Music Of The Spheres
Released on March 17th, 2008
Part one
01. Harbinger
02. Animus
03. Silhouette
04. Shabda
05. The Tempest
06. Harbinger (reprise)
07. On My Heart
Part Two
08. Aurora
09. Prophecy
10. On My Heart (reprise)
11. Harmonia Mundi
12. The Other Side
13. Empyrean
14. Musica Universalis
Music of the Spheres is an album by English musician Mike Oldfield, released in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2008. New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra is the featured vocalist on "On My Heart", and the album also features Chinese pianist Lang Lang on six tracks. All songs, studio and live version, written and composed by Mike Oldfield.

The album, Oldfield's second album with Mercury Records and his first classical work, is based on the concept of a celestial Musica universalis. A 2 CD limited edition version including both the studio and live recordings was released on 24 November 2008. It was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2009.
In an interview on BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright show, broadcast 23 February 2006, Oldfield elaborated on his next project, saying he was working on a long instrumental — probably in three parts and without any drum loops. He also mentioned the possibility of a tour. In an interview for the March 2007 issue of Resolution Magazine, Oldfield added that it would be a classical album "going to be based around the festival of Halloween, rather than the Hollywood horror film", in which he would only play "classical guitar and grand piano". In an interview with This is London, Oldfield revealed the name of the new album as Music of the Spheres.
Initially the album was written with electronic elements, like his last album, Light & Shade, but as the album developed it became an orchestral piece. The single "Spheres" is from the early stages of the album. Oldfield wrote much of the music in the music notation software Sibelius on Apple Macintoshes. Oldfield noted in the computing magazine MacFormat that creating the orchestral score for the album was time consuming, as the MIDI timing and velocities varied too much.

On the ITV This Morning show, while promoting his autobiography, Changeling, Oldfield stated that he would be recording the album with Karl Jenkins and a full orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in early June 2007; 9 months before the final release date. In an interview with British radio station Classic FM on 10 August 2007, Oldfield noted that Lang Lang had recorded his piano pieces over a webcam from Legacy Recording Studios, New York, using iChat and a Steinway piano.
The album had been delayed a number of times, for many various reasons. The original release date for the album would have been to aim for a Halloween release; this was later pushed back to November 2007. In September 2007, Oldfield and Universal decided to delay the release of the album until January 2008, for personal reasons. However in November the release date was again put back until March 2008, around this time Oldfield also moved out of the UK to Spain. It was also going to be the first classical recording released on a USB flash drive, but ultimately it was only made available on CD and Online. On iTunes the album has bonus material and there was also a promotion at; a competition with a prize of the full annotated orchestral score used during the recordings. 200 randomly selected copies from were also signed by Mike Oldfield. A 2 CD Limited Edition version including both the studio and live recordings was released on 24 November 2008.

On 18 September 2007, Universal, the record label, held a presentation event, hosted by Yellow Lounge at the tape club in Berlin; Oldfield was not scheduled to be present, but he appeared for 5 minutes to answer questions. There was no orchestra present, thus the album was played by DJ. There was also a promotional release, packaged in a tin. It includes a heat sensitive mug mat, shaped insert brochure, and an EPK disc featuring 2 video clips.

In November 2007 Universal included "On My Heart" (featuring Hayley Westenra) on their No 1 Classical Album 2008 compilation album. Westenra and Oldfield performed "On My Heart" live on the ITV daytime program The Alan Titchmarsh Show on 18 March 2008. During the week beginning the 10 March, Music of the Spheres was the featured album on the Classic FM radio station.
The Classical BRIT Awards nomination
Music of the Spheres was nominated for a Classical BRIT award, the NS&I Best Album of 2009, but failed to win. It lost to Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' Spirit of the Glen–Journey.
Live at Bilbao
A second press event was scheduled at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao on 7 March 2008; as part of the launch event Oldfield performed music from Music of the Spheres live with the Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa, the Bilbao Choral Society and Hayley Westenra. The concert was recorded and was originally released exclusively on Apple's iTunes on the same day as the album, with modified artwork, EPK videos and a PDF booklet. A 2 CD version of the album was released on 24 November 2008 in a card package. According to an interview with BBC Wiltshire there are currently no plans to tour the album.
Track listing Live from Bilbao
01. "Harbinger" – 4:09
02. "Animus" – 3:05
03. "Silhouette" – 3:19
04. "Shabda" – 4:02
05. "The Tempest" – 5:38
06. "Harbinger (reprise)" – 1:27
07. "On My Heart" (Featuring Hayley Westenra) – 2:26
08. "Aurora" – 3:38
09. "Prophecy" – 2:58
10. "On My Heart (reprise)" (Featuring Hayley Westenra) – 1:08
11. "Harmonia Mundi" – 3:10
12. "The Other Side" – 1:27
13. "Empyrean" – 1:57
14. "Musica Universalis" – 6:13
Track meanings
One of the album's tracks is entitled "Musica Universalis", which when translated into English is music of the spheres, an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies as a form of music; the concept of which the album is based upon. It is also, when literally translated, the name of Oldfield's current record label, Universal Music. This record company name trick is a repeat of a track title on his previous album Light & Shade: "Quicksilver", which is another name for the metal mercury; Light & Shade was released on Mercury Records, a sublabel of Universal Music.
• Mike Oldfield – Classical guitar, producer and mixer
• Hayley Westenra – vocals
• Lang Lang – piano on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9.
• Karl Jenkins – orchestrations, conductor and producer
• Sinfonia Sfera Orchestra
The Sinfonia Sfera Orchestra are:
• Mary Carewe
• Jacqueline Barron
• Nicole Tibbels
• Mae McKenna
• Heather Cairncross
• Sarah Eyden
1st Violins:
• Richard Studt (leader)
• Judith Temppleman
• Tom Piggott-Smith
• Harriott McKenzie
• Tristan Gurney
• Jemma McCrisken
• Amy Cardigan
• Joanna McWeeney
• Gillon Cameron
• Louisa Adridge
• Kotono Sato
• Jeremy Morris
• Miriam Teppich
• Vladimir Naumov
2nd Violins:
• Peter Camble-Kelly
• Emma Parker
• Sophie Appleton
• Jenny Chang
• Holly Maleham
• David Lyon
• Nicholas Levy
• Joanna Watts
• Lucy Hartley
• Jo West
• Sarah Carter
• Elizabeth Neil
• Holly Butler
• Sally Pendlebury
• Jonny Byers
• Chris Worsey
• Verity Harding
• Chris Fish
• Lucy Payne
• Morwenna Del Mar
• Ben Trigg
• Sian Hicks
• Hugh Sparrow
• Jeremy Watt
• Kylie Davis
• Frances Casey
• Ben Griffiths
• Gareth Davies
• Juliette Bausor
• Roy Carter
• Rosie Jenkins
• John Thorn
• Rachel Robson
• Edward Vanderspar
• Emma Owens
• Vincent Green
• Olly Burton
• Rachel Dyker
• Sarah Chapman
• Fay Sweet
• Chris Richards
• Nick Ellis
• Steven Reay
• Louise Chapman
• Peter Francomb
• Dave Tollington
• Joe Walters
• Evgeny Chebykin
• Gareth Small
• Edward Pascal
• Tom Watson
• Simon Willis
• James Adams
Bass Trombone:
• Rob Collinson
• Alex Kidston
• Steve Henderson
• Gary Kettel
• Paul Clarvis
• Sam Walton
• Neil Percy
Additional personnel
• Miles Showell – Mastering at Metropolis Mastering, London
• Simon Rhodes – Engineer
• Rupert Christie – Assistant Producer
• Richard King – Engineer