From the album notes by Craig Safan: Being a pictorial composer I tend to see music in visual terms... what used to be called ''programmatic music''. Each piece in ROUGH MAGIC is based on a specific scenario and in that way the work is somewhat like a ballet built on thirteen scenes. The titles allude to these stories but not in an overly detailed a way, leaving much to the listener's imagination.
I visited many Paleolithic cave sites in France and Spain in preparation of writing this piece. I travelled with a digital recorder and captured many ambient sounds in the caves. In fact all the reverbs used were modeled using the echoes I recorded in specific caves. Voices, footsteps, breaths, rocks, handclaps, whistles, and even stalactites being struck; all were turned into the various instruments I used performing the music.
This piece is not meant to sound as music did 25,000 year ago. There's really no way to know what music sounded like back then. We know something about the instruments used by early humans, but only about the ones that have survived, mainly bone whistles and flutes (which are reproduced in several of the tracks). Anything made of wood has disintegrated long ago. Primitive instruments seen in various tribal societies around the world today usually include drums, logs, rocks, sticks, rattles made of seeds, gourds, and insect larva, hand claps, bullroarers, bone whistles, jawbones, and lots of vocal sounds, foot stomps, and chanting. We also find that many of these instruments were only used by the shamans who would use the sounds as a means to go into a trance and travel to the spirit world. I tried to incorporate all of this and more into my music
1. Make the Sun Dance 3:24
2. A Vision Full of Majesty 4:09
3. The Blind Cave of Eternal Night 4:07
4. The Crack of Doom 3:07
5. A Spell of Much Power 2:40
6. Where Light in Darkness Lies 3:50
7. A Pair of Strange Beasts 3:58
8. We Hunt For Death 3:06
9. All the Devils are Here 4:02
10. The Quiet Sleep of Death 4:46
11. Astonish and Transform 3:51
12. Misshapen Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms 2:58
13. Rough Magic 3:40