb, Louisa is a magician.”

“…la genial Louisa John Krol nos ofrece mágico Apple Pentacle… de dedicadas a los espíritus de la naturaleza, como Louisa se inspira en historias y mitologías…. Sin duda Louisa nos deja entrar a su mundo encantado. Louisa John Krol, la cantante que pasó su infancia en la selva, rodeada de una energía mágica. Su convivencia con Dead Can Dance le hizo descubrir un mundo de música y mística. Su estilo de claras influencias celtas hace acordar a Loreena McKennitt, Enya, Kate Bush o Lisa Gerrard: sonidos dulces y volátiles, instrumentos… Por encima planea la mágica voz de Louisa, interpretando poemas de hadas…”

 

Gothic Garden

 

“Louisa John-Krol is a fantastic artist and fabulous storyteller, with a voice made of purest crystal… Apple Pentacle leads us into a fairy world… flowing predominantly from Green Man mythology. Spirit of the Greenwood roves through the ages as Robin Hood, Egyptian Osiris, Arcadian Pan, Dionysus, Tolkien’s Treebeard, Vishnu, Puck, Atho and other incarnations. With cinematic lyrics and fairy soundscapes, Louisa’s music is a subtle mix of modern production with ancestral themes and instruments… dreamy fairy pop music with beautiful heavenly voices. Like Kate Bush, she explores different feelings… sensual, sweet, harsh or ethereal, as if her creatures embody her soul.”

Indie Merch Store / Fossil Dungeon & Need for Goth, Germany

“Louisa’s voice reminds us of Kate Bush or Emilia Torrini’s voices, her album and lyrics dedicated to the green spirits of the Nature… Her album is made of WOOD, viola, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, of AIR, tibetan bell, triangle, windchimes of WATER, rain stick, piano, dulcimer, harp, and EARTH percussions, bass…”

Projekt US: www.projekt.com & Kalinkaland, Germany http://Kalinkaland.de 

Apple Pentacle è… in onore dello spirito dei boschi, l’omino verde… Pan o Dionisio per la nostra cultura classica ma per gli egizi diventa Osiride e per gli inglesi prende le forme di Robin Hood… sumero Enkidu al Treebeard Tolkeniano al Wild Man dal Pacifico. L’album si suddivide in due parti… e bisogna ammettere che Louisa ha fatto centro anche questa volta. La prima parte, ‘Atho’, è un etno pop che raggiunge vette decisamente elevate nelle iniziali, ‘The Windrow’ e ancora di più ne ‘Which Of These Worlds’… ‘Birch Wandering’ è il brano che più si avvicina al folk pop… Tutto molto buono. La seconda parte, ‘Ardhuu’, si avvicina… verso strutture più marcatamente etniche, e in alcuni momenti ha venature albioniche, dato aqnche il sangue di origine gallese dell’australiana Louisa. Apple Pentacle è un album che si fa godere per tutta la sua durata, che incuriosisce e piace per cura del suono, arrangiamenti, varietà di soluzioni e per quella voce che riesce ogni volta a farti sognare di essere libero.”

Federico Tozzi, Kronic: www.kronic.it, Italy

“Heavenly music is absolutely the right term for…Apple Pentacle. Inspiration like Tolkien, Shakespeare and Wilde… but good to know that Aboriginals and Robin Hood left their mark. The Green Man and his journey through time form the main story… Music for elves, dreamers, thinkers… ‘Which Of These Worlds’ will attract pop minded lovers… The music… inventively built around the magic voice… is truly amazing… open and accessible… a ‘must’ for everyone who like medieval, heavenly voices and folk.”

BeautevilGothtronic, www.gothtronic.com, The Netherlands

French label Prikosnovenie remains one of the most highly regarded labels in ethereal music and Australian musician Louisa John Krol one of (their) most successful artists…another powerful album filled with luscious female vocals, storytelling, stellar songwriting & instrumentation Apple Pentacle left me floating in a warm ambience of pleasure… shrouded in myth and fantasy following the established tradition of this celebrated artist… around the theme of the green man… Louisa created inspiring songs that pay homage to this deeply imbedded mythic figure… dizzying selection of instruments… dashes into new domains… Apple Pentacle is divided into ‘Atho’ and ‘Ardhuu’: distinct personalities… ‘Atho’ contains five ethereal pop songs, mystical musings about… external / internal worlds. ‘Ardhuu’ contains six songs that draw upon traditional music while exploring innovative arrangement & composition. ‘Finale’ breaks from both and features Aboriginal folklore… ‘The Window’ (in Part One): lounge ethereal… effortless sensuality as the listener is floated… into a spiritually reflective realm. Louisa’s vocals meander between serene narrative and confident chorus lines. This alternation demonstrates the soft, graceful side of her voice as well as strong majestic quality… captures the listener and gently transports you… like sweet honey pouring from the sun. ‘The Green Pentacle’… draws inspiration from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight… strings and guitar entwine in a darkly romantic dance… her voice filled with strength of a wise crone unfolds in dark splendour… of forbidden love between a knight and a Lady. The pairing of voice and masterful instrumentation flawlessly delivered leaving the listener spellbound. Finale: ‘Kunmanngur’ (serpent in an Aboriginal tale told by Kianoo Tjeemairee of the Murinbata Tribe) begins with ambient sounds… like exotic birds or unseen animals… a sense of primordial beginnings… steady deep bass drumming and stick percussion emerges from ambience… Louisa takes… the mantle of ancient storyteller and pays homage to this archaic tale of tribal creationism… deeply inspiring…. envelops the listener in a twilight world of myth and spirituality. Apple Pentacle is a crown achievement… I highly recommend this to all fans of ethereal, medieval, and heavenly voice music, though the album transcends these… I also encourage readers who do not regularly listen to the above genres… a phenomenal album that fluctuates between dawn and dusk and anyone with appreciation of voice and acoustic instrumentation will find this highly impressive and enjoyable. And for all of you dark music lovers, if you need shelter… Louisa John Krol is your ticket to a lighter, more inspirational listening… that will hold your attention.

Malahki Thorn (abbreviation of extensive review), Heathen Harvest, USA

“…dit jaar is de zangeres Louisa John-Krol al samen met Oophoi op het album I Hear The Water Dreaming en in het Ghostfish met de Griekse band Daemonia Nymphe. Met die eerste verkent ze op meer ambientachtige wijze haar sprookjesuniversum, met de tweede komen meer de gothische en Griekse folkelementen… Op haar solo albums… brengt ze meestal sprookjesachtige pop met wereldmuziek. Dit is ook het geval op de nieuwe Apple Pentacle… in tween gesplitst, namelijk in het vijf nummers tellende ‘Atho’, het zes nummers tellende ‘Ardhuu’. Op het eerste deel brengt ze haar engelachtige mengsel van pop, wereldmuziek en een vleugje gotiek. Het mooiste nummer daarvan is het Bel Canto-achtige ‘Which Of These Worlds?’, met Olaf Parusel… Qua stem moet je denken aan Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush en Anneli Drecker… Het geluid is buitengewoon rijk gedetailleerd… De muziek laveert ergens tussen Kate Bush, Bel Canto, Lisa Gerrard, Stoa, Enya en zelfs Emiliana Torrini. En van de prachtigste nummers van deel twee is ‘The Green Pentacle’. De cd is overigens ook opgedragen aan de groene geesten van de aarde. Nog veel belangrijker is dat Louisa John-Krol een wonderschoon album aflevert. Op betoverende en soms onaardse wijze toont ze haar lieflijk universum waarin sprookjes nog bestaan.”

Jan Willem Broek, Senzor, The Netherlands

“…luminescence… la dernire perle sonore de Louisa John-Krol. A l’image de ce talent australien, l’histoire qui nous est conte dcrit – l’Homme vert – dnomm diffremment au fil des temps. En harmonie avec la nature, cet tre offre  Louisa l’inspiration, expose d’une manire thre sur ‘The Windrow’… ‘Which of these Worlds?’ enchante et introduit avec justesse le troublant ‘Spin’ couplant les murmures chants aux sonorits plaintives d’un orgue de Barbarie… la mandoline sur ‘Birch Wandering’ laisse entrevoir l’allgresse enveloppant l’ ‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’… ‘Canterville’, quant  lui, dbute par un inspir chahut par des sons festifs mais c’est sur ‘The Green Pentacle’ que la magie opre… au violon et de la harpe confre l’ensemble un quilibre majestueux. Une ballade base de murmures pars telle que ‘Ceracini’ nous plonge dans une enfance dont le reflet est prserv au sein d’une mlodie attachante (‘Poppet plum’)… l’atmosphre enchanteresse ne d’un clavecin… l’nigmatique ‘Kunmanngur’ (conu l’aide de Fred Chaplain de Lys) constituant le final de ce voyage relaxant au pays des songes. Une certitude, Louisa a du sang de fe dans les veines et c’est sans doute pour cela que sa musique rend tincelant les regards, pris de libert et nostalgique de l’innocence”

David DHalleine, Felinea, France

“Louisa John-Krol performed at the Witches Ball and swooned us with her ethereal vocal talents. (Her) pagan Apple Pentacle… is bewitching, melodic, powerful, using old mythic themes in a contemporary style.”

Tim Ozpagan, Witches Workshop, Sydney, Facebook, October 2010, Australia

“…this delicious album gathers classic folk elements / Gaelic… a little jazz… and electronic arrangements a la Laurie Anderson on ‘Which of these worlds’ (‘Oh superman’). Sometimes… remember Cocteau Twins melodies (e.g.‘Ceracini’) but main vocal reference is Kate Bush. Musically I can’t say that Louisa remember me Kate because…a wide range of traditional instruments made the tracks sound different: harp, mandolin, viola (etc) picked gently, creating a charming atmosphere. Also traditional references… mostly Green Man mythology, made Apple Pentacle an album of its own that will please your spirit and awaken your ears.”

Maurizio Pustianaz, Chain D.L.K. id#2503, Italy

“I love CDs where there is a new discovery with every listen,  and from the first listen I can tell that Apple Pentacle is one of those special CDs… such a lovely fantasy ride. “

Gordon Danis, email, 16 December 2005, New York, USA

“Louisa I have long been a fan of yours and my favourite song is ‘The Witch in the Wood’ – many nights when I was writing, I would play this song over and over again.”

Carole Lane , Facebook, 23 January 2012

“I love Apple Pentacle, it’s pure magic…”

Aislinn, Myspace, 8 June 2008, France

“Your music created a protected dream, I love it. The words drive me into the magic.”

Teatrante, Myspace, 5 February 2008, Italy

“I’ve been truly enchanted, in all the magical connotations. ‘The witch in the Wood’… my favourite!”

Renaud Comans, email, 9 September 2009, France

“I would like to ask your permission to place your ‘Apple’ song on myspace… so hope that you will be willing to share your music with us folks in the UK”

Ayla Michelle, giftcard, 19 August 2008, Britain

“I love this album. I found new elements in your musical spectre and this warm feeling of finding something I’m used to with yourmusic (like return home)…”

Stephane Leguay from Paris, email, 7 June 2006, France

“I’d like to show you a picture I painted… inspired by ‘Ceracini’, my impression of the song: fresh, rainy, dreamy, mysterious…. I can listen for hours…not the only one ;-) I’m a fan of your very visual music.”

Kuba Niedziela, email (pic on L’s Facebook) 23 January 2007, Ukraine

“I’m wondrously stunned by the scope of your lyrics and art and voice… i have been fascinated by Cerrunos (the Green Man)… Now i feel totally re-invigorated”

Kitsiri DeSilva, email, 27 July 2010, Australia

“We hope to see you again when time and space come together in the middle of the hour glass of forever.”

Billy Scudder ‘The Green Man’, Faerieworlds, email, 23 May 2010, USA

“I discovered and fell in love with your music after having heard ‘Which of these Worlds?’ on an Elegy sampler. You have a haunting voice & world as if blessed by the fairies…”

Charlaine, Myspace, 16 October 2006, France

“The song ‘Spin’ (from Apple Pentacle) is one of those songs I’ll cherish”

Ryan Regennitter, email, 15 November 2005, USA

“I just got Apple Pentacle in the mail from Projekt, and played it through… I love it! It’s so beautiful and summery and brings back memories of drifty springs and summers past…”

Krista Reich of rural Southern Alberta, email, 23 January 2007, Canada

“Hi lovely Louisa! I had the best time in Belgium, it was amazing to meet you after years and years of listening to your music… thanks for singing ‘Spin’ (from Apple Pentacle) for me :-) The first time I heard that song, I swore that I had known it forever, it was ghostly familiar…”

Kelly Miller Lopez (Woodland, Treguenda), Myspace, 1 July 2009, USA

Apple Pentacle… (is) extremely wonderful… we met in Adelaide at the Leaf Fellows’ Eve”

Louise Hewett, giftcard, 12 August 2010, Australia

“Follow that River as you dream towards the sky” (after meeting at Faerieworlds)

Ray Simpkins, DJ & bard, extract of poem, 20 August 2010, USA