On Kimberly Haynes and MB Gordy’s new single The Enchantment, love, loss and longing – plus a fascination for the traditional folk song Reynardine – morph into a deeply spiritual and healing composition. Haynes’ incredible voice and MB Gordy’s percussion lead the listener deeper and deeper into a mighty mountain castle. The enigmatic narrative, plus SitaRam repetitions, make The Enchantment fantastic for meditation, daydreaming or creative work. It is also an incredibly promising first single from Haynes’ upcoming album, to be released late Summer 2023.
Kimberly Haynes began performing at a young age, making her professional debut at age 12, singing with the televised group Young Life Singers. At 19, Kimberly traveled to Japan and began a decade of performing in various clubs and venues there and in Los Angeles. Her debut album, Awaken Me (2016), is a tapestry of world instrumentation with a pop sensibility. The combination of Kimberly’s soaring vocals with songs in five languages and the vibrant instrumentation including charango, sansula, medicine drums, didjeridu and monolina make her second album In Dreams (2018) truly unique. Kimberly’s recent single, Narrow Bridge, released in June 2020, won the Jury Prize (Best World) for the Global Peace Song Awards 2020.
M.B. Gordy is an acclaimed drummer, percussionist and educator whose credits include albums by iconic recording artists, blockbuster films, TV series, video games, and prestigious rock/pop/theatrical and orchestral live performances and tours. His latest release is the Colliding Rhythms (2021) EP with Paul Clarvis.
The Enchantment is produced by Kimberly Haynes and MB Gordy. Vito Gregoli did the engineering.
Reynardine is, according to Wikipedia, a traditional English ballad (Roud 397). In the versions most commonly sung and recorded today, Reynardine is a werefox who attracts beautiful women so that he can take them away to his castle. What fate meets them there is usually left ambiguous.
About the making of The Enchantment, Kimberly writes: “The song is inspired by a Sheila Chandra arrangement of Reynardine. I was so touched by the provocative words and energy, I wanted to create my own version as a song of love and longing…
After my husband Brian died, I would walk the trails of Topanga, during lock-down, with my dog Sequoia, wandering this now lonely mountain in search of my beloved. Where had he gone? The song pulled me into a mystical state where I could still feel and experience my Brian…. and I felt as if the words were his in some way, and that I had become the maiden in the song waiting to follow my beloved.”
In psychology, acceptance is the last stage of grief. But is it, as Kimberly writes, possible to fully accept that someone you love is gone forever? Don’t you wish that there was some way to contact them? These philosophical questions are our guiding stars when listening to The Enchantment.
The single starts with a short fade in. We hear a deep yet light synth pad that vibrates with an electric hum. It has a wonderful Celtic vibe. Gregoli’s usual studio wizardry is clear in less than 15 seconds. Jeralyn Glass’ crystal bowls are also terrific. Then Kimberly Haynes’ wonderful vocal comes on, first with SitaRam repetitions, then she sings the Reynardine story. The melody is as bewitching as it is pretty, making the ancient world of myths seem close and the troubles of everyday life fade away.
The Enchantment is so powerful as we intuitively understand that entering “the castle” will take us to a place we’ve never been before, perhaps even transcending our mortality. The transcendental elements are eerie and captivating simultaneously. It is, as the title implies, a boost for the imagination – which for me always is a big plus in meditation music.
The single ends with SitaRam repetitions and vocalization, then a hushed fade-out follows. If you put it on replay, you can stay in this magical and mystical realm for as long as you like.
Listening to The Enchantment got me thinking about quote from Dracula (Bram Stoker): “I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air.” Faced by an overwhelming feeling of loss and grief, we try to communicate with the one we have lost. It is a survival mechanism, I think. Indeed, mythology is filled with magic castles and other holy places where we might meet our loved ones again; It is a foundation for organized religions and myths worldwide. I think this is also the reason The Enchantment has such an effect on the listener; We all have people we would like to meet in the castle on Mountains High. Reynardine’s mystifying and perplexing atmosphere paired with Kimberly Haynes’ wonderful singing, MB Gordy’s percussion and Gregoli’s arrangement make this single stand out on so many levels. The first time I listened to it, my only reaction was WOW!
You can, as I have, focus on Reynardine and the most indisputable meaning – but another just as rewarding way to enjoy the single is to look beyond the narrative and instead focus on its hypnotic qualities only. It is a mesmerizing and soothing experience.
“We have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water,” Derrick Jensen said. That is especially true in times of crisis and loss. Listen to Kimberly Haynes and MB Gordy’s new single and let yourself be enchanted!
For more information and music samples, visit kimberlyhaynesmusic.com.