Sacred Black

Audio CD & DVD SG-13 - released by RMC Records 2003

Audio CD & DVD SG-13 - released by RMC Records 2003

Album Details

All Tracks by Steve Roberts - Produced by Amongst Myselves 
Recorded & Mixed Between June 2000 & October 2002 at Uralla Studios, Blackwood, Australia 
Mastered at Disk-Edits by Peter Kolomitsev 
Cover Artwork by Adriana Calcagno 
Manufactured in Australia through Disk-Edits Pty Ltd 
Marketed and Distributed by RMC and Amongst Myselves 
Special thanks to Rachel,Dave, Adriana, Anne. Thanks to everyone at ambient@hyperreal for their support.
This recording was created with the assistance of the Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia.

The listener feels surrounded and hopefully even liberated by Roberts' designs. This album deals with what is between and beyond dreams and memories. ” - Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 16 February 2003

Audio Tracks

Sacred Black

Amongst Myselves

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Eight tracks (51 minutes) of lovely audio-ephemera unfurls with easy-to-fall-into fluidity. Steve Roberts of Amongst Myselves forges immersive new ear-environments, bathed in Sacred Black. Very nice! ” - AmbiEntrance © 2003-1997 by David J Opdyke

Media Release

BE PREPARED FOR UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS IN 'SACRED BLACK' 

Australian musician Steve Roberts of Amongst Myselves is forging new 'ear-environments' in ambient music with the release of his latest album, "Sacred Black". 

This is the third release from Amongst Myselves, continuing a quiet revolution in the ambient music scene that began with the release of "The Sun in the Bottle" in 1999. 

This stunning eight-track album contains eclectic influences including fifteenth century religious persecution, astrophysics, the desolation of a sleeping city at 5am and the classic Martin Denny piece 'Quiet Village'. 

"Sacred Black has enabled me to explore and express diverse emotions - meditation, tension, subtlety, torment and persecution, imagination and celebration," said Steve Roberts. 

The release has already received impressive reviews from ambient enthusiasts. 
"Sacred Black has been endowed with a transcendent quality. The listener feels surrounded and hopefully even liberated by Roberts' designs." - Chuck van Zyl of Radio Program Star's End 

"….an album that requests deeper listening than the average stuff encountered nowadays in ambient/space territory." - Bert Strolenberg, Klem Magazine, The Netherlands. 
…freeform dronescapes from Amongst Myselves are amorphous and mesmerizing…..eight tracks of lovely audio-ephemera unfurls with easy-to-fall-into fluidity."- David J Opdyke, AmbiEntrance 

"While each piece was conceived and inspired by a definite theme, the beauty of non-lyrical music is that the listener takes full control of what the tracks are about and the feelings they create," Steve Roberts said. 

"In the end, Sacred Black is representative of all ambient music - it's all about personal interpretation. I hope to inspire and involve all those who listen to the album," he said.

The Journey

Dawn 1958 reflects on the life of Galileo Galili through letters exchanged with his daughter Suor Maria Celeste in the book "Galileo's Daughter" by Dava Sobel. The letters read of a life of great hardships in the 15th century as a nun and a scientist persecuted for beliefs that clashed with the Roman Catholic Church of his time. A smooth morph soundscape that takes little effort in listening - aiming to be very subtle to the extent of not being there. The track also reflects on a lifestyle that is less complicated than the 21st Century through the use of more meditative tones. 

Morning of the Earth continues the meditative state through to the 21st century where a world is re-evaluating it's beliefs and many choose to take an alternative life to the 'expected' workaholic path taken by the majority of this troubled world. 

Taken to another world Sea of Rains sees the location of Earth's moon. Many great thinkers and scientists of the past have imagined other worlds before space flight was possible. 

Sea of Rains is the name of one of the many dark patches on the moon - so named by the 16th century priest Riccioli who believed it to be a sea. This track transports the listener to the beach of this Sea of Rains, taking in the totally alien landscape for the first time. Strange insects are making noise through the weird daylight, small asteroids pass and crash, strange squeaks and rumbles occur as the solar winds resonate on the landscape - and the moon expands and compresses due to the earth's magnetic field. 

From the sea of rains our listener is transformed to an idyllic tropical beach setting - but instead of watching a sunset, a galaxy is setting over the horizon casting strange ephemeral shadows of palm trees on the beach. This more 'New Age' track is The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, with inspiration drawn from Martin Denny's classic exotic piece "Quiet Village". Melodies from Denny's creation form the background, conveying the tropical heat of this location. 

Time for tension in Argo Navis, led by the lead piano instrument and maintained by use of a constant warbling alarm bell sweeping around our head. The strings try for release but are foiled by the menacing, warped human and mechanical sounds. In the end the piano wins - or does it? 

5am Melbourne 1996 deals with detachment - inspired by a personal experience working in Melbourne several years ago. My visits were fleeting and I always felt detached - as if I was viewing the city like an animal exhibit at a zoo. One early morning, on my way back to Adelaide I caught a taxi. While the city was desolate, I witnessed hundreds of people dressed up to impress and walking to the only nightclub still open at 5 in the morning. Using guitars and TV commercials, this track reflects the emptiness of the city and the memory of those waves of people. 

The Demon Haunted World takes the listener back to the dark ages and a street in Florence. I was inspired by the tormented lives of scientists persecuted by the ruling Catholic Church for trying to change the backward ideas of the world at the time. The screams of persecution can be heard. 

Returning Home relieves the desperation of the previous track - a Hollywood ending. A much more structured piece, representing the ending of a phase, the ending of this trip, with small discordant lead notes to spark some past memory of this journey. My celebration track.