Bookish Beats: Enigma – The Cross of Changes

Bookish BeatsMusic, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion.This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. 

The Cross of Changes


Listen to with:

Tense or mysterious historical fiction

Such as:

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

This week we’re leaving the soundtracks behind and putting on some of the most atmospheric music I have in my collection. Enigma have been on my playlist (and/or mix-tapes) ever since I was a child when my parents would put on album after album as we drove around France. This calming ‘new-age’ music which, most importantly, two little girls couldn’t sing along to (though not for lack of trying!), created a love for Enigma which has lasted a lifetime.

Enigma are a German new-age, experimental electro group who are famed for sampling and incorporating Gregorian and other old world style chanting into their music. Their first album, MCMXC a.D. catapulted them to fame in 1990 and, after seven studio albums, still continue to produce music today. The Cross of Changes, released in 1993, replaced the famed Gregorian chants of MCMXC a.D. with an ethnic influence, featuring Native American and Mongolian music to produce an incredibly atmospheric album which contains some of my favourite Enigma tracks to date.

This album takes the listener on a journey; it’s soaring and atmospheric, relaxing and spiritual, down-beat yet dramatic – it truly never gets old. Return to Innocence is probably the most well known track on the album but the breathtaking Age of Loneliness, which was written for the film Sliver, and the haunting The Eyes of Truth, which was used in The Matrix trailer in 1999, are two of my all time favourite Enigma tracks. Silent Warrior, down-beat and distinctive, and I Love You… I’ll Kill You, with its catchy melody and screaming guitar solo, are two other stand-out tracks.

Every time I crack open some historical fiction, I can usually rely on Enigma to provide an excellent soundtrack. Whether it’s the Gregorian chants of MXCMX a.D. or the hypnotic tracks of The Cross of Changes, Enigma continue to surprise and create incredible music which has become the perfect backdrop for a good book. If you’ve never listened to Enigma, maybe you should give it a try. This really is the ultimate chill-out music.

Favourite tracks

02 – The Eyes of Truth

07 – Age of Loneliness (Carly’s Song)

Top track for action

02 – The Eyes of Truth

Top track for tension

07 – Age of Loneliness (Carly’s Song)

Top track for emotion

04 – I Love You… I’ll Kill You


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