Live at Grace Cathedral
by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
Often a live album is just variations on familiar themes from works already owned in their studio versions by fans. Sometimes though, a live performance takes on a life of its own, capturing the energy of the moment and rearranging the artist's work in a fresh way. LIVE AT GRACE CATHEDRAL
falls firmly into the latter category, a wonderful continuous ambient flow. Calling up sections of seminal works ranging from THE MAGNIFICENT VOID
and LIGHT FANTASTIC
to NEW LIFE DREAMING
, PROOF POSITIVE
, and more, Steve was clearly in his element in this performance from a couple of years ago in San Francisco. Flowing with ease from bright floating tones to dark, rumbling undercurrents of sound, the disc is a soothing atmospheric journey. Disc one in particular has a captivating flow to it, distilling the essence of Steve Roach into a seamless 43-minute montage. Disc two continues the flow, adding a touch of texture with soft percussion in part two and a lengthy energetic excerpt of PROOF POSITIVE
in part three. LIVE AT GRACE CATHEDRAL
makes an excellent introduction to Steve Roach for the uninitiated, and is sure to please the most stalwart fan as well.
|Live at Grace Cathedral|
2010 Timeroom Editions 23 (CD) – double CD
Reviewed by Electroambient Space, Guts Of Darkness, Hypnagogue, Tokafi
An essential live recording revealing a powerful moment in Steve's live performance history. An extended set of sacred sonic spaces and immersive atmospherics embrace the senses within the expanse of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.
In Steve's words: "Performing at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral was a dream come true in many ways, and a high point in my live performance memories over the last decade. It's a fitting release to commence the times. This will be the first live recording I've released with the natural reverberant sound of the performance space predominant in the mix. The expansive reverent ambience of Grace Cathedral is the perfect environment to experience this music within. To honor this space, I built a set that offered options to directly respond to the unique acoustic properties I knew I was heading into. The influence of the massive space and the spirit it contained were unseen collaborators holding the music and all of us in a dynamic embrace. From my performance location, I could hear and see the sounds constantly blooming outwards in the space hovering above the audience, collecting energy and then receding away within the expanse of the cathedral. I would spontaneously respond to this sense by shaping, carving, holding and releasing the music back into the void as the night evolved. Merging with Grace indeed.
"Because this recording utilizes microphones in the space, along with a small blend of the sound board mix, the audience is sometimes heard, as it's all a part of the living breathing space created that evening. I made the choice to not include any audience response or applause at the conclusion of the concert, since outside the live context, ending the recording into the deeper silence felt more appropriate." -- Steve Roach, January 2010
|1. ||Embracing the Space||MP3||43:21|| |
|1. ||Merging with Grace||MP3||73:08|| |
Note: MP3 excerpts are edited medleys.