Mystra - Songs From Byzantium

by Esbe

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    CD with full colour 6 page (12 sided) leaflet with all the lyrics and information about the songs, plus an evocative illustration by Esbe - please contact her for art work prints.

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RNR Magazine

Prog Magazine

Esbe has followed the April 2018 release of 'Desert Songs, Memories of Rumi' with the lush and dramatic 'Mystra – Songs from Byzantium'. Again, her eclectic vocal weaves melodies drawing on scales from Eastern Europe and the Troubadours, set against a contemporary arrangement of sampled sounds, conventional orchestral arrangements and folk instrumentation. Inspired by her tour of the Peloponnese and stay in the romantic medieval city of Mystras, she conjures up stories based on both the known and imagined characters who would have lived there in times past.

Sometimes she explores a phonetic language, 'these 'words' just flowed as I wrote - there's a liberation in just singing syllables.', she says. But Esbe is also comfortable writing new text and lyrics, which she blends with a strong rhythmic sense and electronic grooves, all bound together by her forte of classical instrumentation.

'Run With Me' has already been picked up by the folk scene with radio play around the country and on the BBC, but several other tracks will surprise and enchant. Her multi-vocal-tracked, 'Someone, Somewhere', is a paean to love with simple words in Turkish, and harmonies reminiscent of the 'Voix Bulgares'. 'Dream of Constantine' is an emotional, wordless vocal conjuring up the glorious scenery reminiscent of 'Songs of the Auvergne'. And 'Will You Still be Waiting for Me?', which could easily be taken for a traditional English folk song with an orchestral arrangement inspired by Vaughan Williams, explores nuances of harmony and instrumentation, before seamlessly morphing into a North African groove taking the listener to a distant Berber wedding. Esbe's strong visual memory permeates all she produces, with tracks such as the cinematic title track, and 'Arcanum', bringing the distant past to life as if on screen.

This second album was recorded and produced in Esbe's studio in North London, separated in both time and distance from the historic city of Mystra, but each track draws the listener into a world of intrigue, and life, love, and death.


released September 20, 2018

All tracks composed, arranged, performed (vocals, keyboards, programming), and produced by Esbe.
Trumpet on (5), (7) - Nick Thompson.

Recorded and engineered by Esbe except Someone, Somewhere, engineered by Gary Stout at MasterRock Studios, London.

Mastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road Studios.
Artwork and album cover design by Esbe.


all rights reserved



Esbe UK London, UK

Esbe is a Royal Academy of Music graduate, a composer, producer, and vocalist from London. Her music is an eclectic blend of many influences, from her pure classical roots, but uniquely drawing on contemporary, world music and film scoring. Esbe’s writing has been partly inspired by her North African and Eastern European heritage. This eclectic blend makes for a unique and distinctive sound. ... more

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Track Name: Mystra
Discrete language.

Why have you forsaken me now?
Track Name: Invocation
Discrete language.
Track Name: Run With Me
Hear me, like a whispering leaf by night,
Hold me, as the hills call again for life,
And how the trees call,
“Run with me”.

Touch me with the magical mist-like waves,
Cool me, like the spray of the words they crave,
Only when the sea cries,
“Run with me”.

Fill me with the heat of the chase of fear,
Hungry, I’ll be waiting to snare your tears,
Birds cry as they soar above,
“Run with me”.
Track Name: Someone, Somewhere
Biri, biri birshey, birshey.
Bir yerde, bir yerde, bir yerde.
Biri, birsini.
Track Name: Living Death
I am thin, I am delicate within,
I am wan, I am frail, so anaemic and so pale,
I am cool, I am cold, and I need someone to hold.
I am skin, I am bone, and my heart is slowly turning to stone.

But I believe in love, all night long.

I am white ‘cause I only sleep at night,
When I creep from my crypt when the moon is fully lit.
Living death with this curse and an overwhelming thirst,
As I drain to sustain, feel the ecstasy beyond the pain.

‘Cause I believe in love, all night long.

You are strong, you are warm, you are braver than the storm,
I am weak, I deceive to fulfil primeval greed,
I am tied to my fate – you alone can drive the stake in my heart.

But I believe in love, all night long.

I will kill for the thrill, I’ll manipulate your will,
I will tease and enchant ‘til your senses are enhanced,
As these lips, fully red, like a vein that’s newly bled,
Grant your need to be free, as you come to immortality.

‘Cause I believe in love, all night long.
Track Name: Arcanum
After the rain, after the storm,
My love will find me purer than Spring.
Cloud upon shadow, shadow is lifting,
Lighten like sun, clearer than lies.


Breath of a whisper, whisper is calling,
Grow to your cries, surer than death.
After the rain, after the dawn,
Track Name: Hope
Hope will be lost in the wind,
Peace will be torn from within,
Words that once glistened with jade, fade,
When the love has gone.

Pride will be sliced to the bone,
Dreams will mean nothing alone,
This is despair, now you’re not there,
Vows that are searching for shade,
Now the love has gone.

Time, time is my only friend,
Time, stay by my side
Now the love has gone.

Grief sinking deep in the sea,
Rage yearning just to be free,
Only your name fills me with shame,
Open my eyes, let me see,
Now the love has gone.
Track Name: Dream Of Constantine
All you want and all you need
Is there before you,
All you can be, all you’ll find
Is what you yearn for.
Track Name: Whisper
Why does truth ignore the proof
When it’s whispered in your ear?
Why do lies seem twice their size
When they’re whispered in your ear?
Why are dreams not what they seem
When they’re whispered in your ear?

You’re forever in my mind.

Do you hear the voice of fear
Like a whisper in your ear?
Does it say you have to stay,
With a whisper in your ear?
So why am I a distant cry
When I whisper in your ear?

See the dawn spring like a fawn,
With a whisper in your ear.
Hold me near, don’t let the fear
Be a whisper in your ear,
Are you true, as I to you,
When I whisper in your ear?
Track Name: Will You Still Be Waiting?
Will you still be waiting for me
‘Til the end of time.
Will you still be waiting for me,
Will you still be mine?
Though the days are never ending
While I’m far from home,
And the nights are even longer
As we sleep alone.

Keep the dream alive, love,
Keep the dream alive.

Will you still be waiting for me
When the cold wind blows,
And will you still be waiting
Even when your spirit’s low?

I had to seek the far horizon
And the land beyond,
To watch the mountains rise before me
Like they’ve just been born.

Keep the dream alive, love,
Keep the dream alive.

Will you still be waiting for me
As the sky turns grey,
And will you still be waiting
Even when I’ve lost my way?
Though the path is long and winding
And the stars are few,
And the ocean, brimming fiercely
Tries to drown my view,

I’ll keep the dream alive, love,
I’ll keep the dream alive.

Will you still be waiting for me
When the sun has cooled,
And when the moon is veiled in darkness
Will you still recall
How the precious moments sparkled
Like a jewel of light,
And the flame of memory burning
Long into the night,

To keep the dream alive, love,
Keep the dream alive?

I wished that you’d be waiting for me,
More than love would know.
The longing and the endless yearning
Only seemed to grow.
And has the dream forever faded
Like the distant shore,
And will the mountain’s shadow haunt me,
Like your love before?

I kept the dream alive, love,
I kept the dream alive.
Track Name: He's My Saviour
In the distance, he rides a stallion bold,
Like the Prince of Darkness, freeing my soul.
Desert nights only dream what we see,
Lonely nights, soon I’ll be free,

‘Cause he’s my saviour, he’s my love.

With his sword of freedom and clarion call,
He’ll avenge the shadows of whispering walls.
Desert sands only burn by day,
Fearless hands now guide my way,

‘Cause he’s my saviour, he’s my love.

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