When I arrived at the beautiful White Temple on January 9th 1986, I had a few pieces arranged to record and a few more vague ideas for further pieces – such as ‘a piece for bamboo flute’ (which ended up as Temple of Isis) and ‘a piece for overtone singing’ (which became Golden City of Peace) with no development of these thoughts whatsoever until I was in the moment of creating and recording them.
had laid aside an entire day for setting up my equipment. This proved to be
invaluable as it took me over 12 hours to finish erecting my instruments.
Somewhat awed by the deep honour and privilege of being allowed to record
inside this holy space, I spent several hours determining just where to set
up. My study of the acoustics led me to favour the very centre of the
building. I rang the late Mrs. Joan Hodgson (daughter of Grace Cooke and then
joint Lodge Mother with her sister Ylana Hayward) to check that it would be
okay for me to position myself here. She replied that she was perfectly happy
for me to be anywhere in the building. My next decision was concerned with
which direction to face. Suffice it to say that several hours were spent
pondering these issues until I determined to face outwards with my back to the altar -
thus facing the front doors. I then embarked upon the ritual of erecting my
instrumentarium and effecting a few necessary repairs to my equipment. Then
began a form of 'tuning-up'. The Petalumines,
in particular, take some considerable time in placing their petals in the
optimum position relative to their resonators.
Richard (Elen) and I were in the White Temple for around five days whilst its front doors were being scraped down and re-coated alongside other maintenance work around the estate. This meant that we recorded from around 7:30 pm until the early hours on 3 days. The rumble of the pumps of the central heating system was too noisy for our purposes and so recording was done during the cold nights of early January of 1986 during the winter closure of The White Temple. Fortunately for us the curtains had been sent off for cleaning providing an even livelier acoustic than normal. The microphone was so sensitive that pieces were recorded in several states of undress! However, we found an electric fire to keep Richard warm in his position in the library - one of the outer rooms!
The White Temple is a circular and domed building with interesting acoustics. Our choice of recording featured the UHJ Ambisonic Surround-Sound system where one ‘sound-field’ microphone was used. This microphone has four microphone modules within it, which can be rotated enabling us to record the sound of the music in three dimensions including up in the actual dome itself. With the correct equipment it is also possible to playback the music as a three-dimensional space, thereby enabling the listener to experience the music from the centre of the equipment. After some time had been spent adjusting these several modules so that the recording reflected the balance of the total instrumentarium, the recording session began. For a more technical account of the recording technique used check out Richard’s article : ‘New Age’ piece - on the Ambisonic website.
‘Star Peace’, ‘Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace’, ‘Crystal Star’ and ‘Peace of the Blessed Buddha’ had already been created in spontaneous improvisations, either at my home in North London – pre 1983 - or my new home in Ringwood, and my intention was to re-create them, only professionally recorded this time. The overall shape and structure of these pieces existed whilst the individual details were totally improvised. Both Peace of the Blessed Buddha and Star Peace existed as graphic scores. STAR PEACE was originally created as an audio-visual featuring 12 paintings by the Russian artist Nicholas Roerich and two of its tracks required an overdub as did the second section of ‘Peace of the Blessed Buddha’ and, as it turned out, ‘Sanctuary of Peace/Temple of Isis’ also required some overdubbing. Otherwise everything else was recorded in one complete take with no 'mixing' possible because all was recorded on the one microphone. What you hear on the CD’s is precisely what I played. There is no opportunity to adjust levels should I have struck something too loudly in relation to other sounds or too quietly. However, no such disasters occurred – everything was perfectly balanced. This is a huge task as I have all sorts of instrumental combinations including, for example; tiny, small cymbals adjacent to huge symphonic gongs! - and one for which the engineer Richard Elen deserves immense credit. In fact, every recording engineer who has ever tried to record my instruments has stated that it should be the final examination test for trainee engineers! But over and above this, of all the engineers I have ever worked with Richard was perfectly in-tune with the spiritual dimensions of the work.
Apart from these pieces above, nothing else was prepared. There was the idea of creating two albums symbolising the unity between Eastern and Western spirituality – this became the two cassettes (now CD’s) INFINITE PEACE & ETERNAL PEACE. ‘Golden City of Peace’ was created to accompany ‘Peace of the Blessed Buddha’ whilst ‘Sanctuary of Peace/Temple of Isis’ was to accompany ‘Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace’ respectively. After recording these there was time for two long spontaneous improvisations ‘Mountain of the Shining Ones’ and ‘Montsalvat’ plus a further slightly shorter piece ‘Crystal Peace’. There was also time for two short overtone improvisations ‘The Temple Within’ and ‘Singing Crystal.’ An album of seven sounds for the chakras/colours was recorded as a contribution towards a special project for The White Eagle Lodge but not for release. The success with which the recording was progressing provided me with further time resulting in the piece ‘Crystal Peace’ which was recorded for another album (CRYSTAL PEACE) alongside a new recording of a previous improvisation called ‘Crystal Star’. Further time was at my disposal and I conceived of an album of short pieces to be used individually as a prelude to meditation and I ended up with six short pieces for pre-meditation (two of which now appear on HIMALAYAN STUDIES Volume 5 - a retrospective of my four decades of music-making). Enough material for ten albums was recorded during this four day period. I had also recorded two improvisations for the (curious) office staff of The White Eagle Lodge but workmen were busy hammering on the walls during this - making them unfit for release.
All of the CDs from The White Temple Sessions are dedicated to Peace and contain that word in their titles - INFINITE PEACE, ETERNAL PEACE, CRYSTAL PEACE, STAR PEACE, & DIVINE PEACE.
The inspiration for the building of The White Temple was given from the world of spirit by White Eagle through Grace Cooke. It is understood that the site of the Temple is upon an ancient site of the Brotherhood. White Eagle has spoken of his work in "Spreading the great white carpet of peace." This music is just such an attempt. It is an invitation to you to join in with this work at this crucial time.
The inspiration behind this music arose from my awareness that the great Star Brotherhood were wishing to emphasise the great coming need for PEACE in the world. The music was designed both to enable the listener to get in touch with that deep peace at the very centre of their being: the Voice of the Silence; and also to introduce a new approach to music - one which would appreciate the functional usefulness of the music in our own spiritual unfoldment and particularly as this finds expression in Service to the world by projection of our own 'inner light' found in our innermost heart. We could feel the peace of the music spreading across the world; we could create our own prayer for peace during or after listening; or, we also have the opportunity to join countless others by using a prayer which any one group of our choice uses regularly for this objective: e.g. Lucis Trust (The Great Invocation), W.E.Lodge (Prayer for Humanity), etc. This doesn't involve the joining in with any groups on the outer physical plane but, rather, you adding your own blessing to this work knowing that by joining with thousands of others we can achieve far more than we can alone.
1. That God, the Eternal Spirit, is both Father and Mother.
2. That the Son - the Cosmic Christ - is also the light which shines in the human heart. By reason of this divine sonship, all are brothers and sisters in spirit, a brotherhood which embraces all life visible and invisible, including the fairy and angelic kingdom.
3. The expression of these principles in daily life, through service.
4. The awareness of the invisible world, which bridges separation and death and reveals the eternal unity of life.
5. That life is governed by five cosmic laws: Reincarnation: Cause and Effect: Opportunity: Correspondences: Compensation (Equilibrium and Balance).
6. The ultimate goal of humankind is that the inner light should become so strong and radiant that even the cells of the physical body are transmuted into finer substances which can overcome mortality. This is known as the Christing of the Human Being, or in the words of the Ancient Brotherhood, the blooming of the Rose upon the Cross of matter.
For more information regarding the work or teachings of The White Eagle Lodge visit their website.
Copyright 1986 by Frank Perry. All rights reserved.
© Frank Perry, 1986. All of these articles are copyright. They may individually be copied and shared with others in a spirit of knowledge-sharing and fair play, but they may not be sold, printed or reproduced in quantity or changed in form without the permission of the copyright holder. None of this material may be reproduced in workshops or lectures of any kind unless quotes are credited or properly attributed.
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