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Amazon.co.uk review 5/5
This CD is affectionately named after the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel, and supposedly inspired by the composers visit to this spectacular place. As a regular visitor to the island, this is to the best of my knowledge, the only musical tribute available.
It sums up the atmosphere of the island perfectly and so eloquently. From Flight of the Seabirds to Puffins Waltz, the music will entrance from start to finish and evoke memories of this wondrous isle to see you through the long days between visits.
Each time I start to miss the island, I just listen to this, close my eyes and feel instantly better ! All self respecting Lundy lovers should have one.
Ms. J. M. Austin "lundy-girl" (surrey, england)
"Record Collector Magazine" Review - Issue No. 224, December '99
OLIVER WAKEMAN Heaven's Isle Verglas VGCD 0015 (50:33)
Wondrous Stories Review - October '99
Originally a 1997 release, the launch of which was covered extensively and exclusively by Wondrous Stories. Oliver originally released this with the backing of the Landmark trust but now this instrumental album gets its second wind with a re-release on the Verglas label. The difference this time is that there are two bonus tracks, 'The Outward Journey' and 'If A Picture ...', both of which were around at the time of the original release but didn't make it on to the album. Each and every track paints an inspiring picture of scenes on and around Lundy Island, an island three miles long and half a mile wide and found a few miles off the North devon coast. The album was inspired by a number of visits to the island by Oliver in 1996 and the end result is a classical keyboard experience. Tracks such as 'Puffin's Waltz' and 'Flight Of The Seabirds' give a good impression of where Oliver's ideas were driven from. The original release is still to be found on the CRS sales List and this version will be added sometime soon. Martin Hudson
New Horizons Review - July '99
Oliver Wakeman describes 'Heaven's Isle' as a "keyboard based instrumental album about an island". The island in question is the Isle of Lundy, situated off the North Devon coast, which Oliver first visited back in 1996 and was so inspired by the experience that he immediately set to work, trying to capture the spirit of the island, its flora and fauna, even its history, in a rich musical soundscape. From the whimsical opening of 'Puffins Waltz' through to the closing strains of 'Memories', this CD leaves us with a lasting mental image of the island of Lundy. Two additional tracks, omitted from the original 1997 release of the album due to time restraints, round off this re-release in the form of 'The Outward Journey' and 'If A Picture..' - a minor criticism here, is that these tracks have been added on to the end of the original work, so in effect we get the journey out to the island after we have completed our tour! All in all though, this is a well produced piece and reflects well on Oliver's talent as both a composer and a performer. Mention should also be made of the accompanying booklet - produced in association with the Landmark trust (who own Lundy). There are some marvellous photos of the island and it's wildlife, along with associated narrative to support each of the original eleven tracks. In addition, an introduction and a postscript written by Oliver all help to give further insight into the inspiration behind this work. The overall style of the CD puts it well into the classical/new age category. If you are expecting lots of over the top synth playing this may not be for you, but if you enjoy listening to well composed mature keyboard music then take the journey ... lose yourself in 'Heaven's Isle'. Simon 19 July 99
Wondrous Stories Review - April '97
This is the long awaited debut album from Oliver, eldest son of
CRS Honorary President Rick Wakeman. The album takes the form
of eleven instrumental tracks in a warm classical style with sounds
that tell fitting tales about how inspired he was after visiting
Lundy Island, a small island off the north Devon coast of England.
The island sits in the Bristol Channel where the sea can be flat
and calm one day and a raging storm the next. The island is only
3 miles long and on average half a mile wide, attracting 20,000
visitors a year. Around it's secluded coast line can be found
shipwrecks, thousands of seabirds, high cliffs and of course the
sea. There is only one village with the basic essentials, including
a tavern and the island is accessible by the ferry M.S. Oldenburg.
So the scene was set for Oliver to create a musical image of all
this 'Heaven's Isle' and take us on a musical tour. He has achieved
all this in amazingly accurate fashion with pieces of music like
'The Puffins Waltz' that starts matters off and depicts the life
and movement of this funniest looking of the sea bird world. 'The
Dolphin's Dream' allows your mind to picture this most trusting
sea faring creature of such intelligence and of course Oliver
uses all his natural and technical ability, something that might
be expected of someone with that famous surname, but he achieves
it by means of his own hard work, with the end result being a
notable musical soundscape. 'Heaven's Isle' is a classical incantation
that depicts the loneliness and the geography of the place while
also giving it an air of 'heaven'. This album is your ticket to
the island - and you don't have to leave your front room to get
From the July/August '97 Issue of 'Atropos'
Translation of the original article - many thanks to Maria Lucia
in Brazil for sending this in!!!!
OLIVER WAKEMAN - "HEAVEN´S ISLE"
"Heaven's Isle" arrived last week and I LOVED it! I can feel much classic influence (which is very good, in my opinion, for I love the classics) and also it reminded me a little of Rick's "Six Wives" in some tracks ("Heaven's Isle", for example). My favorite song is "Alone at Last", I can't resist a romantic piano tune! - Maria Lucia, Brazil, December 17th 1999
Cranium Music (New Zealand) Review
During 1996 Oliver Wakeman visited the island of Lundy which is a few miles off the North Devon Coast of Great Britain. The island is owned by the National Trust and is 3 miles long and on average about half a mile wide. Around 20,000 visitors a year visit this scenic sanctuary and one of the features the island is famous for is the "Lundy Puffin" stamp which has been used on mail from the island since 1929. After visiting the island a few times Oliver Wakeman was inspired to write the music that features on this release. Originally it was released in 1997 as a limited issue and available in Devon only. Now with two new tracks, also written at the time of the "Lundy" visits but left off the original version due to time constraints, Heaven's Isle is now available on worldwide release. This is not complex progressive music but at times tranquil symphonic keyboard music that sums up what Oliver experienced from visiting this island haven. Track titles such as Puffin's Waltz, Flight Of The Seabirds, The Seals Navy, Elizabethan Pirates, Montagu's Wreck, Atlantic Airs etc sum up the past and present of life on Lundy. Oliver Wakeman is a fine piano and keyboard player and this album is his first true solo project. Recommended.
"Yesterday I got a copy of Heaven's Isle and I really love it. It has some of the fairy-tale feeling of Jabberwocky. It is beautiful, dreaming and innovative..." - J.A. Sweden. September 20th , 1999.