'Ambrosia for the ears. Superbly performed and produced, this is music with extraordinary integrity.' Victor Lewis-Smith (writer/director)

'It's lovely to hear those strange timbres play things which sound quite natural to them, although they are from such far-away lands and cultures. The harmonies and rhythms are beguiling...' Jonathan Harvey (composer)

'Once again, Mont has produced a beautiful, imaginative and thoughtful work with flashes of the humour that belie his 'serious composer' persona. All power to Dirk 'Mont' Campbell, one of the UK's unsung musical geniuses.' Dave Stewart (keyboardist/composer)

'Elaborate, beguiling and multi-faceted, Music From A Walled Garden is presented as an almost continuous sequence... there are many contrasting juxtapositions of material, presenting surprising twists and turns en route - you never quite know where the music will go next.' Symon Clarke (composer)

55 minutes, full colour digipak with 12-page booklet. £13 GBP

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Read John Kelman's review in All About Jazz

Positioned somewhere between ethnic folk, orchestral and jazz, the music ranges over a wide variety of moods - enigmatic contrasts, ambient acoustic soundscapes, textural patterns and pageantry. The collection is a belated sequel to my 1996 work Music from a Round Tower, which was placed third in the International Green Doplhin Critics' Awards for that year but was not received with enormous enthusiasm by the music press in general, being too eclectic for most reviewers.*

As a teenager in the late 1960s I wrote for the rock group Egg, one of the bands now described as 'prog' (i.e. 'progressive') by students of the era - my nickname 'Mont' survives from this era. In the mid 1970s I forswore the genre of rock music altogether, even the experimental variety (where can one find that now?) and began to develop an interest in folk tradition and, increasingly, non-western music. Starting with the Balkans and moving through Greece and Turkey into the middle East, and then India and the far East, I gradually discovered a vast Aladdin's cave of new, strange and fascinating musical ideas and instrumental sounds.

Since that time I have been learning and gestating these different ways of making music. I have never made it my aim to incorporate so-called 'world music' into the western idiom, as some people on the basis of superficial acquaintance have claimed to do. Every tradition has its own music and that, like language, takes many years to learn properly.

At the same time there is the opportunity to communicate something about what one has learned, which may be of interest or even of benefit. But there is not much point in talking about it. 'The only meaningful comment on a piece of music is another piece of music.' —Igor Stravinsky

Walled gardens are common in England – there are a number in the town where I live. They are also common in the middle East and in Moorish Spain. Perhaps further afield too. What a walled garden symbolises is a place where knowledge and understanding are acquired and useful results produced – in nature as in inward investigation. The classical Sufi writers Saadi, Shabistari and Sanai all used the image of the walled garden as titles for their work.

Walled gardens are beautiful, enjoyable and often inspiring places. I enjoyed writing the music and I hope you enjoy listening to it.

*A reviewer in Folk Roots, unable to find anything to say about the actual music in Music From a Round Tower, wrote instead the following clerihue, which I rather like:

Dirk Mont Campbell

Does like to ramble.

Music From a Round Tower

Seems to last for weeks but is actually just under an hour.'

Photograph of Lewes House Garden by Lilliana Gibbs

Photograph of the Wilmington Head by Dirk Campbell

A collection of 12 new pieces (plus a 'bonus track'!) featuring a wide variety of western and non-western instruments including flutes, reeds, shawms, lutes, primitive trumpets, animal horns, bagpipes and percussion. Cello and piano make the occasional appearance along with Baroque violin and Irish flute. West African harp (kora) and east African lyre (nyatiti)* are employed in several of the pieces. There are some vocal, choral and orchestral moments too.

To remove any confusion, a lot of people know me as 'Mont', my nickname during my rock band years — 'Mont' being the shortened form of the first half of my double-barrelled surname Montgomery Campbell.


Armadillo Mythology

Glass Butterflies

The Edge of Sleep

Zeno's Phantom Island

The Salmon of Wisdom


The Almanac of Azarquiel


Oecinial Reckoning

Pibroch for the Midwinter Sun

Sunrise Over Firle Beacon


The Star Trek Theme, played by the Turkish Army Zurna and Davul Ensemble (Mehter)

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Music From A Walled Garden is available now from Burning Shedhttp://www.burningshed.com/store/eggarchive

*kora and nyatiti made and adapted by Les Sherwood of Adaptatrap, Brighton, England

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