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Sanctuary – A Journey

January 29, 2012

Sanctuary – A Journey

Sanctuary explores deep shadows and pervasive spirits as it journeys through misery and despair to find hope and redemption. Drawing on diverse influences spanning pop, rock, jazz, new age and classical, the arrangements transcend genres to create a new yet familiar ambiance that beckons listeners to interact with the music and define what it means for themselves.

“Each song captures a distinct moment in time, telling an authentic personal tale,” observes Vertical Leap founder, George W. Mahn, III. “The passages are designed to be intimate and introspective, so that they suspend reality, discover personal meaning and recall forgotten wisdom.” With captivating guitar performances, as well as a passionate voice that brings the narrative to life, the artist is able to tie these songs, in all their diversity, together. The arrangements, while intricate and interesting, are never overwhelming.

Lyrical Allusion – The Storyline

From first note to final fade, the album offers a tapestry of promise, adversity, escape, reflection, and above all, emotion. The soulful vocals and sweeping performances of layered acoustic and electric guitars intertwined with transparent orchestral settings brings back memories of theatre and cinema, captivating listeners with dynamic arrangements, artful lyrics, pointed hooks and haunting melodies.

In subtle fashion, the composer makes obscure use of literary allusion by hiding references within the album’s natural flow and setting. “Just as juxtaposing instrumental and vocal tracks align to form a distinct impression,” he explains, “lyrics and song titles interweave to build a lucid storyline.” Phrases in “No Word From You” frame the scenario with “Shadows Fall” and “Time Standing Still,” defining the opening mood:

Every rolling wave reminds me/you’re not coming back/shadows fall all around me/time standing still/will the darkness ever end/there’s no word from you/I don’t know what to do/you won’t let me love you

A simplicity of melody and exposure lays bare the emotional undertones as the world closes in with endless waves of pain, anger and confusion. The agonizing appeal in “Turned All Around” follows rejection and vulnerability, evoking sheer melancholy with raw vocal harmonies and bare open chords. Past demons of neglect and heartache summon a response on “Elusive Spirit,” whose poetry lives in its simplicity and unadorned, confessional language.

But there’s much more to Sanctuary. “The spatial impressions of ‘Inner Sanctum’ echo deep in the depths of the spirit where words are not enough to express longing and searching,” the artist says. Descending phrases in slow movements underscored by expressive solo guitar envelopes the sentiment in an exquisite minimalist composition.

The references to suffering and soul searching set the stage for mystical revelation. “The title track reveals a conversion that connects with divine presence,” he reflects, “transforming painful memories and attitudes to obtain forgiveness and redemption.” The melody amplifies the experience by grabbing listeners with a stomping, up-tempo beat that just won’t let go. Ending with Everlasting life in the light, the lyric alludes to the joyful feeling of piercing inner vision and freedom celebrated on the next ethereal selection, “In the Light.”

Another upbeat highlight, “Sounds of Love,” matches bombastic guitars with images of discovery and endurance. “The song realizes that the human spirit perseveres when fortified with the energy to live,” George suggests. The final lyrics combine with lines in “Sanctuary” and the last title to provide a continuity of form and vitality that leads the listener to a resounding expression of renewed life:

I am free/spring follows winter/my soul lives again

“Spring Follows Winter” culminates the album, twisting and building from melody to an awe-inspiring display of acoustic guitar virtuosity. In the end, Sanctuary returns to the wellspring of life, to encounter a love that is new yet older than time, stirring the heart and leaving the listener reaching for more. It is not just the emotion of the events that the artist means to conjure up, but the healing transformation of redemption that instills joy and peace.

©(P) 2002 Gentry Avenue Productions. Made in U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.


For more about this story, please clickSongs of the Servant – A Trilogy. Thank you!

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