Deeply Ambient

Sam Rosenthal - The Passage
Sam Rosenthal

The Passage (Projekt, 2011)

American composer Sam Rosenthal takes the listener to the world of pure electronic ambience and minimalism on his latest recording titled The Passage. The album contains only two pieces, the +44 minute ‘The Passage’ and the 10-minute composition ‘Rae.’

This is music meant to be heard with a decent sound system and little background noise. ‘The Passage’ generates a peaceful evolving sensation set in slow motion, with subtle changes. The piece was part of the soundtrack for Mark A. Michaels & Patricia Johnson’s guided-meditation set, Ananda Nidra. Rosenthal stretched the music to forty-four minute and made an instrumental version without the spoken word. “When I muted Mark’s track in the studio,” Rosenthal remembers, “I discovered the piece had evolved into an intimate, personal and subtle soundscape. I wanted others to hear it on its own.”

‘Rae’ incorporates a new component, violinist Vicki Richards. The sound is more dynamic, with swirling strings. “Adding ‘Rae’ as a conclusion brings the cycle to a close for now,” says Rosenthal, “It is an emotional release, the passage from this conditional state to the next. A moment of transition.”

The Passage has been therapeutic for me,” Rosenthal says. “I resurfaced, resurrected, remixed and reworked this piece into the sort of ambient album I love to listen to in my own quiet time. It serves as a call to deeply enter the slow flow of sound as well as an invitation to let the textures inhabit and transform the space around you. Reprocessing this material as the score for Mark’s guided meditation erased the noise of the everyday world while allowing me time to heal. It helped me set free both fears and beautiful possibilities, settling in on a calming sense of release.”

Sam Rosenthal consolidates his position as one of the leading exponents of exquisite ambient electronic music with The Passage, an album that will appeal to fans of Brian Eno and floating music.

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