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Gleaming Without Lights

Bill Nelson

album - 28 April 2007

Gleaming Without Lights - Cover
Gleaming Without Lights page 3


01)  Gleaming Without Lights

02)  North-East

03)  Rialto

04)  Billy Builds The World Of Tomorrow

05)  Glittering Rails

06)  Dreamland Illuminated

07)  Pilgrim (Fantasia On A Distantly Remembered Hymn)


Gleaming Without Lights is an instrumental album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a single print run of 1000 copies. The album shares its catalogue number with a reissued edition of the 1986 release Getting the Holy Ghost Across, due to a mix up made during production (meaning that there is no Sonoluxe CD-007).     

The album was first made available at the merchandise table at a concert Nelson staged at Leeds University before going on general sale through S.O.S two days later. 



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

And We Fell Into A Dream, Mazda Kaleidoscope, Signals From Realms of Light, Luxury Wonder Moments,
Quiet Bells, Loom, Astroloops, Neptune's Galaxy, The Awakening of Dr Dream



On "Pilgrim":

"My school days go right back to the post war '50s, but, yes, I sang the hymn about 'those in peril on the sea' too, and another one about fishermen. (And I liked the 'Peril on the sea' one very much, it had a lovely series of upward semitone shifts before the resolve of the title phrase.)

"Also one that mentioned a lamplighter, which I loved because my great grandfather was a lamplighter. As an infant, frightened by his first day in school, that particular hymn gave me some comfort by connecting me, albeit distantly, with a member of my family.

"The melodies were strong in those days, the lyrics hewn like furniture from English oaks and, though I wasn't particularly happy at school, those melodies and words have stayed with me all these long years.

"Also, in music lessons, we sang 'Speed Bonny Boat' and 'Barbara Allen' and several other old English songs that held wonderful melodic and visual associations for me. 'Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men, steady, boys, steady...we'll fight and we'll conquer again and again...' 

Stirring stuff for a boy barely out of infancy.

"But 'To Be A Pilgrim' still has something that I find meaningful, especially when the Christian connotations are removed.  'He who would valiant be, 'gainst all disaster...' seems almost like a personal motto to me."



"I lost all track of time during "Dreamland Illuminated" and was almost late to work because of refusing to stop the music for any reason. Another great addition to the collection. Bill, Thanks for being so prolific and dedicated to bring us your music."


"A few weeks ago I was listening to "Dreamland Illuminated" at work at about 4am on my i-pod. Whether it was the unearthly hour or the music or both I actually felt like I left this world for a brief time, it was weird! It's a long track but it felt like a microsecond...bloody marvellous!"


"Man, I love this record. It keeps unfolding with new delights and has grabbed me in quite unexpected ways...Thanks for the great music."

Radium Girl:

"An absolute sonic caress! It puts me into a fantastic state of mind as it all unfolds....Bill!"


"This is a remarkable release. Interestingly it touches on "rock" more than I anticipated along with its masterful elegance. The most complete and grown up guitar based instrumental album BN has ever done."


"It is certainly a great CD. You can hear echoes of Sailor Bill, Neptune and "For Stuart" to name just a few."


"Must say I am very impressed by the new album. In particular the suite "Dreamland Illuminated". I love the way the melodies, motifs and electronic sounds drift in and out creating such beautiful soundscapes. (Especially the melody around at nine and a half minutes when the piano drifts in, just before the 'saxophone' - gorgeous). Rarely has 20 minutes or so gone so quick!"


"There are many sections where everything we know to this point comes together into a perfectly completed whole. Of course I like some parts more than others, but the way "Dreamland Illuminated" morphs and evolves effortlessly is really something to behold. OK, enough gushing."

wonder toy:

"Rialto": "is an excellent track, really nice guitar work on that one. The whole album is just amazing. "North-East" is an outstanding song. Thanks for putting this music out."

Johnny Jazz:

"Pilgrim": "I'm rather pleased Bill chose to do an improv around this on Gleaming. It reminds me of the early morning assemblies when I was at primary school mid 60's. Without fail, at least once a week we'd be singing 'to be a Pilgrim' or whatever its proper title is. It's kind of engrained in my psyche, despite the fact I hated singing hymns, they seemed at the time so bloody depressing.
As of now it's a real favourite of mine on Gleaming. It certainly stands out. I think I can appreciate Bill's sentiments regarding this track on the sleeve notes. C of E schools in the '60s have a lot to answer for."


"Play "Glittering Rails" very loud...It's top of my current top 10 'play really loud in the car' tunes. Love the percussion and the swirling expansive space in the sound which creates the perfect backdrop for the guitar to do it's hypnotising thing.  Music to get lost in."

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