The Order Of Orpheus


A 1977 record channeling ‘A trip through the planes from the throne of god’, this is not your typical blissed-out private press new age trip. Instead it’s a far more interesting mix of acoustic 1970’s new age music with improvisational group playing that reminds me of AMM or Harry Partch at times, with the end result being an unsettling but trancey suite of harps, sitars, flute, guitar and percussion and occasional vocals (‘spontaneous biblical quotations’).

Puzzlingly, the ensemble is also referred to on the front cover as “An aquarian age ensemble dedicated to channeling music from the higher forces through improvisation with various members of the White Brotherhood and Angelic Forces”. This either means that (a) they were out burning crosses on black people’s lawns in their spare time or (b) they were channeling the ‘essence of the play of the Gestalt’ through the ‘Violet Transmuting Flame’. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one seeing as though the liner notes mention that there was a ‘definite tie with the NIMO CONE, a group of spirit doctors connected with a hospital on the astral plane over Virginia Beach’. Somehow, I can’t see a bunch of spirit doctors who hover over Virginia Beach with the NIMO CONE and talk about ‘healing’ and ‘light’ being KKK members.

When words fail, the group tries explaining its philosophy in pictorial form in a back cover drawing which shows three overlapping circles representing ‘The one god’, ‘playing with sound’ and ‘holistic healing’.

Philosophy aside, this is an interesting musical suite that doesn’t fit comfortably into any simplistic genre description. A bit of web searching reveals that one ensemble member, Joel Andrews, is somewhat known in the world of new age music. If you’re out there Joel, please send details on the NIMO CONE and when I can schedule an appointment.

Released on Om Source Records.

31 Comments

  • I have two Joel Andrews LPs; the violet flame and the blue jesus face cover one. They are what new age harp is all about, check em out. “Let Light and Love and Power Restore the Plan on Earth.”

  • I was in The Order of Orpheus (Percussion) in Virginia Beach and I can at least put your mind at ease about the White Brotherhood. Enlightened Souls, Masters, Saints, whatever your comfortable with, who have mastered the human body (the “beast”) and serve mankind in all ages and times from just above the visible (with corporeal eyes) realms.
    See you there . . .

  • Interesting album…
    Has anyone else heard this?

  • This record is amazing. I would love to obtain a copy. Is that Mount Hood on the cover?

  • I used to dub tapes for Joel in Va Beach. His wife at the time, Ellen Andrews, was one of the top psychics around. Music was just incredible as Joel was and is? an accomplished harpist. I thought that John David had done the percussion…

  • any chance i could get some mp3s of this one?
    id love to hear it.
    thanks, gd

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