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CD of Music by ALKÆMY

Anyone who's studied the official Merlin Mystery web site will have found the pages about a CD of music to accompany the book. The CD is called appropriately "The Merlin Mystery", performed by the group "ALKÆMY". The group is pianist/composer Julia Taylor-Stanley with assistance from others. The CD is released by Earthtone Records UMD80526, and if I was pushed to compare the music to someone else, I'd say Celtic like Clannad/Enya-ish. Here in the UK no-one from the record company seems to have told the distributers to normal Music retailers, as I asked at Virgin and MVC, but they had no catalog entry for the CD so could not order it. Thanks to smeagle on the official MM Bulletin Board, I was pointed to Dillons (the bookshops) who appear to have had a small stock of the CDs. (In the USA it can be ordered from Amazon on the internet).

Now, apart from the nice music, there are two further reasons why a Merlin Mystery questor may be interested in the CD. Firstly, Jonathan Gunson provided lyrics to one track and "Merlin's Narration" (commonly known as Merlin's Whisperings) which are spoken (by Joss Ackland as Merlin) during and between tracks. It has been suggested that these Whisperings are in fact clues to help solve the mystery. Secondly, Jonathan Gunson and Martin Combe provided all the illustrations for theCD booklet, which follow similar designs to the book itself.

They are not printed in the booklet, and the listener has to work them out... for those who can't get the CD, this is how I interpret them:

From the track "Wizardry":

From the track "Faerie Entertainers":

From the track "Dream Sweet King":

From the end of the CD (after the last track):

They follow similar themes to those in the MM book. The front and back of the CD booklet (and the back of the CD case) are bordered with a single line, with the same 4 corner symbols as on the front cover of the MM book:

Front of CD booklet

Back of CD booklet

Back of CD case

Inside the booklet are pages with track listing, lyrics and credits. Like the MM book, the CD booklet is better described in 2-page spreads. There are five 2-page spreads. The first two, and last two, are bordered in a very similar way to the front cover of the MM book, but in varying colours. The middle spread, however, is far more interesting, as it has a squared border, similar to those inside the MM book. Due to the different shape of the CD booklet to the MM book, there are 60 border squares (rather than 48 in the MM book). Also interesting are the objects around this border. Most are familiar from the MM book itself, but several are unique to this illustration!

First spread

Second spread

Third spread (click image on for large scan)

Fourth spread

Fifth spread

Please note, the above is provided for research purposes only, and should not be re-published without the copyright owner's permission.

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