Primal Magic

The “soundtrack” of naturism is the sound of nature: birds, water, the breeze in the branches, etc. But at a naturist park or nude beach, you’ll hear every kind of soundtrack from folk to rock to hiphop to country to… whatever. One of my favorite albums for naturist inspiration is Primal Magic by Strunz & Farah, and the reason stems from the beautiful cover art by Kathlyn Powell.

Primal Magic album cover. Art by Kathlyn Powell.

Powell has illustrated the covers of most of the albums by Strunz & Farah. Her covers are always bright and lush, but none of the other designs feature any nudity. Sadly, when I searched online for the image of the Primal Magic cover, I found at least one censored version, with a green smear blemishing all of the female figure except her head and arms. Inexcusable: it’s precisely the woman’s nudity that intrigues, as she wanders among the Neotropical flora and fauna that are depicted–let’s face it–in a similarly natural state. She looks back over her shoulder, she looks at you as you behold her, she invites you into the scene. If you’re going to follow her–if you’re going to listen to the music–you’d best remove your clothes and move your body: this is what her demeanor implies.

This particular album was a gift to me, and I enjoyed it so much I acquired most of the others they’ve made. The fantastic guitar duo consists of Jorge Strunz, from Costa Rica, and Ardeshir Farah, from Iran. They play original compositions with influences of flamenco, Latin, jazz, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Native American styles, and their songs include percussion and other string instruments along with the two classical guitars.

There are no lyrics in the ten songs on Primal Magic, but no words are needed for the music itself to conjure up the tropical cover imagery, and from there, the associated sensations of being nude in nature. Some of the songs include bird calls, rushing water, and other natural sounds. The intensity of the listening experience reminds me of these potent lines by Paul Ableman about the abundance of sensation when nude among the elements, a very “primal magic” indeed:

“[…] the sun, the rain, the grass underfoot, the foliage which brushed their skin as they moved through forest or jungle, the water of lake, river or sea slipping past their bodies, above all the ceaseless communion with the wind. Anyone who has ever spent any time naked outdoors knows that the play of the elements over the body produces an ever-changing response that may reach almost erotic intensity. The skin becomes alive and responsive and a whole new spectrum of sensation is generated. Clothe the body and this rich communion is replaced by mere fortuitous, and often irritating, contact with inert fabric. It is a huge impoverishment.” 

The sensuous Strunz & Farah albums evoke tropical landscapes, Latin fiestas, dancing on the beach, and romantic candlelit evenings, all of which are far better without clothes!

2 thoughts on “Primal Magic

  1. Yes, the skin does come alive. That's why I meditate as often as possible out-of-doors. I think I need to get this album to listen to and feel vicariously. But until then, I'll have to settle for the elements over and on my body here in Belize. Thanks, Will.

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