As the liner notes explain: "This music was written to accompany a new book by Lee Fury entitled 'Snow Wolf: A Story of Healing and Renewal'. The protagonist is Grayford Elliot, a great soldier from another time and from a world much like ours -- just as cruel but much younger. Through misfortune, Grayford finds great wealth -- not of the material world but of the spirit and mind.
Wounded and left for dead, Grayford finds new life among an endangered people - known simply as the Pak - whose society is based on the ways of the North American Gray Wolf but whose culture and religion takes much of its substance from the teachings of Buddhism. Grayford is given the name 'Snow Wolf' in reference to the healing potion that helped save him, which was made from the snowdrop flower - a white flower that blooms only at the end of winter upon the first thaw of spring.
After being healed and learning the ways of the Pak, Snow-Wolf develops a new philosophy based in part on the doctrines of his former faith - a faith he has carried hidden beneath a cloak of darkness for many years, and based also on the teachings of Bhodi, the healer of the Pak people. Snow Wolf also finds new love in the embrace of Aliahn, a beautiful and courageous woman of the Pak who possesses empathic powers.
In the end, this former soldier - a man of death who has found new life - must face the most difficult challenge of all: to choose between killing again to save those he loves or achieve Enlightenment and create a lasting peace that will change the face of the world forever".
A NOTE FROM LEE:
"Greetings everyone and thanks for listening to my work. The music on this disc consists of excerpts of the complete 'score' to the book. My intent is that you, the listener will use this music to 'meditate' on the events introduced in the book. Until the book is finished I hope that those of you who listen to these songs now will find in them some respite from the demands of your daily life and feel the intensity of emotion that the search for healing and renewal entails".
This CD is dedicated to my loving and beautiful wife, Carola, who designed the CD cover and who is the inspiration for all of the music on the CD and all that is good in my life.
A Word About The Songs from Lee Fury:
"All of the music on this CD is improvised. There is almost no use of 'looping' or over-dubbing tracks with the same musical ideas. Each layer was composed anew based on the underlying melody to create harmony in the form of counterpoint melodies. Here are some thoughts behind the songs so you can get an image of what I am trying to convey. Of course you can simply listen and conjure up your own visions of what the music says to you".
1. Grayford's Ride 10:49 - "This is what I call 'movie music for the mind' and in it I try to set the stage for the events that come after. The piece progresses from the opening 'ride' music - as Grayford and his soldiers near the scene of battle - to the tumult of the fight itself and then to the wounding of Grayford, who is left to die on the field as a heavy snowfall casts its shroud upon the scene of the carnage that is war. Toward the end of the song the sounds change to depict how unconsciousness takes over and Grayford fades off into...
2. The Dream 6:06 - "This song depicts a descent into a near-death trance state as the life blood flows from Grayford's body in the snow. As he lies there his mind inevitably goes back over the major events of his life and we get the feeling that this soldier - this 'man of death', almost revels in the bliss of his own passing. But his end will not come so easily for God has other plans and at one point we hear a high sounding phrase, which is like Grayford's own mother saying, 'Grayford my son, I love you... don't die but live - live to live life again but in a different way...' ".
3. AnnaBella 4:48 - "This is my favorite piece of music in the 'Snow Wolf' score. As Grayford's mind covers the forty-some years of his life, he cannot help but focus deeply on AnnaBella, the woman who gave her love so freely to him in his youth and who remained with him for so long. Strong but frail, tough but complex, full of joy but so deeply sorrowful, her song is one of simple beauty but intense feeling... I hope you will agree".
4. Youth Recalled 5:32 - "Although 'Snow Wolf' is a fantasy, it is set in an earlier century than our own and given that time period, I thought a folk-guitar song would evoke the feeling of the youth of someone like Grayford Elliot. As he remains in the coma, this song - and others that are to be published on the final group of CD's when the book is finished - is meant to draw the listener into the personality of the protagonist in all its complexities".
5. Drink Deep The Elixir 2:55 - "This brief piece of music was meant to depict the jolting stir of bringing the body back to life after Grayford is given a mysterious elixir by Bhodi, a healer of 'The People of the Wolf Von-Kar' -- known simply as the Pak -- the person who finds his body in the snow. The feeling it seeks to create is that perhaps Grayford did not want to come back".
6. Love Fall 6:09- "This song comes later in the story and is a prelude to new love between Grayford, now Kon-Elari - which, in the language of the Pak, translates to 'Snow Wolf'. The harp tones are meant to convey the blossoming of love and its potential to change lives, no matter how harmed by the past. Love falls like the rain from heaven and each of us is touched by it and hopefully it grows in us but we must face the challenge of love and ask ourselves, do we have the courage to take on the responsibility for carrying love to others and living it in everything we do"?
7. War Drums of The Pak 8:27 - "This is a prelude to battle. The sound is based on the walking sticks that The Pak use for defense as well as assistance in hiking, climbing, etc. The drum pattern is based on a ritual 'clicking' that the sticks make on stone as the elders of The Pak assemble in a circle to discuss matters of importance (this sound will be included on other discs to be published). The drums herald the approach to the Battle of Mt. Tama-Een, which takes place later in the story. Listen for the shifting timpani tones and the strength of the persistent underlying bass sound. The Pak does not take battle lightly because it has no desire to kill without reason. The drums are meant to strike fear and foreboding into the hearts of their adversaries so the music has this type of 'digging' aspect to it. If it gets on your nerves a little, it should."
8. When Warmer Winds Blow 4:38 - "This song is simply a paean to springtime and the renewal of life in the world... and the blowing away of the air of fear and the breathing in of the happiness that a clear heart, strong body, and untroubled mind can bring".
9. Lady Aliahn 6:51 - "This song is a meant to depict the conflict in the heart of Snow Wolf as he deals with the sadness and depression-like disease that attacks his beloved Aliahn. The opening string section gives way to a simple piano melody hinting at a lyric such as 'Lady Aliahn I love you, Lady Aliahn I do, Lady Aliahn I love you but I don't know what to do, no I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do... to help you'."
10. Love Mist 3:30 - "This song uses tubular bells to give a lighter feel and an uplifting sound and is used in a part of the story where troubles subside for a time... before the time of great trial for The Pak, Aliahn, and Snow Wolf."
11. Lone Wolf 5:27 - "This song is one of lonely reflection and self-examination at a time when Snow Wolf is sensing his potential as the entity that perhaps can avoid a catastrophe in the pending conflicts facing The Pak. He does not want to kill again, however, and he is in deep turmoil but finally (around 3:32 into the song) he finds the answer... but is he prepared to take the action"?
12. Catch the Rainbow 5:11 - "This song is for the children... the future of The Pak - and the future of us all. It is introduced at a time in the story when summer is upon the land and life is new and youth is once again recalled by those who are old and savored anew by those just born and children not yet touched by the hell of terror and battle and war... those that can make a difference in the world and take away suffering and live as though love is the all in all and will conquer all evil. Would that we could live the same way too".
"I believe all human and animal life is precious and should be defended from evil, torture, and suffering. I intend to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my CD to charities that defend those who cannot defend themselves, especially captive animals and wildlife, and particularly the North American Gray Wolf, which is now being hunted to extinction in many states. In closing, I leave you with a part of the 'pledge' or prayer that Grayford/Snow Wolf creates at one point in the story, following his own 'enlightenment':
'Stand tall, face the wind, breathe in life, defend the weak, love all'. "
Check out the artist's website:
1. Grayford's Ride
2. The Dream
4. Youth Recalled
5. Drink Deep The Elixir
6. Love Fall
7. War Drums of The Pak
8. When Warmer Winds Blow
9. Lady Aliahn
10. Love Mist
11. Lone Wolf
12. Catch the Rainbow