Cover photographs by Chuck Van Zyl chuckvanzyl.com
Emotions quietly stir and resonate in this deeply self-reflective album exploring the terrain between melodic electronic/ambient and modern minimalism. These six pieces utilize gentle melody, harmony and sonic tonality to poignantly reflect upon the passage of time, life lived, lives passed and a time of renewal: a sigh of the ages expressed in sound.
Sigh of Ages is the result of extended periods of solitude and personal reflection for acclaimed composer Roach. Resulting directly from dynamic personal and cultural events, these pieces developed over time and in the moment. After 10 months of early morning and late night sonic meditations, Roach collected these various pieces and found they portrayed a poetic theme of sonic interpretations from this experience. Sculpted and refined in the artist’s deft hands, the source material of life itself took on a voice that spoke from a deep emotional well of subtle contemplation. A sacred realm of inner reflection.
A review from sonicimmersion.org:
With Sigh of Ages, ambient master Steve Roach brings us a grand and highly reflective work or art, a soft dweller into spacious textural realms. To compose the music, Steve once more returned to some beautiful analogue synthesizers, which included the classic 40-year-old Arp String Ensemble, The six lengthy soundscape pieces form a continuous arc of dynamic flowing gentle currents and streams. It fascinating to hear it meander through a free form landscape as its blends modern minimalism and melodic electronic/ambient as it gradually unfolds track after track. Especially “Morning of Ages” stands out with a more pronounced, haunting layering of symphonic sound. Most of all, the music is an emotional ride reflecting upon the passage of time, life lived, lives passed and a time of renewal, all expressed in harmony and softly curling melodic lines. All in all, Sigh of Ages is a true and honest ambient journey with a constant beautiful yearning underneath the majestic textural layers. It’s a metaphor to make every moment of life count and last for the fullest. Undeniably, this is one of Roach’s most personal sound trips to date meant for deep listening, a “moving testament to temporal nature and the unspoken subtle currents of life itself”. Highly recommended. - Bert Strolenberg
released July 13, 2010