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Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights

Bill Nelson

2-CD album set - November 1987

Chance Encounters - Cover
Chances Encounters reissue inside right panel
Chances Encounters reissue page 2
Chances Encounters reissue page 6
Chances Encounters reissue inside left panel

DISC ONE:  The Angel At The Western Window


01)  West Deep

02)  The Spirit Cannot Fail

03)  Pilots Of Kite

04)  Seventh Circle

05)  Phantom Gardens

06)  The Angel Of Hearth And Home

07)  Villefranche Interior

08)  Night Tides

09)  First Memory

10)  Azure Extension

11)  Radiant Spires

12)  The Evening Peal

13)  Threnodia

14)  A Short Drink From A Certain Fountain

15)  Body Of Light

16)  At The Center

17)  Self-Initiation

18)  The Word That Became Flesh

19)  The Hermetic Garden

20)  Revolving Globes

21)  The Four Square Citadel

22)  Little Daughters Of Light

23)  Orient Of Memphis

24)  The Angel At The Western Window


CD only songs added to Disc One:
25)  The Piano Room

26)  Rain Dance

27)  Aching Heart

28)  Arising

29)  Welcome To Realm Seven

30)  Without A Blue Horizon

31)  Female Nebula

32)  Demon Raising

33)  Burning The Grove Of Satyrs

34)  The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

35)  Realm Of Archons

36)  The Rossetti Effect

37)  Infinite Station

38)  Piano Angelica

DISC TWO:  The Book Of Inward Conversation


01)  My Dark Daemon

02)  The Dove Consumed (The Serpent Slumbers)

03)  Calling Heaven, Calling Heaven, Over

04)  Path Of Return

05)  Theurgia

06)  Staircase To No Place

07)  Evocation Of A Radiant Childhood

08)  The Kingdom Of Consequence

09)  The Divine Raptures Of Sisterhood

10)  Bright Star (Moonlight Over Ocean Blue)

11)  A Bird Of The Air Shall Carry Thy Voice

12)  Clothed In Light Amongst The Stars

13)  Gnosis

14)  Bringers Of Lights To The Feast

15)  Hastening The Chariot Of My Heart's Desire

16)  Transcendant

17)  Consolamentum

Ecclesia Gnostica (Music for the Interior Church) ep

18)  Set Me As A Seal Upon Thine Heart

19)  Mysterium

20)  Katharos

21)  Day Of Eternity

22)  Evening Adoration

23)  Ecclesia Gnostica

24)  Young Angels By An Ancient River

25)  Finis Gloria Mundi



Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights is a double instrumental album issued by Cocteau Records. It was Nelson's third consecutive non-vocal album released in less than 12 months.

The album was issued on vinyl and cassette, the first vinyl edition coming with a 7" ep entitled Ecclesia Gnostica.
As with Map of Dreams, it took a few months after the release of the album before a CD version appeared, which added the 7" ep to disc 2 and 14 exclusive tracks to disc 1.  This was still early days for the CD format though, and the 2CD set retailed at approximately three times the cost of the double vinyl.   

The Ecclesia Gnostica ep was never officially available separately, but second hand copies that have been liberated from the double LP can occasionally be found on the collectors market.



In 1989, Chance Encounters appeared in the US on Enigma in 3 formats: 2LP, 2CD and cassette.

In July 2017, Esoteric/Cherry Red Records reissued a remastered version of the double CD edition of Chance Encounters.  The set is presented in a foldout double digipack, with a full reproduction of all the original album artwork.


Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.


From the liner notes:

"The music presented on these 2 albums marks the consolidation of several years of musical & philosophical practice.  Almost every piece was conceived during moments of intense stillness or 'magical vacuity'.
For this I acknowledge the influence of the late Austin Osman Spare, whose technique for creating 'automatic drawing' has found a sympathetic resonance in my own work.
Of all the music I have made, this is, perhaps, the most personal & yet the least demonstrative. Attempting nothing & existing purely for itself, it is, nevertheless, a practical music, ideally suited to the occultist in search of ritual atmosphere or serene meditation.
With such a purpose in mind I offer this work to my fellow initiates as a testament to the Gnosis & a confirmation of The World Within."


A Kinder Light:

"I simply always can someone even go about creating music like this? I was so blown away by this album when I first heard it that I thought that Bill might have been a messenger from another dimension. This might seem even stranger...but I use to hear snippets of music like this in dreams when I was younger, which made it even more intriguing."


"From the first track, "West Deep", I am captured...I must admit, Chance Encounters CD is one of my nightly meditations.  It is hard to describe the frame of mind one enters, at the second track, on hearing the refrain: "The Spirit Cannot Fail You".  Another of the artist's perfect me this CD is Timeless."


"I defy anyone to listen to Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights and not experience a calming effect.
I put it on in my studio when I'm getting too tense for my own good…"


m heavily into Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights album at the moment. It feels like a continuation of the Trial By Intimacy albums but even spookier and more evocative...Great stuff!"


"Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights remains my favourite BN album, much as I like the newer albums and the BBD stuff, it's this one that I play the most. It also contains what I consider to be Bill's most hypnotic and beautiful track, namely "The Angel at the Western Window"."


"I like the Surrealism of "Evocation of a Radiant Childhood", from Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights. Its ending is very unexpected drive through the clouds-all-blue..."


"For myself, I chose disc 2 from Chance Encounters, The Book of Inward Conversation, to help me connect (in many ways) with the loss of my dad. The ten final tracks simultaneously lift me and break my heart, esp. "Consolamentum"."


"The Trial By Intimacy box set really sealed the deal, with Chance Encounters being a zenith; an ambient collection I always refer to as an influence. I loved the charming simplicity of the Cocteau years, the way Bill would start with a blank slate and build up songs one sound and idea at a time."


"I think Bill came into his own when creating synth pieces from Sounding the Ritual Echo onwards through to Optimism, say. I particularly enjoy the beautiful construction of the pieces, which were expertly interwoven mainly monosynth lines.  His sense of stereo production on these albums is fantastic, especially given (or perhaps because of) the technical limitations of his studio at the time...
Although I still think Bill is a brilliant synth-er to this day, I DO miss the analogue manipulations that he so expertly displayed in the Cocteau years! I envy his mighty Triton, but some of the soundscapes he created with his analogue set-up are amazing."

Johnny Jazz:

"Bill's output is so varied, there's usually a piece of music that you can put on to compliment any mood, a sort of life soundtrack. Personally, Bill has a knack of recording stuff that evokes all manner of emotional responses in this listener.  Chance Encounters, The Love That Whirls are prime examples of the many that hit the spot. I'm really hard pressed to think of any other musicians/composers who can do this in quite the same way as Bill. It's a VERY rare talent."

"I'd hope that Bill reissues, if he can, the double cd version of Chance Encounters. Fortunately, I have a copy, and to my mind it's possibly the best collection of Bill's ambient music I've heard."


John Fisher:

"Wow! I just received my copy of the reissue here stateside, and I am impressed. Great digipack layout using all the original artwork, and nice attention to detail. Overall it has better presentation than the original. Well done Esoteric/Cherry Red!"


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