The Voice of the Turtle


In a bunker deep below the surface of the earth reside the archives of the IFC, and there, protected by inch-thick bullet-proof glass, is the document which Fahey fans could only previously speculate about. We may now humbly present it to our present readers. It was obtained in dubious circumstances from a European contact who was less than clear about its origins. Perhaps it was a black bag job – we don’t pretend to know. No matter - like the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, this document produced, on its first discovery, a wave of excitement amongst the small cabal of enthusiasts present – at last, surely here, and now, the mystery of VOT will be revealed. For here is Mr John Fahey’s own handwritten Notes on VOT – apparently a set of instructions to the recording engineer who was to compile the master tape from diverse sources. Eureka! Let light replace darkness! <br> But alas, it wasn’t to be, for just like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Engineer’s Notes raise far more questions than answers.
This, then, is a nine page document in JF’s own hand. One page is on UCLA notepaper (Folklore and Mythology Group). Slightly foxed but gc.


1 No V Make it sound better somehow! add echo? Song of the Sligo River Ferryman
Fahey guitar, Nancy McLean flute 1' 45"

2 Double guitar Jane Chapman; Backwards veena, forwards E modal
Jaberwock needs concluding portion. Already has alternate endings
As is 7' 00" + for new ending
[note : the above paragraph is crossed out]


10' 40"

1. Bottleneck Blues
Filter scratch Fahey + Death as much as possible w/out loosing too much presence 2' 30"
Fast fade on abrupt ends if they sound good

2. Bill Cheatum
Fahey + Hubert Thomas
Fade out voices as much as possible at end

3. Pick best sounding track reverse to e.q. One Morning in May
Fahey guitar, vocal, mouth caliope 2.25

4. Texas + Pacific Blues
kazoo Fahey, L Mayne Smith (Bnjo), Mark levine 2nd guitar & kazoo
needs fade 1' 30"

[Note: 4 is crossed out]

3. Lewisdale Blues 2' 15"
Fahey & Nancy McLean
add a shade of echo;
Boost base if you feel necessary


Boost mid-range, cut highs to eliminate possible hiss, add a touch of echo

5. Bean Vine Blues
Blind Joe Death vocal & guitar + Blind Thomas Curtis
vocals wi SIGHTED John Fahey
2' 20"

Final Gooch
add a bit fade abrupt ending of echo on 8' 30"
both parts esp at spliced

6. A Raga Called Pat Part III 8' 00" 13' 13"
Fahey Ash Grove June 12, 66
needs noise after 30" to 2' + quiet ascending & decending noises from 4' to 5' + needs fade out


1 A Raga Called Pat Part IV (formerly II) 4' 18" June 12, 69 [deleted]

2 Train
Fahey Guitar FT L Mayne Smith (Banjo), mark Levine Gooch 2nd guitar).
Boost base a bit, add a bit of echo

3 31/2 (One Morning in May FT

4 Take This Hammer 2' 10"
Fahey vocal & guitar

6 Lonesome Valley
cut hiss w/out loosing too much presence.
Add a bit of echo, Fix volume ups & downs


1. Flute D Minor - 2 45

2. Willie Moore 6' 20"

3. Double guitar (Jane Chap) Backwards veena) )by Fahey
Forwards veena ) Western medley song fades into nice E modal live @ Jabberwock
2nd time

3. Kuolema 1.25
(flute D minor)

4. Leaving Home 3.05
open C flute

5. Flute guitar concerto - 11' 00"
Memories of Jarvenpaa

6. Long bottle neck piece Ash Grove June 12, 1966
[note: Jurgen Kleine says that this is Raga Called Pat Part 3 without sound effects]

7. Lo How a Rose guitar only

8. .House Carpenter chanel 2

[Note : all the above are crossed out except Kuolema, Leaving Home, Lo How a Rose and House Carpenter]


8 Willie Moore 6' 20"

9. end Parts of E modal Jaberwock thing then splice then the E modal Jane Chapman veena etc together but needs an ending


2 1/2 I P S (B)1A Hubert Thomas & Fahey - Bill Cheatum

1B Nice E Modal thing twice second time

2 Once Morning in May twice

3 Texas + Pacific Blues twice

4. Train once


Final To B5. Blind Thomas - You Gonna Miss Me Phonotone 633B

7. B T B T Blues No 1 - Fonotone 507A, Part 2 507B

7 Wissenschattlische river blues parts 1 & 2 Fonotone 634A & B


A1 Raga called Pat Part II beginning & end

2 Parts of Texas & Pacific Blues

3 Fade abrupt
Lonesone Valley ending otherwise leave as is; Don't worry about what sounds like foreign tones Fahey guitar & Willis Virgil Johnson (Violin)



Was VOT intended as a double? It seems so from this lengthy list of selections.

“Double Guitar Jane Chapman; Backwards veena &c” Some kind of backwards veena extravaganza was issued on Fonotone’s “many titles unknown” album. Whether it was this one, who knows? As for Jane Chapman, who knows?

Texas & Pacific Blues
From same session as “John Henry Blues” and issued by Fonotone as the other side. Revived, of course, for “Of Rivers and Religion”. Like James Joyce, Fahey never throws anything away.

A Raga Called Pat Pt III
Does this indicate that the guitar track is actually a live recording from the Ash Grove, 12 June 1966?

Willie Moore

Flute guitar concerto 11’ 00”
Well, I’d like to have heard it.

Long bottle neck piece Ash Grove &c
Indicates again that possible “Raga Called Pat” is live.

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