High upon this hill,
Lives a king and daughter,
Can you hear their songs,
Echo across the water,
They sing of times long past,
When the world was quiet,
Simplicity and beauty,
Reigned over the realms,
There was time to savor,
There was time to spare,
There was understanding,
Among the people everywhere,
That God was our Creator,
But without Nature we’re no more,
Than seeds of promise and potential,
Floating rootless as before,
Through the vast and empty spaces,
Trapped in somewhere in between,
Conscious thought and dreaming,
Projecting and perceiving,
Reality’s a construct,
Agreed upon by all.
It’s time to reawaken and hear the Spirit call.
Deep inside this forest,
Lies a fairy kingdom,
Can you hear the bells,
Carried on the breeze,
They feel somewhat familiar,
Like memories from childhood,
A faint and distant calling,
Your senses are enthralled,
Your heart is filled with longing,
Grace permeates the air,
Now the chiming starts subsiding,
Until it’s barely even there.
Where it’s gone you can not follow,
You are forced to look within,
There you find a crystal chamber,
Now the journey can begin.
There’s a pyramid in Egypt,
You have travelled there before,
See it now in your mind’s eye,
And walk toward the door.
Enter with your body,
Enter with your soul,
The world has been divided,
Through you it is made whole.
Music and Lyrics by Markéta Irglová
Emiliana Torrini on lead vocals
Aukai (Markus Sieber) on ronroco
Markéta Irglová on vocals, piano and bodhrán
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir on violin
Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir on violin
Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir on viola
Sigurður Bjarki Gunnarsson on cello
Stefán Jón Bernharðsson on french horn
Asbjørn Ibsen Bruun on french horn
Frank Hammarin on french horn
Nimrod Ron on tuba
Einar Scheving on percussion
Tina Dickow on group vocals
Helgi Hrafn Jónsson on group vocals. electric bass & moog
Páll Sólmundur Eydal on group vocals
Karl Friðrik Hjaltason on group vocals
produced by Sturla Mio Thorisson and Markéta Irglová
strings and horns arranged by Markéta Irglová
recorded, mixed and mastered by Sturla Mio Thorisson
at Masterkey Studios, Iceland in 2020
photography by Lena Bushart
artwork design by Markéta Irglová, Sturla Mio Thorisson
and Jónatan Grétarsson
2020 Marketa Irglova Music
Admin by Warner Chappell Publishing (ASCAP)
During the most recent health crisis we have globally faced as people of this world, I, like most, had experienced a time of more stillness and quiet than I ever had in my adult life. In fact I can only remember the feeling of such ease in memories from childhood. I questioned my inner peace which seemed to contrast the general status quo of the world, and examined my personal sense of calm on the backdrop of collective panic and anxiety. It occurred to me, that I had felt an undercurrent of anxiety for years, watching the world self destruct in slow motion. Seeing the poisoning of our natural world and all of us with it, too busy in our own bubbles to notice it happening. Or seeing it all too clearly and feeling powerless to stop it. Waiting for our leaders to lead us, and for enough of us to wake up from our slumber. It took a virus to sweep across our world to give us an opening, a crack in the stone. Something that the lords of this world could not control with their money and their power. A glitch in the system if you like. The veil that keeps us under the illusion of being separate from one another had grown thin, and I could not but hope, with all of my being, that this was it. Our chance. Perhaps our very last. To turn this ship around. To take this sinking boat and point it home.
Quintessence was a song I received during these strange times to pass on to the world. A thread to follow and see where it leads you. A journey worth taking. Inspired by my dearest of friends Mary Reynolds, and her movement The Ark, it is also a love poem to Mother Nature. To find out more about this non profit organisation focused on amplifying nature’s call for help and offering empowering guidance to those with ears to hear, please visit www.wearetheark.org. Without Nature we are no more.
I asked Emiliana Torrini, an Icelandic singer and a dear friend of mine, to sing the lead vocals on Quintessence. I feel that the texture of her voice as well as her pure elemental energy were an essential part of what this song longed to become. I join her on the choruses for a sense of sisterhood and unity. The finale of the song is an instrumental chorus with layered vocals evoking tribal, ancestral energy, our roots. While Emiliana´s gentle strength in the verses elevates us and connects us to the world of Spirit.
Serendipity would have it, that I came across a musician on social media while recording
Quintessence. One I felt a deep connection with both on a personal and musical level, though we had never met or even been in contact. I felt guided to bridge that gap and reached out across the void only to find out we had already been aware of one another for years. I asked Markus, who goes by the name Aukai, to play on my song, and he so graciously and generously accepted without a moment’s hesitation. When he added his parts played on Ronroco, an Argentinian string instrument, I felt the song really take flight and my heart with it.
Many other musicians participated in bringing this song to life and my deepest gratitude goes to each and every one of them, but most of all I applaud Sturla Mio Thorisson, for being the best work partner I could have ever wished for. His tireless willingness to give every idea a chance to become something, no matter how small or wild it may be. And his readiness to always serve the song over his own agenda, all the while laying all of his talent and skills on the table. He is a rare find and I consider myself lucky to go to work with him every day in a studio of our own making.
May this song be a vessel to you and carry you on its wings. Lay down, close your eyes, listen, and give yourself permission to let go and lift off.
About the ARK Project
Since the industrial and agricultural revolutions, we find ourselves in the middle of a growing extinction event. Through and because of lscientific advances we have consumed our planets diversity and pushed life to the edges – and now the creatures we share this planet with have nowhere left to go.
All creatures play a vital role in the circle of life. When a gap appears in that circle or a strand of that web disappears, the system gets weaker and closer to collapse. We rely upon their presence for our clean air and water, healthy foods, and beautiful environments, what’s not so obvious is how many of these species form the basis of the earth’s immune system and indeed our own continued protection from disease and sickness. Each moment of our lives is dependent on this web of life remaining intact.
It is a reality that we must consume life to survive here on earth. For millennia, this was understood, and all life, plant, animal, mineral and beyond, was treated with gratitude, ritual, reverence and respect. We were natural and wild, existing in harmony with the world around us, acting in lifelong service to the earth in return for the life we took. It is our job to ensure the web of life on earth remains intact, if not for any reason other than our own survival.
So any land you have under your care, set it free. Restore its sovereignty. Let the spirit that flows through all living things grow strong again. Reweave this web of life.
Build an Ark.
Be an Ark.
– Mary Reynolds, June 2020
Find out more about THE ARK at WeAreTheArk.Org
Thank You List
These are the people I would like to thank especially for their vision, inspiration, generosity, time, perspective, enthusiasm, support and assistance in bringing this song into being…
Sturla Mio Thorisson, Howard Greynolds, Tarina Aumiller, Claire Leadbitter, Marek Irgl, Emiliana Torrini, Markus Sieber, Mary Reynolds, Tina Dickow, Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, Lena Bushart, Jónatan Grétarsson, Karítas Árny Sturludóttir, Árveig Mia Sturludóttir, Páll Sólmundur Eydal, Karl Friðrik Hjaltason, Jenn Prenda.