Surreal electronic sounds greet the day as A Metaphysical Morning begins to unfold in a most enjoyable and easily acceptable style introducing Michael Whalen’s Sacred Spaces, a work released in March around the time the World was beginning to understand the terrible seriousness of Covid-19 or Corona Virus.
Many people wished for something similar in real life to A Metaphysical Morning where they could escape the reality of what lay in store as the months unfolded. As this piece emerges it entices and temps, offering a small space in time to simply flow with the music, which then develops into a light, airy, somewhat elegant and enchanting morning emerging from the darkness of the night.
Sacred Spaces follows, which proffers a change of tempo and vibration, wrapped in light and joy, which allows time and place to be created to simply enjoy the moment. Many daydreams are easily found within this piece, which as with all electronica will change with the emotions on each engagement with the music.
1000 Paper Cranes is a most intriguing piece, which bring immediately to mind the wonderful and delicate craft of origami creating a myriad of beautiful, delicate paper cranes set in a minimalist panorama; a subtle chanting of monks can be faintly observed in the sea of sound delicately washing around the cranes. This mystical and immensely soothing piece which has a somewhat tragic backstory based on the life of Sadako Sasaki, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, who, later diagnosed with Leukaemia, set a goal to create 1000 paper cranes in her lifetime.
Each of the pieces on this sensual, delicate and a utterly fascinating musical immersion comes from more than ten years of Whalen creating various themes in a search for a higher power, a deeper meaning in his life, which possibly explains the almost velvety smoothness of each of the pieces, as they blend seamlessly into one, deep, relaxing and metaphysical journey. Smooth and full of richness, Sacred Spaces offers a residual sense of peace and harmony for the soul.
This is so, until the final piece The After Life, a funky, catchy 4.40secs of upbeat music which opens doors to what may lay beyond what we think we know. Following the intro of almost a singular rhythm, a flourish of trumpets precedes a choral segment that leads to the supposition of the heavenly choir welcoming the traveller home. Gloriously vibrant it leads into a timeless element that soothes and relaxes, which certainly makes for an interesting concept on life’s final journey and destination.
Sacred Spaces is the perfect panacea for those who love to escape through the medium of blissful, spiritual music or simply for those who need to relax, recharge and refresh. However long it has taken for this delicately beautiful work to emerge, through various incarnations, from perhaps classical to maybe new age to full on dainty electronica, Whalen has certainly crafted a collection perfect for the ages.