If ever there was magic in music, Soul Ascending shows how powerful that magic can be. By combining fairly traditional elements of instrumentation, mood, compositional style, and transcendent imagery, Wallace has fashioned a 67-minute musical tapestry representing a vibrational journey of the soul.
Soul Ascending is a series of cinematic sonic vistas which reside comfortably within the Ambient/Trance/Spacemusic genre - where innovation and stretching boundaries are not unusual. Because of the extreme dynamic range of the program and the tendency for the many shifts in "scenery," Soul Ascending leaves a musical impression so unique as to practically defy any meaningful classification.
The album has 7 major pieces (over 12 tracks):
1. The Great Portal --
Deep inside a cool, misty jungle there’s a clearing where a Structure stands - an ancient, pillared archway made of marble and wrapped in gnarled vines. It’s almost 50 feet high. There’s an odd but fragrant electrical energy in the air surrounding it; a symphony of bells over several octaves heralds its stately presence. It doesn’t matter what time it is - there is no actual time here - but it feels like evening. The Structure seems to be an entrance to something, some great portal to…what? Is that heaven in there? We’re not even sure it’s real - but then again our frame of reference regarding "reality" seems to have shifted just a bit.
…what is that there, on the other side?
2. The Secret City --
Deep underground is an entire other earth, as if Earth as we understand it in its "topside" version has been turned inside out. Here in this Other-Earth exists a subterranean system of caves, grottoes, rivers, and holy places, populated by colorful dancers, priests, mythological beings, and shamans . The gift offered by those beings is one of deliverance for industrialized contemporary man, who, through a lack of spiritual insight, has over the course of centuries been gradually reduced to a walking ghost.
We’re not sacred because of who we are in the modern milieu…but in spite of who we are.
3. In-BetweenLand --
The music carries us over a mysterious desert landscape as if we’re flying on a magic carpet. Rocks and sand are visible in every direction; this is a lonely place – but it’s alive. The land is wild, barren, and vast, possessed of a chilly austerity. We are searching for something out here – what is it we hope to find? And then it appears. There, as if smiling down from the sky itself– a strange, azure, healing light. Not just a light of hope or guidance - this is the light of knowing, of eternal truth, the all-embracing, all-comforting, exalted light of Love and pure being.
And it sure feels good to be home, at least for a while…
4. Ecstatica --
Along the path of one’s spiritual quest there comes a point where we realize we’ve gone too far to turn back. Inevitably we are forced to gaze deeply into our own ancient, roiling psyche and confront the oft-uncomfortable truths found there. This is often a lot to handle, given that we tend to refuse to change until it hurts more not to. As birth is not painless, so also is re-birth. Thankfully the shamanic firestorm of Transformation gives way, in the end, to Celebration. The healing-spell is cast from worlds well beyond this one, infusing us with all the glory, the grit, the dance, the sex, the agony and ecstasy, the profane and sacred, the wild that is life itself.
…and to think that to the worms and crickets all this means absolutely nothing. Or does it?
5. Tibetan Moon Behind Clouds --
In the etheric, mystical heights of the Himalayas there is much poetry. Experiencing a juxtaposition of moon and mountains reveals a singular relationship they share…although the passing clouds playfully conceal the dialogue between them. "Tibetan Moon" is musical Haiku…what other descriptions are needed?
Live and breathe vapor divine
Moon plays behind clouds
6. The Last Farewell –
There is no image for Last Farewell save for a vivid experience passing itself off as one. In the brief moment as I witnessed the passing of my friend, a noble German Shepherd, there was an instant of absolute transference - a release for those leaving and for those being left. It was a conversation of sorts at the very end - where it was understood at a soul level that everything really is OK. The moment before the Leaving there is always the Farewell, and that is what lingers – in all its grotesque yet beautiful reality.
"and then the creature left…a noble and quiet passage"
7. Celestia Aeterna –
Consider the concept of the Universe as a "vibration", the eternal OM. "In the beginning was the Word…" According to the opening phrase in the biblical book of John, the very first thing that happened was Sound. Interestingly, our sense of hearing is the first sense to come - and the last to go. The expression music of the spheres is more than just poetry – this primordial Chord (it’s actually based on a pitch just sharp of C-natural) is the metaphysical mojo that "keeps the whole thing together," happily humming throughout eternity. To refer to it as a "love vibration" is not just some pedantic, hippy-dippy expression – it’s pretty much accurate.
It gets better; we get to hum along. With intention, discipline, and skill we can actually attune to that Chord. By jettisoning our lower, slower frequencies in deference to the faster ones, we can begin to experience an inductive resonance with the higher harmonics of the Chord resulting in an evolutionary process akin to ascending. This ascension is purification for body, mind, and soul alike, and it is thought by some that our birthright as a race is to undergo this process – when we are each ready for it – in order to sanctify and fulfill our human experience.
"as above, so below…"