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From Gardens Where We Feel Secure Original recording reissued

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • ASIN: B00005Q58Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. With My Eyes Wide Open I’m Dreaming
  2. A Summer Long Since Passed
  3. From Gardens Where We Feel Secure
  4. Hiding In The Ha Ha
  5. Out On The Lawn I Lie In Bed
  6. Too Bright For Peacocks
  7. Summer Of Their Dreams
  8. When The Fields Were On Fire
  9. It’s Too Hot To Sleep

Product description

Amazon.co.uk

Originally a big indie hit when released as Virginia Astley's debut back in 1983, From Gardens Where We Feel Secure is possessed of a purposefully English ambience that made her a direct precursor of the Orb and Ultramarine. The album's concept was simple--Astley attempted to conjure the spirit of an English spring day, from dawn to dusk, by mixing piano, flute and occasional flowing bass with a catalogue of field sounds she recorded over a couple of weekends in Oxfordshire. In this way, she used the noises around her to create a wildly varying series of moods. There's the rising, enlivening chaos of the birds' dawn chorus, the comforting peal of distant church-bells, the hilarious bleating of young lambs, the desolate creaking of an old gate, the joyful splash of oars on the river and, finally, the unnerving call of owls. All of it is given structure and added melody by Astley's prettily tinkling keyboard. At the time she was hailed as a modern-day Delius, and indeed the album is a pastoral masterpiece that hasn't dated at all. --Dominic Wills

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 Sept. 2003
Format: Audio CD
If "Tubular Bells" was the intstrumental album of the seventies then "From Gardens Where We Feel Secure" was its eighties counterpart.And like "Tubular Bells","From Gardens....." remains a timeless masterpiece,an album so unique that its as relevant today as it was on the day of its original release.
"From Gardens....." is a beautiful blend of pastoral Edwardian style English classical music and Brian Eno-esque type ambient experimentation.
What sets this album apart from twee repetitive New Age improvised doodlings is the level of experimentation afforded to these beautifully arranged piano/flute compositions.
With a back drop of sound effects ( with vari-speed/direction tape effects)which fade in and out of the mix,the music gradually developes from the calm beginning of "With My Eyes Wide Open,I'm Dreaming" to the disturbing menace of "When The Field Were On Fire",before calming down again with the final "Its Too Hot To Sleep".
The album's concept is a childhood memory of a summers day in the English countryside,moving peacefully from dawn to dusk,whilst capturing the rise in temperature ( and tension ) as the day progresses.
This newly remastered version offers extra clarity ( and instrument seperation ) to the sound and comes in a beautifully designed digipack featuring new rural influenced photographs taken by Virginia herself.
This album should be in everyones collection.....buy it now.
Instruments: Piano,flute,guitar,clarinet,synth,xylophone,wordless vocals.
Soundfx:
Bird Song,Church Bells,Lambs,Donkey,Swinging Gate,Clock,Owl,Crickets,Splashing Oars,Childrens Voices, Telephone plus others.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Lovely
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Format: Audio CD
Picture the scene. You're sat in the garden of your typically English countryside home, the sun is going down, the birds are singing and in the far distance you can hear the gentle peeling of church bells. Somewhere a donkey is braying - someone feed him for goodness sake! - and while you're at it, oil the squeaky hinges on that swing.
Yes, all these rustic sounds and much much more can be found on this beautifully-recorded album as former Ravishing Beauty Virginia Astley (that's the name of her old group, and I'm sure she's still very good looking)paints a series of wonderfully evocative aural pictures.
Ms Astley's wonderfully light piano touch and voice wash gently over the various scenes, making this a perfect album to slip on when you need to unwind and float away to your idyllic countryside retreat, or for background music of the highest quality.
It's safe to say that you will never have heard anything like this but, once bitten, forever smitten. This is a real treasure, just waiting to be discovered by the discerning masses.
Take a chance, you won't be disappointed.
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By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD
The simple beauty of Virinia Astley's re-issued "From gardens where we feels secure" rests on a minimalist treatment of themes for piano and flute set against sampled measures of pre-recorded sounds.
Nine tracks, divided under headings of 'morning' and 'afternoon', are linked by the introduction of natural and incidental sounds marking the passage of a summer day. From the polyphony of the dawn chorus emerges a simple flute theme, countered by the piano, setting a mood of bright optimism sustained through most of the 'morning'. The birds give way to church bells meshed with the piano in a gamelan effect sustained over a distant 'choir'. Whilst the music is refreshingly free of irony the title track has more than a hint of insecurity. A gently arpeggiated piano theme is disturbed by the phasing in and out of a synthesised note, whilst the flute hints at a wistful mood. Unalloyed lightness of tone is restored in the following track, further levened by a distant second flute carrying a circus-like theme.
After a donkey declares midday there is a darker tone. The piano keeps to the metronomic squeak of a swing as it builds towards impressionistic chords, before a short loop of an exchange between a ewe and lamb usher in an uneasy time signature, next kept by a rusty iron hinge clashing with the gentle piano. The re-entrance of the synthesiser meditiates between the two, but an edgy atmosphere develops through the following track as a rotating machine fades in and out, becoming siren like, masking distant church bells. Grasshoppers, an owl and a reflective flute cohere in a Tchaikovsky-like them, gently punctuated by the flautist's soft intakes of breath.

Intended for the background, the gently persistent music insinuates itself into the foreground, rewarding repeated listening.
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Format: Audio CD
Virginia Astley is a treasure to discover. Her delicate, angelic voice is as clear as a bell, unique and gorgeous. Her songs are simple and lovely, revealing the purest thoughts of love and loneliness. The simplicity of her songs allows the listner's emotions to fill in the spaces, thus making the experience even more personal. This album is quite different from her other albums in that it is basically an ambient / atmospheric album. But I can highly suggest to anyone not familiar with her work that they give any of her albums a listen. She carries me away to places that no other artist has done. I feel lucky to have discovered her. In some ways, her obscurity has become one of the facets that make up the pleasure in hearing her. A rare gem.
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