When listening to Tellings of The Wheel, Vol. 1, I would characterize it as thematic, not just in regards to the theme of The Wheel of Time as a whole, but also in that the music for each song feels appropriate. All of the songs on the album draw me in and I think to myself, “Yeah, I can see this.” From the opening of “The Wheel Weaves” until the closing of “Far Dareis Mai,” there is progression and love; progression in the story line and love for the content, for the source material.
The song “The Wheel Weaves” pulses with intent; it has a direction, it’s a song that leads. But the conclusion conveys that there may be more to the story than we originally thought. Which to be fair, with the Wheel of Time, we saw that play out. It reminds me of the Prophecies that were discussed in the series: they foretold what would happen, but it didn’t necessarily play out in the way we expected. This song says to me, “Come with me, you won’t regret it.”
Then we move into some character songs, the first three of which could be described as archetypes — “The Sheepherder,” “The Trickster,” and “The Blacksmith.” “The Sheepherder” starts out with a longing, a desire for more; the character wants life to be exciting. “The Trickster” conveys intelligence and mischievousness, and a sense of unpredictability. Whereas, “The Blacksmith” is powerful and cautious at the same time. One can gather from “The Blacksmith” that the character wants to be gentle and deliberate.
The next two character songs are “Egwene” and “The Wisdom.” “Egwene” illustrates a character with purpose, who knows what she wants, and yet, is apprehensive. One can really sense a nervousness about Egwene from the song. On the other hand, “The Wisdom” demonstrates a serenity, which while comparing that to Nynaeve in the first book can be comical — to describe her as serene — it is very definite that serenity can come from knowing one’s role and how one fits into the community. Nynaeve definitely knows how she fits within Emond’s Field. So, the serenity that “The Wisdom” conveys makes sense to me.
Jumping ahead to “Trollocs,” “Shadar Logoth,” and “Machin Shin,” one can find the danger, the threat, within all of these songs. They all convey evil and tension within their chords. The threat from these beings, from this location, is palpable. To be quite sure, I never want these songs to be the overlay in my life, as beautiful as they are.
Tellings of the Wheel, Vol. 1 is a work of art. While I only mentioned a few of the songs, each and every one conveys a love for The Wheel of Time. Clocking in at 40 minutes, 13 seconds, the 23 songs, go by quickly, but one can still be immersed in the music. If you love the series, I would highly recommend you listen to this album.