The Merlin Mystery
by Alkaemy (New Age / Vocal)

A lush medieval and Celtic incantation with ambient vocals and rich, orchestral tapestries. The album features Miriam Stockley of Adiemus fame and British composer Julia Taylor-Smith. One listen to Nimue's Lament and you will agree that is is one of the most beautiful Celtic songs you may ever hear. It's soaring vocals and heavenly melodies will fill your heart with immense joy.

# Title Time Listen
1 Wizardry 4:29 mp3
2 Le Morte d'Arthur 5:07 mp3
3 Nimue's Lament (Vocal Version) 4:33 mp3
4 Stonehenge (Eighteen) 3:18
5 Faerie Entertainers 3:07
6 Winter 3:57
7 Uther 3:40
8 Legend of the Stone 3:41
9 The Wand of Alchemy 4:38 mp3
10 Enchantment 3:32
11 The Cave 5:58
12 Nimue's Lament (Instrumental) 4:32
13 The Mystery 5:02 mp3
14 Dream Sweet King 10:03

Album Cover

Earthtone Records
Sep 15, 1998

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All titles composed, performed and produced by Julia Taylor-Stanley. 
Programming, additional arrangements and performance by Ian Lynn
Viola and Violin by Alison Taylor
orchestral performances by The Merlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Lead Vocals by Shelagh and Sheryle Gwynfar
Vocal arrangements on tracks 2 and 3 by Miriam Stockley
Backing vocals on tracks 2 and 3 by Miriam Stockley and Shelagh & Sheryle
Merlin's narration by Joss Ackland 

Track 13 mixed by Tim Summerhays
Produced by Julia Taylor-Stanley
Executive producer Ian Lynn

Miriam Stockley appears by kind permission of Virgin Records 
All Illustrations by Jonathan Gunson and Martin Coombe
Art Direction Doerte Lau
Design Andreas Adamec, Wolfgang Fenchel 


Alkaemy is comprised of three women, Sheryle and Shelach Gwynfar, and Julia Taylor-Stanley. The music is 
both captivating and intriguing, blending melodic new-age ambience with a majestic tale of the wizard and his
missing wand. While most of the tracks are simply Celtic-influenced instrumentals with narration every now and 
then, the band does venture into the British ambient-rock soundscape with "Le Morte D'Arthur," a beautifully 
written track that magically transcends the borders between new-age and pop-rock. And if you are a fan of the 
style of music Enya has made commonly popular, "The Wand Of Alchemy" is right up your alley. 

No, this is not  a release for the average rock music listener, but those of you that truly embrace the virtues 
and qualities of  new-age and progressively influenced rock need hear this album. And while you're at the 
Sonic mages website,  try one of many "Babylon 5" soundtrack CDs (if you haven't already!). The releases 
at Sonic Images and  Earthtone Records may just make a new-age fan out of you yet.

Wes Royer
Online Music Magazine
February 1999

While listening to this wonderful album, full of beautiful and mystical  music, as if by some magic spell of Merlin we 
are taken to the ancient times,  more than a thousand years ago. The magical force brings us to legendary land of
Camelot, land of King Arthur, mighty magician Merlin and noble, brave Knights of  the Round Table. Pictures of the 
ancient legends appear before our mind's eye, various episodes and places. The castle Tintagel, the birth of King 
Arthur,  magical Stonehenge, the Cave of Merlin, the Stone with a Sword, which was taken  out by Arthur when he 
had to prove that he was a real King, heroic deeds and  ancient battles Merlin himself leads us through this world 
of ancient  legends, helping us to plunge into the atmosphere of magic and  mystery

All this mystical beauty was presented to us by a famous and very talented  person: songwriter and pianist Julia 
Taylor-Stanley. The music of The Merlin Mystery was composed by her namely in Tintagel, the  legendary birth
place of King Arthur. Undoubtedly she was inspired by just being  in this places, among the ancient stones, which 
can tell a lot of interesting  things you just need to listen attentively Many musicians devoted their works to King
Arthur, Merlin and their time. But Julia  Taylor-Stanley succeeded to make something very special, very original 
and  beautiful. Her music is really mystical, magical, romantic and breathtaking. The  texts of vocal compositions 
do not concede to the music; they are  beautiful, substantial and reflect the spirit of the album. Still, maybe the  
author's idea and concept would not be realized so beautifully and  completely if in the creation of The Merlin 
Mystery together with Julia Taylor-Stanley would not take part such perfect musicians as vocalists  Shelach and 
Sheryle Gwynfar, whose singing immediately remind us of the best  works by Enya and Clannad, Miriam Stockley 
(vocals and arrangements), Ian Lynn  (programming, additional arrangements and performance), Alison Taylor 
(Viola and  Violin), Joss Ackland (Merlins narration) and The Merlin Philarmonic  Orchestra. Together these 
musicians have made a real symphony, containing the  alchemical mixture of modern and ancient sounds and 
spirit - in the very best sense!

This spirit is strongly supported by a beautiful cover design of the album.  But this is not all. The listeners of the 
album have a chance to solve a  mystery hidden in the album and win a jewel-encrusted Merlin wand and a large  
cash reward! Still, I should say that the album itself is a precious gift to a  real music lover. It is one of the best 
examples of visual music ,  because this music is full of bright and beautiful pictures. This is a  characteristic of 
music of new time, new age, real future. So, do not miss The Merlin Mystery; visit the ancient magical and 
mysterious time, and solve the hidden mystery!

Alexander Petrov
Musical Gazzette (Republic of Belarus)
December 1999