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TIRILL

Prog Folk • Norway


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Tirill biography
Tirill Mohn - Born 22 feb 1975

Tirill Mohn played violin and classical guitar on Norwegian prog giant WHITE WILLOW's much acclaimed debut album Ignis Fatuus. Her own style is not radically different, with the added benefit of a lovely singing voice, and has been well described as Norwegian feminine gothic folk with progressive elements.

TIRILL released her first album on Michael Piper's The Wild Places label specializing the somber and beautiful Scandinavian progressive rock. It was well acclaimed and she began working on a second album, with a goal of putting poems by W.B. Yeats to music. When Piper died in 2008, Tirill decided to form her own label Fairymusic. In 2011 she re-released her first album with the new name "Tales from Tranquil August Gardens" including 3 bonus tracks, and followed with the aforementioned Yeats project entitled "Nine and Fifty Swans".

With a blend of folk, pop, classical, and medieval elements in her repertoire, TIRILL should appeal to lovers of WHITE WILLOW, LOREENA MCKENNITT, NICK DRAKE, HEATHER FINDLAY, LINDA PERHACS, and even MADDY PRIOR's more ambitious solo works.

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Nine & Fifty SwansNine & Fifty Swans
Sonicbond 2018
$12.57
$16.80 (used)
UmttiminjodurUmttiminjodur
Sonicbond 2018
$12.50
$16.76 (used)
Tales From Tranquil August GardensTales From Tranquil August Gardens
Sonicbond 2018
$15.48
$16.80 (used)
Um HiminjodurUm Himinjodur
FairyMusic
$25.14

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TIRILL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TIRILL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.99 | 10 ratings
A Dance With The Shadows
2003
4.00 | 11 ratings
Nine And Fifty Swans
2011
4.32 | 45 ratings
Um Himinjǫšur
2013
4.91 | 3 ratings
Said the Sun to the Moon
2019

TIRILL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TIRILL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TIRILL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TIRILL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TIRILL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Said the Sun to the Moon by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.91 | 3 ratings

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Said the Sun to the Moon
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars A concept album of gorgeous folk music inspired by the four seasons and Tirill Mohn's long-standing connection to Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf educational model, we have here a journey through the Nordic year beginning with Autumn and ending with a late summer sunset (or sunrise) in which Tirill employs, adapts, or re-forms known poetry and song lyrics to fit her vision and mood. The four seasonally titled "interlude" songs, "Autumn," "Winter," "Spring," and "Summer," manipulate the words of Steiner himself, while other more full-bodied songs are adaptations of works by the likes of Nick Drake, Mark Strand, Patric Crotty, and Kathleen Jessie Raine.

01 "Autumn" (1:13) strongly plucked concert harp with the whispery voices of Tirill Mohn and other female soprano, Julie Kleive, open the album with their poetic introduction. (5/5)

02 "Clothes of Sand" (3:08) acoustic guitar and, later, cello, support Tirill in this Nick Drake song. Female vocals harmonize below Tirill during the chorus. Viola and/or violin join the cello beneath the second verse. Like singing with a string quartet. Wow! (9/10)

03 "Under the Harvest Moon" (2:14) harp and Tirill and other voices. A traditional folk song that sounds as if it could be an Andreas Vollenweider Christmas song. (4.5/5)

04 "Winter" (1:58) two harps dancing slowly around each other before Tirill and the beautiful soprano voice of Julie Kleive join in, also singing in tandem as if circling around one another. Stunning! (5/5)

05 "Under the Small Fire of Winter Stars" (2:26) bowed stringed instrument and folk percussives provide the mood accompaniment for Tirill's campfire story-version of this Mark Strand poem. Evocative! (4.5/5)

06 "To the Realms of the Spirit" (3:17) acoustic guitar and other harp and/or lyre (?) duet with bass and Lithuanian zither ("kankl's"). No voices or lyrics despite its inspiration coming from the words of Rudolf Steiner. Very pretty. (8.5/10)

07 "Spring" (1:16) harp and folk madrigal Tirill (and Julie). (4.25/5)

08 "Shapes of a Dream" (4:05) in her breathiest, most knee-buckling voice Tirill sings (with accompaniment from vocalist Marte Bj'rkmann) over a guitalele. A bit of a Judy Collins melody haunts the listener as does the gentle pastoral mood set by the beautiful work of the musicians. (10/10)

09 "Said the Sun to the Moon" (3:09) Tirill and soprano vocalist, Julie Kleive, sing together while harp and lyre (two harp tracks?), guitar, bass play in support on this Kathleen Jessie Raine lyric. Very nice chordal structure from the instrumentalists between the vocal verses. Prog folk does not get better than this! (10/10)

10 "Summer" (1:34) harp supports the now-familiar duo of two female singers (Tirill and Julie, I presume). But wait, do I hear three vocal tracks working in harmony? (4.75/5)

11 "Beneath the Midnight Sun" (4:15) opens with the gorgeous male voice of Dagfinn Hob'k singing with the harp/lute accompaniment. Tirill makes her delicate presence known with occasional harmonized vocals (more as the song goes on). There is an eerie edge to this song--not unlike some of the pagan folk songs of the German band FAUN. Violin joins in during the third minute as does traditional folk Hardanger fiddle. Based on a lyric by Patric Crotty, this is an amazing song--my favorite on the album and one of my favorite songs of 2019! It has all of the qualities of a timeless classic. (10/10)

12 "Iridescent Horizon" (4:34) opens with long-sustaining synthesizer-like treated electric guitar notes floating into the sky like cinders rising from a campfire. Joined by delicately played folk guitar and then Tirill's spoken voice reciting some poetry--poetry evoking beauty and wisdom. The "infinite" guitar is awesome! What an amazing end to an amazing musical journey! I feel bathed, washed, cleansed, refreshed, renewed, revitalized, and reborn! (9.5/10)

One of the most beautiful, enrapturing albums I've ever heard, flowing seemlessly, sucking the listener in from its first notes and then spitting one out at the end limp yet refreshed. Like Sirens enticing and entrapping sailors on the Mediterranean, the vocal duet arrangements and performances of Tirill and Julie Kleive are stunning and totally beguiling. The use of traditional folk instrumentation throughout is also planned meticulously and pulled off flawlessly.

A/five stars; a masterpiece of prog folk and one of the best albums of 2019 and one of the finest prog folk albums of all-time.

 Um Himinjǫšur by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.32 | 45 ratings

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Um Himinjǫšur
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by myhandsarefree

3 stars Tirill's Um Himinjǫ'ur is a very nice folk album that lacks most of what is required for it to be considered prog. It is well-performed throughout, from the vocals to the guitars to the winds and strings, but nothing here is particularly interesting or out of the ordinary. Chords, rhythms, time signatures, and song arrangements are all fairly standard. None of the music is challenging enough to require virtuosic performances. There is little to no improvisation. The vast majority of songs are quite short as well -- nothing that could be considered a prog epic. I definitely enjoyed this album, but it is by no means essential to a prog music collection.
 Um Himinjǫšur by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.32 | 45 ratings

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Um Himinjǫšur
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars 2013 saw the release of the most recent album from Tirill Mohn, and one can only hope that with the recent activity which has seen the reissue of her three albums that another is soon to be available. Her confidence grew with each release, and this is widely viewed as her finest work to date. Although she is always at the centre with her fragile vocals, here she has also brought in more singers and there is a wider use of Mellotron and strings to emphasise the acoustic guitar and the sheer beauty of what she is performing. This is music which captures the listener and entrances them, taking them into a world they never want to leave. In some ways there is some layering which is almost reminiscent of Enya, but this always feels very English as opposed to Celtic.

There are times when this is more folky and acoustic than her other material, but also others where it is also far more progressive, and almost commercial. Her vocals and arrangements on songs such as "Fagrar Enn Sol" are sublime, with almost Carpenters style harmonies, yet with her voice always very much in control and at the centre. Although some of the lyrics are in Norwegian, this does feel as if it is an English album, and it is no surprise to realise the title translates to 'About Heaven' as the listener really does feel they have been given the opportunity to hear what that sounds like. It is a truly beautiful album, and even six years after its initial release there is a captivating beguiling beauty which cries out to be heard and enjoyed.

 Nine And Fifty Swans by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 11 ratings

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Nine And Fifty Swans
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Those who have the fortune to study the poetry of W.B. Yeats may feel they recognise the title of Tirill Mohn's recently reissued second solo album, which originally came out in 2011. It is taken from the poem "The Wild Swans at Coole", and this whole album has been inspired by the work of Yeats, so lyrically this is a very English sounding piece of work. It may have taken her eight years to follow up the debut, but the result is an album which contains a great deal of strength and beauty within it. As well as providing vocals, acoustic guitar, Mellotron, violin & percussion she also brought in various guests, and a special mention must be made of Dagfinn Hoboek whose vocals on "The Cap & Bells" works perfectly with Tirill, while bassists Nils Einar Vinjor and Herman Schultz (double bass) combine to create a perfect curtain for the rest of the band to play against.

This doesn't feel as fragile as the debut, with more of a folk feel as it moves away from the more overtly progressive style, and one would never realise this was a Norwegian album as it feels as if it is an overlooked English masterpiece from nearly fifty years ago. Sublime, with superb breathy, fragile and delicate yet powerful vocals, this is definitely worth discovering.

 A Dance With The Shadows by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.99 | 10 ratings

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A Dance With The Shadows
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Tirill Mohn will always be best known for her part in the formation of Norwegian Progressive Rock band White Willow, although her sole album appearance was on 1995's debut 'Ignis Fatuus'. It wasn't until 2003 that she released her debut solo album, titled 'A Dance With The Shadows' on small independent label The Wild Places, but in 2011 she revisited the album and added three additional bonus songs, changed the title and with new artwork 'Tales From Tranquil August Gardens' was released. Then, at the end of 2018 her three albums were finally reissued on CD in the UK for the first time. With White Willow she provided violin and classical guitar, but here the album mostly concentrates on her delicate vocals, and as well as her own talents on multiple instruments she has a great many guests adding nuances here and there.

However, the album is incredibly delicate, with a feeling that a good puff of wind could cause the whole thing to collapse at any time. There are times when she reminds me of the wonderful Talis Kimberley, as well as Judy Dyble. Her style feels very much like that of English folk which was coming out in the early Seventies, yet with additional instrumentation which moves it more into the prog folk field than that of a purist approach to either genre. There is a strength and spine within the vocals, and Tirill can be forceful when she needs to, but never at the expense of beauty and grace. Space is an important instrument on the album, with music and vocals creating a web which is much stronger than may initially believed. I missed the original, and the last reissue, but am glad it has finally come to my attention.

 Um Himinjǫšur by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.32 | 45 ratings

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Um Himinjǫšur
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is the most recent solo release from this true master of the folk-centric Prog Folk sub genre, Tirill Mohn. Her work with the original WHITE WILLOW lineup and her other more recent collaborative project, AUTUMN WHISPERS are well, well worth checking out as well. During my listening of this album I found myself remarking for the first time at how similar Tirill's voice has evolved to sound like that of enigmatic American singer-songwriter, JEWEL.

Album highlights for me include: the heart-wrenching harmonized singing and melodies of "Serpent" (4:40) (10/10); the multi-layered choral approach to "Fagrar enn Sol" (2:56) (10/10); the awesome male-female duet, "Muzzled" (4:56) (10/10); the gentle "Voluspa" (3:08) which is sung in Tirill's native language, the mellotron-drenched "Moira" (4:46) (9/10); "The Poet" (5:04) (9/10); the medieval folk song, "Quiet Night" (3:07) (9/10), and; the album's most proggish and 'mini-epic,' "In Their Eyes" (9:25) (8/10).

Amended 12/4/15: Over the past year or so this album has continued to grow in my esteem and frequent my playlists more and more often. Not only has this become one of my favorite albums of the year 2013 but also of the Prog Folk sub-genre as a whole. This album is masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Nine And Fifty Swans by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 11 ratings

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Nine And Fifty Swans
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Nine and Fifty Swans is a much more mature and sophisticated version of the Tirill from 2003's A Dance with the Shadows. Her voice styling has become more breathy, her choices in instrumental support and pacing more diverse, and her male companion on background vocals helps present a nice contrast and edge to her music. The lyrics are all taken from the poetry of W.B. Yeats--which makes for gorgeous English lyrics. Great idea!

Favorite songs: "O do not Love too Long" (4:34) (9/10); the proggy "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" (2:41) (9/10); the delicate, Spanish folk sound of "Before the World Was Made" (3:05); the breathy, the Celtic-infused "To a Child Dancing in the Wind" (3:00) (8/10) and "The Fisherman/Carolan's Ramble to Cashel" (4:57) (9/10); the male-voice-led "Parting" (2:29) (8/10), and; "The Wild Swans at Coole" (5:30) (8/10).

 A Dance With The Shadows by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.99 | 10 ratings

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A Dance With The Shadows
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A Dance with the Shadows is a collection of mostly soft and somber single-instrument based folk songs sung by the delicate voice of former WHITE WILLOW violinist, Tirill Mohn. "Vendela" (6:37) (8/10) stands out as the only faster-paced, full-band supported "prog" song. The album's finale, "When You Sleep" (5:15) (9/10) is another standout due to the contributions of the ensemble of accordion, violin, and percussion that give it its Italian café feel. Tirill is obviously a very contemplative poet/lyricist as her season-based lyrics are quite evocative of the thoughts she has during certain times of the year. My recommendation of this album pales next to her 2013 release, Um Himinjo∂ur, due mostly to the feeling that this is really a pop folk album more than a Prog Folk effort. A variation of this album was released from a different label in 2011 under the title, "Tales from Tranquil August Gardens." While it has a few more songs added to it, the packaging of the original is part of what makes it worth owning. Try the following song samples from YouTube: "Dressed in Beauty" (5:21) (9/10), "June's Flowers" (3:25) (8/10), and; "Winter Roses" (4:43) (8/10).
 Um Himinjǫšur by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.32 | 45 ratings

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Um Himinjǫšur
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars What a special treat to receive this album right near the end of what has already been an outstanding year of progressive releases across a number of genres. 2013 has seen a burst of creativity from Norwegian prog-folk artist Tirill Mohn (she also has a new album with her band Autumn Whispers out now as well), and `Um Himinjodur' (roughly translated as `On the rim of the sky') is the sound of an artist taking risks, moving her compositions into more challenging and less obvious directions, crafting deeply personal tales, as well as producing a sonically daring and adventurous musical statement. This ambitious near-concept album came about by the artist pondering being placed on a re-created Earth, with the knowledge of what life is like in the world we currently live in. She ponders what would be put into this new word, what would be of value, what would be discarded, and it's up to the listener to make up their own answers while considering hers.

Tirill's lyrical approach to `Um Himinjodur' shows how important her previous album, `Nine and Fifty Swans' was, where she added her own musical interpretation and soundtrack to the words of poet W.B Yeats. Here, she has taken her own words in a similarly surreal, vivid and darkly romantic direction, each one standing as a complete beautiful gothic lullaby to ponder and consider. It's up to the listener to draw their own interpretation, and to hear the sonic artistry she wraps her poems in is truly striking. Much of the album again is performed on sparse restrained acoustic guitar, violin and flute, but it's given a hallucinogenic dreamy wash of endless Mellotron and a little Hammond organ that brings a warm vintage and lovingly out-of-time quality.

Despite the demanding concept many of the pieces hang on, there's numerous moments scattered throughout that still shows the artist refining and perfecting her unique take on the prog-folk style from her previous two albums. Serious and heartfelt opener `Voluspa' sees Tirill and her male vocal partner's voices take on an impossibly beautiful floating quality that lifts the stark melody to the skies. Even if you don't understand the Norwegian lyrics on this one, just drift away to the soothing and embracing qualities of the two voices intertwining. The words of `Chariot' are confronting, even if they are leaving her lips with the sweetest of voices. The heart-breaking `Fagrar enn Sol' is Tirill at her reflective best with some of the most exquisite and complex multi- layered vocals to appear on her albums yet. The pleading `Muzzled' is delivered perfectly with pained longing and weary defeat, the ghostly electric piano and drowsy bending guitar notes reinforcing the isolation and loneliness of the glum piece.

`The Poet' is another lovely duet over flute, acoustic guitar and violin, with metronome-like percussion and a dreamy blur of stop-start Mellotron pulses before a tasteful shimmering Hammond run in the finale. The lyrically complex nine minute `In Their Eyes' is book-ended with a beautiful weeping violin melody and some very somber troubling vocals with occasional moments of hope. The unpredictable uptempo instrumental break in the middle features some scratchy ominous duel Mellotron passages, a perfectly restrained electric guitar solo and a scorching Hammond explosion straight from the warm analogue Seventies. You can tell how special and important this piece is to the artist, and I'm going to enjoy trying to decipher the words.

Special mention must go to a few particular favourites of mine. The sadly romantic closer `Quiet Night' is truly the soundtrack of a lonely light alone, quietly pining and contemplative. It's pretty much a definitive Tirill song, one of the most deceptively simple pieces on the album, full of stirring medieval charm, and it brings me to tears every time.

But perhaps the absolute centerpiece of the album, and certainly one of most exciting and daring pieces the artist has ever attempted, `The Serpent' sees Tirill becoming one with the nature she so cherishes.

"I am as old as the sea, timeless, I drift while the centuries creep, for I am the daughter of legend and water, the child ancient and wild"

Her voice, as if calling from beyond time and space itself, is spectral and ethereal. There is a deeply haunting ambience to the piece, a dreamy new-age/psychedelic collage of running water, incantations, droning voices and hypnotic percussive instrumentation. Anyone who would possibly dismiss the artist as a simplistic acoustic folk singer needs to hear this, and she has never sounded so confident, experimental and truly freed.

I originally interpreted `Moira' to be deeply romantic yet also leaving hints of uncomfortable obsession and resentment. In one instance, the subject warmly offers "I will be your friend when you need me, I am as near as the wind in your hair, as soft as the sand". Compare it to the darkness hinted at with "I am like shadows, I'll keep your footprints, 'cause I am the path under your feet." And "Longing for your longing" is positively aching with lust. But it turns out the artist intended the piece to be more complex and surreal, `Moira' being the Greek word for destiny, and the changing nature of it!

But that's the beauty of Tirill's musical world. Her songs are frequently cryptic and surreal, yet it's possible for the listener to appreciate them in a more directly human and personal level, to make their own special interpretation, a sure sign of timeless appeal. Her music is full of stream-of- consciousness mystery, yet balanced with warmth and deeply human emotion, and it truly stays with you, wraps around your heart and mind refusing to let go. This work also reminds us that it's always the less immediate albums that are the most satisfying, the ones that ask for endless listens over an extended period of time to properly reward the listener with something special. `Um Himinjodur' is truly to be treasured, and the defining artistic statement from this wonderful song-writer yet.

Five stars.

 Nine And Fifty Swans by TIRILL album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 11 ratings

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Nine And Fifty Swans
Tirill Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Arriving 8 years after her debut, Tirill Mohn's follow-up to her charming debut `A Dance with the Shadows' (recently re-released as `Tales from Tranquil August Gardens') sees the artist combine her own unique take on prog-folk with the words of poet W.B Yeats. While it's still recognizably the Tirill that listeners will know from the first album, `Nine and Fifty Swans' sees the Norwegian artist abandon the more modern elements present on that debut and strip things down to their bare essentials. It creates a work that is truly timeless, housed in an elegant cover, with Tirill's voice and delicate acoustic instrumentation naked and laid bare, soaring high on those most simple of qualities.

The majority of the pieces resemble lovely and somber gothic lullabies, delicately performed on acoustic guitar, violin, flute and sparse percussion, with the singer often accompanied by a male vocalist to bring a darkly romantic sound. The progressive qualities emerge in the form of restrained instrumental passages throughout many of the pieces. Lines such as "I grew to be out of fashion, like an old song" sum up the singer perfectly, an old reflective soul held within a young body. The extra years since her solo debut has given her voice an added maturity, now full of longing and wistful regret, and it's very easy to see why the artist relates so personally to the poet's words.

Tracks like `The Cap and Bells' offer sweet storytelling drama, `To A Child Dancing In The Wind' is joyful and ominous, `Before The World Was Made' confronting. It's interesting that she gives the likely bitter and resentful tone of `The Song of the Old Mother' a surprisingly warm interpretation, perhaps seeing empathy in it's subject. `The Fisherman/Carolan's Ramble to Cashel' is daring and ambitious, with spoken word passages backed by subtle acoustic accompaniment, rising percussion adding a sense of urgency and drama. `The Song of Wandering Aengus' is a tale of obsessive attraction, with a bittersweet, even cold ending, though still offering glimpses of hope and immortal love. `The Wild Swans at Coole' is glorious and heart-warming, supported by the most placid washes of Mellotron.

Some personal favorites to mention...`Oh Do Not Love Too Long' is pretty much the perfect Tirill track. Droning immersive acoustic ambience, stirring cello and her sweet yet melancholic voice over sensual words.

But `He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven' is especially touching to me - vividly descriptive, exquisitely romantic and painfully confronting, and I love the twist of the final line - "Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths, Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." This is delivered with perfect fragility and haunting sadness by the singer.

Tirill's love for the poet's words are so evident throughout the entire disc, and her musical approach to them is very lovingly and carefully crafted, never strained and overworked, that the marriage of the two artists is truly sublime. Lovers of intelligent, thoughtful and passionate music for quiet contemplation will simply adore this.

Four stars.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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