Selia Qynn,
The Surreal Life
Adventures of Stella Quest

(self-produced, 1992)

Selia Qynn returns with The Surreal Life Adventures of Stella Quest. Described as a "musical, mystical fantasy folk space odyssey," the CD mingles music and narration to tell a story. Our heroine is Stella Quest, a daydreamer in the second grade, who wanders away from our reality into her own to escape math class (and other boring topics). Stella's daydreams are rather coherent -- and cosmic -- for a child, but then, she's no normal child, but the daughter of stars, to whom people always want to tell the truth. Her fantastic travels bring her to the planets circling a certain yellow star where she observes species from the second and fourth planets crashed on the third. She watches them mingle and produce offspring, a new race, before being called back to wherever she comes from.

Stella also meets on her journey a dolphin-eating tiger called Tourmaliger Tiger, an enormous flowering vine called Neptunia, and Nimbulus, an often depressed thundercloud. She also frequently pursues Speck, which she eventually realizes is the future, always moving away from her.

Stella Quest is definitely not your run-of-the-mill CD. The storyline is firmly new age, especially with the magical, mist-dancing dolphins, but the music tends to blur into different genres, including folk, a bit of blues and folk-rock.

Qynn's voice on the narration is sweet, but not necessarily girlish, rather as one would imagine young Stella's should be. Her singing voice is smooth and clear. Accompaniments are minimal, so as not to obscure Qynn's voice or spoil the mood.

Qynn thoughtfully gives instructions on how to listen to Stella Quest which include pouring your favorite drink, finding a comfortable place, turning off the lights and listening. This really does seem like the best way to experience this unique CD, perhaps with eyes closed so as to see all the fascinating imagery that young Stella dreams up. However, with a run time of a little more than an hour, you might have experience this CD in a couple of blocks, but there is a convenient stopping place between the story of the Martians and Venusians and Stella's adventures with Tourmaliger Tiger.

Come, share The Surreal Life Adventures of Stella Quest. It's fun.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]