The little I know about Michael Whalen has convinced me that he puts a lot of effort into whatever music he creates–I mean, he does not make music just for the sake of it. Being such a masterful musician that he is, he wants every song to have an appeal for the listener–an intriguing invitation that lets the listener in and opens the fields for interpretation and imagination. Something that I personally believe is the main motive of any kind of music–to widen the horizon of our mind to explore untouched corners.
And staying true to the level of expectation that one would have from Michael, ‘Sacred Spaces’ brings you a world of electronic sounds that penetrate deep into your consciousness and invite you to play along. If you are listening to this album, you can’t ignore the music–it is too powerful to let your mind wander astray.
Album Name: Sacred Spaces
Artist Name: Michael Whalen
Total Time: 50:23
There are ten tracks in the album and according to Michael, the album is a result of almost ten years of contemplation, analysis, prodding, and his own renaissance…obviously, a spiritual journey that becomes so intense that it becomes the whole of you.
It is an electronic album, but I believe that even if he had gone for any other genre, it would come out as beautiful as it is now.
So, the very first track breaks the dawn for you and presents ‘A Metaphysical Morning’ with a bird’s chirp and nimble sounds. A very thoughtful position number one for a well-thought song!
The title song introduces you to the layers of a wind instrument and vocals, all played on the synths only.
There is a touch of joy or exclamation in ‘Ordinary Miracles’ for as the name suggests, it surprises you for being ordinary yet miraculous. The tempo and element of sound are definitely conveying the surprise.
‘1000 Paper Cranes’ is a somber tribute, for it is dedicated to the memory of a victim of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, who dreamed of a world without such weapons. The Japanese folklore has a belief that if you make one thousand origami cranes, your wish would come true! O, how much you want every such wish come to true–getting the world rid of all the hatred and violence!
‘The Pure and the Calm’ will introduce you to the Gregorian chants-like ambiance as if there is a subtle presence of a higher-self and the calmness has begun to descend, and the artist moves towards a deeper-meaning-filled mood with ‘An Ocean of Calm.’ The stillness–aptly representing the depths of the ocean–is literally haunting in some instances.
And as it would happen to anyone who has tasted the sweetness of that presence, there is no coming back–or at least, the effort would be to go back. The deeper sounds continue with ‘The Inbetween.’
‘Devotion’ is an amalgamation of all the ideas and conceptions of one’s offering to the divine–it is multi-colored and multi-textured and offers a very unique taste.
The progression of songs of the album truly marks a spiritual journey of an individual self, who wakes up to an unknown morning and is taken to sacred spaces where it experiences ordinary miracles, and a wish wells in the heart, which when fulfilled bring in the calm…this calm invites the self to dive deeper and standing at the middle point of what was and what could be, the devotion rises and the individual starts walking ‘In the Footsteps of the Blessed’ before it enjoys the ‘Afterlife.’ How perfectly the album captures the journey of an individual soul to its higher self!
Michael seems to have poured his very own personal experience in this album, and you can definitely feel it–something that could get you really involved.
A one-of-its-kind project, indeed! Kudos to the artist!
|A Metaphysical Morning
|1000 Paper Cranes
|The Pure and the Calm
|An Ocean of Calm
|In the Footsteps of the Blessed