Soundsculptors Steve Roach and Michael Stearns are both electronic music veterans with an extensive list of solo and collaborative releases under their belt. Their last collaboration (“Kiva”) though saw the light of day some 26 years ago, so what a joy to see them team up again for “Beyond Earth & Sky”, for which the basics were laid down in the few days after Roach’s concert in Santa Fe in 2019 where Michael participated on stage on The Beam.
The seven-track result is a collection of heartwarming, profound, and transcendental music, the opening track “Horizon is Home” bringing back memories of the emotive, highly atmospheric soundings of the concept album “Desert Spaces”. The same can be experienced on “Cloud of New Promise” and “Embrace the Infinite”, places of simple beauty found a bit further down the road. This tantalizing sensation carries on from there, rising and falling in intensity as the beautifully molded music unfolds further. The fact both composers live very close to (and/or are surrounded by) spectacular natural environs is an ongoing influence here, they are present in their own self while focused on something far in the distance, moving towards it, pulling them out there as they create a language of transformative, elevating aural experiences.
For me, this process has already reached its first pinnacle on the highly evocative “Impelled”. In that respect, I can only second these lines from the press sheet: From the moment we enter into the realm of Earth & Sky to the moment we depart it, the space beyond calls to us, guiding the unfolding of our lives. Through music we hear that call, transcending the day-to-day and ordinary states of awareness, “Beyond Earth and Sky“. To that, I‘d like to add it stimulates awareness, reflection, meditation, and spirituality, culminating immersively on the final track “Parable of Understanding”. Well done you both!
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