Medicine music from the Orkney Islands.
I think I could listen to Deya Dova sing binary code and find it exceptionally beautiful. She has a transcendent voice like no other and as she rarely uses words, she sounds primal and ethereal simultaneously. Over the last few years, Deya Dova has been working on a 12 mini album project called the Planetary Grid. Each album is recorded at energy centres around the Earth and this one was recorded on the Orkney Islands in Scotland. ‘Isles of the Great Goddess’ is the final album in the set and one of the jewels in its crown.
Most of Deya Dova’s music is structured around rhythmic voice patterns and this album is no different. Each album incorporates the site of recording in it and so the vocals are recorded around various stone site structures, on cliffs or by the sea. You can hear the stones used in the recordings and the occasional sea wave or bird cry. The Celtic harp makes an appearance and drone synths like hurdy-gurdys make up the background. Percussion is usually paired down to a simple but effective Bodhran styled drum.
All this comes together with Deya Dova’s usual Native American inspired (at least to me) vocals. She whoops, quips, coos and softly sighs over the tribal folk backdrop and loops of her voice build up and transform over time. They rarely have a versus/chorus structure – they often feel like phrases passing through. That aside, this is one of the most melodic of the Planetary Grid albums. ‘Between Her Stone Carved Thighs’ has beautiful Scottish whistles and flutes. ‘Ring of the Old Lore ‘ is like a bonfire at night and a Beltaine dance. The title track brings in dulcimers and light reeds akin to a Loreena McKennitt piece. ‘Her Selkie Skin’ is a beautiful water and water drum led atmospheric piece, equal parts hypnotic and intriguing.
‘Isle of the Great Goddess’ is a fantastic way to close the series. Whilst you can just enjoy the music on its own, there is a whole experience beyond the music should you want it. Deya Dova has a website that if you buy the music there, offers you access to blogs and stories of the places they visited, livestream meditations and forums related to the work. It has certainly given me some places I definitely want to visit and experience in the future! You don’t need that as a pure listener though. These albums are golden meditative opportunities. To feel primal and alive. Free and unbridled. Passionate and melodic. No one does tribal medicine folk quite like Deya Dova and long may that continue.
Recommended track: Ring of the Old Lore
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