Phantastes Audiobook with musical interpretations of George MacDonald's poems and songs

Nick Harper

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Notes From The Narrator: This is an audiobook of the original novel that inspired my album of the same name. Written by George MacDonald in 1858, Phantastes is acknowledged as the first modern fantasy novel for adults, inspiring Lewis Carroll, C.S.Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien amongst others.

In producing the audiobook I decided to omit the epigraphs at the start of each chapter, to focus on the flow of the narrative. I encourage obtaining a copy of the book if you want to delve deeper.. The book is littered with poems and songs that are mostly part of the narrative and sung by the protagonists. I decided to put many of them to music here. I have taken the liberty of editing some of the songs. These songs' meanings have not been changed because of that, but some of GM's words have been sacrificed for the sake of getting back to the prose narrative more quickly. The edited lyrics are posted with the relevant chapters. I hope this doesn't offend any GM purists out there.

The book tells the story of a young man's quest for love in the forest of fairyland, who awakens a marble lady from sleep by singing to her and his adventures thereafter, as he pursues her. I first read the book as a 17 year old, whilst living on the edge of an ancient forest, learning to play the guitar and to sing, whilst pursuing a local beauty who lived on the other side of the forest..

Re-reading it now, I have been reminded how much of a profound effect this strange little book had on me all those years ago. The antiquarian, dense Victorian style only seems to heighten the esoteric nature of its allegories, mysteries and wonders. More surprising and moving is how much it seems to have resonated in my life and music down the years.

Creating this audiobook was first suggested to me by my daughter, a living faerie princess. She thought it would be a nice addition to the album which was crafted during the lockdown in the annus horribilis that was 2020. The album was crowdfunded by my wonderful friends out there who kept my career afloat without hearing a note. Love to you all. Nx

The words reproduced in the audiobook are in the public domain. This audiobook and the music therein is ©Nick Harper

released January 1, 2021

All words written by George MacDonald Musical accompaniment to George MacDonald's poems and songs by Nick Harper ©all rights reserved

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