Ambient Electronic Review: Michael Whalen Sacred Spaces

Release Date: March 6, 2020
Label: Solace/Myndstream

This will be my third voyage with Michael Whalen. I previously enjoyed Kiss The Quiet in 2018 and Cupid Blindfolded in 2019. Now his most recent work Sacred Spaces has filled my living space. I say with that with all of the sincerity I can muster. This is ambient electronic music with a definitive new age spirit and temperament, just the way I like it.

When I first started this voyage exploring new age music it was only that, one genre, it has grown and branched off into many pleasurable sub-genres. This one of those albums that branch off of the new age mindset and approach. It explores all the electronic and ambient textures and colors within each track that a mixture of genres could possibly offer.

The very first track sets the tone for the entire album. “A Metaphysical Morning” is an apt title for the track and it sets you up for relaxation, deep relaxation…if you choose to let it take you there. I will do all that once I leave this space of consciousness of actually discussing the music with potential listeners. Those of you that have already listened, you will click with what I have to say.

This surely is Sacred Spaces. As the music progresses each track unfolds a new and interesting path of sounds to let your consciousness absorb. This is so beautiful and inviting I am sure you could reach another plane of existence or an out of body experience with these sounds and vibrations. After all, isn’t that what our mind, body, and spirit react to on a daily basis? It is the yin and yang of our spiritual and physical existence. Thanks to the music and extraordinary artists like Michael Whalen for these gifts, these ultimate realizations I find in the music become my reality.

The array of keyboards Michael uses for this project is quite impressive. I can see why there is so much going on in each track. There is no surprise that sound is so terrific with Tom Eaton at the helm doing the mastering, he is a true craftsman and artist in his own right. If you listen to tracks like “1000 Paper Cranes” you can hear the exceptional musicianship that comes together and fine production values intersecting. That is with any track actually, that one happens to be one of my favorites.

I always end up coming back to the greats of instrumental electronic music such as Jarre, Kitaro, and my all-time favorite Tangerine Dream. I know it may sound redundant but for me it’s comforting and makes my heart smile when I can relate to music in that capacity and perhaps some of you will too, and seek out the artists I mentioned for more of this kind of experience.

Sacred Spaces is very interesting in that it was years in the making as it started off as a classical project then morphed into a modern montage of electronic beauty. Indeed, the music is sacred as the picture on the cover of the CD depicts. It is quite fitting for what you will hear on this fantastic recording.

The years and music pile up like a bookshelf you continue to fill. As long as it remains a passion and you hold a deep reverence for the music, the books (of music) and the shelf never gather any dust.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 21, 2020

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Track List:
1. A Metaphysical Morning
  2. Sacred Spaces
  3. Ordinary Miracles
  4. 1000 Paper Cranes
  5. The Pure and the Calm
  6. The Inbetween
  7. Devotion
  8. In the Footsteps of the Blessed
  9. The After Life

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