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(Double Album, released 24th November 1978)

Further information:

Richard Carter's
Incantations page

Analysis of the poems
quoted in Incantations

Japanese Incantations sleeve notes

Maddy Prior's website

Pierre Moerlen's website

Terry Oldfield's website

Sally Oldfield's website

Guide to HDCD format

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Live album: Exposed

Previous compilation: Boxed

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Track Listing

1: Incantations Part One (19:05)
2: Incantations Part Two (19:34)
3: Incantations Part Three (16:59)
4: Incantations Part Four (17:01)

Other Artists

Trumpet: Mike Laird
Drums, Vibraphone: Pierre Moerlen
Vocals: Maddy Prior, Sally Oldfield, The Queen's College Girls Choir
Flutes: Terry Oldfield, Sebastian Bell
African drums: Jabula
Conductor: David Bedford


Incantations was recorded between December 1977 and September 1978.

Mike's initial idea came from the structure of First Excursion, a track he had recorded with David Bedford for Collaborations.

Incantations was originally recorded with a quadrophonic mix in mind, but the finished album was mixed down into stereo by Philip Newell, as Quadrophonic sound had become unfashionable by this time.

The lyrics for Part Two and Four are taken from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem Song Of The Hiawatha. Part Three uses Ben Johnson's Ode To Cynthia. Minor changes have been made to both.

An unused section of Part Four used Kathleen Raine's poem A Spell For Creation. This section can be heard in The Space Movie (see Film Music).

Parts of this album were mixed with the live version from Exposed, to create a unique track on Airborn.

Versions of Incantations

The original album (24 November 1978)

The first CD release (1985)
In the early days of CDs, 74-minute discs were unstable, and long albums were therefore edited to fit shorter discs. The beginning of Part Three was removed on this version.

CD reissue (1987)
This contains the complete album.

HDCD Remaster (29th May 2000)
Remastered by Simon Heyworth at Chop 'Em Out studios in London, March/April 2000.

Credit: Paul Harris and David Porter of The Mike Oldfield Information Service.

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