In the year 1980,
Melodic Energy Commission
released a second vinyl pressed, long play recording containing
Fables and Lyrical lore from the
Migration of the Snails

While exploring this page ou are invited to listen to
this classic album to warm your ears, while you chill with friend.
Whether you happen to be sipping a martini or nibbling on a mushroom
This musical journey is a treat.

The CD of this album is available here

  Here is the story, as transcribed from the original liner notes.

There is a cottage
far from the others,
inside it, is a
vine draped library.

With an entrance under a centurion oak, the cottage commands a hundred year view of the valley.  The doorway, unmasked as such, is always open to travelers. Bees buzz through the flowers that hang about the feet of bushes which stay off of paths and tint their leaves with the colours of the air.  Now stands a saddled zebra, tied to the porch post, a sign that a visitor is within.

In the main room are walls lined with shelves of spidery creations, nestled up to the highest corners. At the dark wood table, in an armchair carved to the shape of a goat, sits the lizard rider, a being clad in green satin and waistcoat embroidered with silver threads depicting scenes of dragonic conquests in the castled knight-days so bold.

Against the central wood stove rests the riders's alligator boots. It is there that they will dry on this especially cool wet spring morning. After the night's damp dark ride, this library seems a salimander's paradise.

From a small opening behind a stack of yellowed manuscripts, hopped the ultimate phrasiest one, the rabbit with sheer velocity of thought.  She placed a lorish volume at the lizard's side, from where a slight nod of recognition preceded a curious fanning of the pages. "Obviously penned by an owl's beak sharp wisdom", thought the traveler, as the story began to flow from the inky scroll.


written by Mark & Paul Franklin

...and so the Dodo's were one of the races to face extinction,
not from the hand of man, as on earth,
but from un-warranted interference.
It happened so suddenly that only one of the Dodo survived,
long enough to make his way to the nearest town.

These words were relayed to the race of snails on the western shore.

written by Paul Franklin, John Murray and Kathleen (Otter) Yearwood

I ride across the desert in the middle of the night
I cannot stop to linger or to wait the rising light

I rode the fabled Galloop and it gallops and it wails
I can never tell I'm dancing when there's no wind in my sails
And I think I must have risen in the middle of a dream......Galloop.

Xaliman, Otter and George outside the vine draped cottage.
Otter, Xaliman & George -  Photo by Cliff Baldwin

The arrival of the friendly transport beast coincides with a street parade and general festivity,
commonplace in gastropodal lifestyle.

Faster than the speed of electrical transmission, the message is carried
up and down the sea coast 
and is received by all oceanic cousins, 
who prepare for a massive migration.

  . . .

Lyrics by Kathleen Yearwood
Music by Mark & Paul Franklin, Xaliman & Del Dettmar

I coaxed the seals apon the beach
They laughed and nosed my hand
We slid into a water flight
And bellied up the sand

Their backs were waxen in the dim
Their eyes as bright as spray
They played my flute of seaweed stalk
And never went away

I coaxed the snails to turn a dance
That only seasnails know
I blew my slowest wind-sea song
They whirled about their coloured coats
All billowing slow...slow

I fell into the water town
And slit eyed sailors say
The numbers rule this ocean now
We've got to make it pay
For cormorant's wing or snail's head
Or seal coat or sea bile
We'll forget we once were wet
In oceans free of guile

And so the sea lion arches head
From endless dreams he moans
I answered with a flying fish
I found gaping on the ground

      Magical Fish......

Del Dettmar, the sailor lad ashore
Del the Sailor  -  Photo by Cliff Baldwin

Lyrics by Del Dettmar & Xaliman
Music by Del Dettmar, George McDonald, Xaliman, Gordon Tipper & Paul Franklin

Riding down the silvery trail
It's alright being a snail
Keeping wet it's death to dry
Gliding, Gliding, Gliding by

Taking curves at dangerous speeds
Celphics searching out their needs
400 Million years we've been around
Gliding, Gliding along the ground

Leave our songs on mucous slime
Eating mushrooms, feeling fine
They're gastropods, they travel far
Gliding, Gliding to Shangri-la

Mobile homes apon our backs
Everything we own is packed
Making short a lengthy tale
We're gliding, Gliding, Gliding snails

Lyrics by Xaliman
Music by Xaliman, Paul & Mark Franklin

We're off on a current
So far from the mainstream
Horizons are changing
As fast as our course

We're finding our places
Fine tuning our dials
They're sending us message
From across the miles

Alien soundtrack
We give you our trust
Alien soundtrack
We open our ears

Alien beings greet the snails with wings of velocity. Above the ground they begin to drift on cloud lines and airwaves. Towards a portal of transition where the beast of 100 visions, observes the past, present and future with an eternally glazed gaze.

The lizard's attention transferred from the misty pages to a rapid scan of the room.
A gurgling drone in the corner
stacked most highly with paper bindings,
attracted an energetic stroll
to unearth it's source.

A bluish glow seeped from behind
a collection of old world scrolls.

Wisdoms conveyed from beyond the
bounds of this forest empire were
seemingly received and viewed
in this alcove decorated in a
functional, video-moderne. 

"Quite likely a sattelite transmitter locked into a planetary orbit was busily beaming this message...",
the traveller hawwed, 
"...from places beyond an easy ride!"

All lyrics ©1980 by the noted writers.
All compositions published by Misty Code Publishing,
registered with SOCAN
Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, for permission contact:

George, Del, Xaliman & Kathleen

This recording was produced by Xaliman & Paul Franklin, the project took most of 1979 to complete. The recordings were made during Commission gatherings in the Vancouver studio that occupied Xaliman's living room as well as in the living room studio at the Franklin residence in Richmond B.C. 
In the middle of the project Xaliman aquired a two month occupation of the studio under the Soft Rock Cafe in Kitsilano. At the time the first MEC album Stranger in Mystery was selling very well and the excitement of recording a totally planned concept album had the commissioners' focus.

The MEC even staged a few very rare live performances at the Soft Rock Cafe, the New Orchestra Workshop, the Jericho Youth Hostel and a full scale multi-media event at Robson Square Theatre. Paul Rudolph had just returned from England and his musical adventures with Brian Eno, Robert Calvert and Hawkwind, he joined the Melodic Energy Commission for many of these live performances and even got recorded for the album tracks, Doorway into Summer and Perriwinkle Street.

By far the most adventurous live performance took place at the Vancouver Science Fiction Convention V-Con4 in 1980 where the Commission were the house band for the costume gala ball. Silver make-up and blue hair spray flowed freely as did psychedelic brainfood.

MIGRATION OF THE SNAILS and STRANGER IN MYSTERY were both mixed in Kitsilano's PsiChord Studios by Xaliman, 
Paul Franklin and Robin Spurgin through a hand made 
tube valve board built by Robin.