Tubular Bells III

Tubular Bells III August 28th, 1998

Cover by Bill Smith Studio

I. The Source Of Secrets (5:34)
II. The Watchful Eye (2:09)
III. Jewell In The Crown (5:45)
IV. Outcast (3:49)
V. Serpent Dream (2:53)
VI. The Inner Child (4:41)
VII. Man In The Rain (4:01)
VIII. The Top Of The Morning (4:26)
IX. Moonwatch (4:25)
X. Secrets (3:20)
XI. Far Above The Clouds (5:30)

Produced and engineered by Mike Oldfield Assistant engineer: Silvia Müller Executive producer: Rob Dickins

Recorded at Ibiza Studio: December '96 - March '98 London Studio: April '98 - June '98

Vocalists: "MAN IN THE RAIN" features Cara from Polar Star "MAN IN THE RAIN" additional vocals: Heather Burnett "THE INNER CHILD" features Rosa Cedrón (Luar Na Lubre) "THE SOURCE OF SECRETS", "JEWEL IN THE CROWN" and "SECRETS" feature Amar "FAR ABOVE THE CLOUDS" features Clodagh Simonds & Francesca Robertson

Special thanks to the island and people of Ibiza, Miriam Felber, Sally Oldfield, Miguel Garcia and Jeremy Parker

Terrible, wonderful, crazy, perfect Mike Oldfield 1998

Mike Oldfield plays... Nothing, according to the sleeve notes...

Not listed but believed to be there... Synthesisers, Electric guitars, Bass guitar, Acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, Grand piano, Tubular bells.

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Additional notes from Richard Carter

Notes On The Instruments

Synthesisers - Mike is known to have bought a Clavia Nord Lead synthesiser specially for its analogue-emulation dance sounds. Adrian Thomas, who works as a progammer and musical director for Mike's concerts, says that the Roland JD-990's 'Lovely Vox Pad' features quite heavily on the album, as does the D-550's 'Arco Strings'. Around the time Mike also seems to have been using Roland JV1080 and Korg Trinity synthesisers, amongst many others...

The Roland VG8 (Mike now uses the expanded VG8 EX) is made use of quite a lot on the album - the guitar sound at the beginning of 'Man in the Rain' appears to have been played with it, as do the pipe sounds in 'The Top of the Morning' and 'Moonwatch' (he later uses the same sounds on 'Guitars').

Tubular bells - The bells sound which Mike used on Tubular Bells 3 was heavily sampled. Mike may or may not have used a set of real tubular bells in the creation of the samples - he may have got the sounds from a sample CD or a synthesiser.

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Notes On The Musicians

Cara from Polar Star - This is up and coming Irish folk singer Cara Dillon. She has a website, though it is under construction at the time of writing.

Rosa Cedrón - Cellist and vocalist with Galician folk group 'Luar na Nubre'. Mike first met the group in 1992 and has become quite friendly with them. They supported Mike on his 1999 'Then and Now' tour. Mike had heard Rosa playing Cello and singing in unison with 'Luar na Nubre', and asked her to do the same on 'The Inner Child'. While experimenting, he took the cello part away, and found that he preferred it with just the voice. You can see various things about her on her website (which though under construction seems to still have a fair amount to look at).

Clodagh Simmonds - Irish folk singer. See the Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn pages for more information.

Francesca Robertson - Goddaughter of executive producer Rob Dickins. The whole idea of using a child's voice 'as an instrument' in 'Far Above the Clouds' was suggested by Rob, who evidently then volunteered Francesca for the job.

I can't find anything about Heather Burnett...if anybody knows something, I'd be interested to hear from you.

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Other Notes

In the time before the recording of Tubular Bells III, Mike moved to the island of Ibiza. He designed his home there himself, using 3D computer modeling so he was able to get an idea of what the house was like before it was built. Mike picked Ibiza because he felt it was somewhere peaceful to retreat to, but he soon discovered that the island also happened to be the party capital of Europe during the summer, with millions of young clubbers filling the island's beaches and nightclubs during the hot months. It wasn't long before Mike was attracted into this scene and began experimenting with dance music. Mike had been playing around with the piano theme from Tubular Bells for a while, seeking to create a new version (perhaps partly with the original album's 25th anniversary in mind). The new sounds which Mike heard in the clubs were the inspiration he'd been seeking for a while, and he began work on techno-inspired variations on the Tubular Bells theme, which he then encouraged DJs to play, in order to see what the reaction from clubbers would be. When dancers didn't leave the dance floor, Mike judged the music to have been successful, and in time he had created an entire album length piece of dance music based on Tubular Bells. Mike felt, however, that this didn't work. He wanted the album to reflect on life in Ibiza, and so set about composing pieces for the album which reflected the different moods he felt while living there.

The melody of the 'wind' tune found in, amongst other places, 'The Watchful Eye', was written by Mike while sitting inside a giant terracotta olive oil container in the garden of his Ibiza home. Mike found that humming certain notes would make the pot resonate. Mike arranged these notes into a melody, then played it using samples of himself making wind noises inside the container.

As well as elements relating to Ibiza, Tubular Bells III contains elements which relate back to parts of his life and career. The song 'Man in the Rain', for example, is one originally written during the 80s about a split with his family. The drums on the song were sampled from his 1983 hit 'Moonlight Shadow' (from Crises). More sampled drums can be found on 'Outcast', which come from 'Shadow on the Wall' (also from Crises), while African drums sampled from 'Ommadawn' (part 1) can be heard on 'Far Above the Clouds'.

© Richard Carter 2001