White Willow, the Opium Cartel and Telepath mastermind Jacob Holm-Lupo has collaborated with Prog Magazine news editor Martin Kielty to release a concept work that offers a theory as to how Stonehenge was inspired.
The Withy is set in Orkney 2,000 years before construction began on the famous stone circle, and tells the story of a young boy who has the power to control nature but has had no training because his village shaman died. Realising that the trees on his native island are dying, while the seas are rising, he comes up with a way to understand his abilities before it’s too late. It’s narrated by Kielty’s brother John, an award-winning actor.
You can watch the video for The Withy in full below.
“The idea came about watching Time Team,” says Kielty. “There was a theory that people kept the bone of an ancestor as a memento-mori, but returned it to the grave when the ‘time for forgetting’ came. I thought, ‘What happens if you don’t want to give the bone back?’ Another time it was suggested that the civilisation that started building all those stone structures was inspired by one person. I thought, ‘I know who that guy is!’
Holm-Lupo adds: “Martin sent me the story and asked very gently if I might be interested in contributing some music. I was pretty much overwhelmed with inspiration the second I started listening, so soundtrack was composed on the fly as I was listening for the first time.”
“The only guidance I suggested was that since we have fire on screen, water in the soundtrack and earth as the theme, we could do with air in the music,” Kielty explains. “What he sent back needed nothing done to it.”
Holm Lupo: “With Martin's ‘air’ keyword and the narration, the music pretty much wrote itself. I decided to stick with airy synthesizer pads and mallet-like sounds – mostly from an 80s Oberheim synth – and ritualistic percussion, to create a sound that is not rooted in any particular era yet still builds on certain soundtrack traditions. It was a total joy to work on!”
Holm-Lupo and Kielty hope to develop The Withy into a long-form project. “I’ve been fighting with the concept for nine years,” Kielty says. “There’s a lot more to be told about this little lost boy who changed the world because he had no choice. In times like these, it’s a very inspiring idea.”