Release date: September 15, 2023
soaring wayne phoenix story the earth and sky is the debut album from multi-disciplinary British artist Wayne Phoenix. Originally conceived over a decade ago as one part of an elaborate project encompassing music, film, and performance, story the earth and sky is not only a profoundly personal and vulnerable expression unbound by Phoenix’s exploration of creative potential and mystery, but a bridge beyond the artificial boundaries that separates us from an unfiltered voice found within all.
The impetus of this album formed around a musical improvisation that occurred in 2009 between Phoenix and Richard, a man who he was working with as a support client. Richard suffered from severe autism, and had been labeled as non-verbal. But as Wayne sat down to play the piano one day with Richard in the room, he was met with some surprising behavior. Richard began uttering some simple phrases over Wayne’s piano, his speech interplaying with the melancholic chords.
Moved, if not transformed, by the event, Phoenix began developing a vocal style in tune with our natural, unmanufactured voice as a means to accomplish boundless interconnectivity. He searched for “the voice of the child within, which has no concept of the world it inhabits, nor any means to navigate that world.”
This realization spurred a deeply creative period for the artist, spanning nearly fourteen years to date. Originally conceived as one part of a multimedia project, soaring wayne phoenix story the earth and sky, communicates the core of the artist’s creative intentions. Phoenix says that “all these works to date are the by-product of something else, which has manifested as music and has been spread over various artistic formats, not limited to any one specific discipline.”
Phoenix perpetuates this hazy aura of his work, stating “if it came to finding the converging principle that ties it all together, one could find oneself in a position similar to Rumi’s story of the elephant in the dark, in which each person felt a different part of the elephant and considered it to be the whole”
Mirroring this theme of subjectivity, the first half of story the earth and sky starts in abstract, words and thoughts left hanging in the ether. Phoenix’s broken, spoken word obscures itself in melodic white noise and distortion. As we reach the middle of the record, the smoky sound of the opening pieces begins to clear, making space for a melancholic yet musical manifestation of Phoenix’s work, that while still somewhat disarming, soars to higher heights.
soaring wayne phoenix story the earth and sky focuses on the artist’s internal search and dissolves in the surrounding ambiance before eventually, and undeniably, arriving outside and beyond itself. A powerful, intentional debut from an artist determined to find and define a new form of expression.
Side A (33 RPM)
A1. mood (1:39)
A2. alone (1:11)
A3. place (1:48)
A4. home (1:05)
A5. …and sleepless skies (0:28)
A6. Burn False Messages (2:49)
A7. I Gave You Power (3:23)
A8. Reserve (3:06)
A9. Death is Pure Objectivity (1:51)
Side B (33 RPM)
B1. Latika’s Grace (it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it) (3:09)
B2. Gate (3:33)
B3. Nightswim feat. Run Rivers (4:31)
B4. Cygnet (1:52)
B5. The Light the Lamb (2:29)
B6. One Man Island feat. CrystalXulu (6:34)
05. …and sleepless skies
06. Burn False Messages
07. I Gave You Power
09. Death is Pure Objectivity
10. Latika’s Grace (it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it)
12. Nightswim feat. Run Rivers
14. The Light the Lamb
15. One Man Island feat. CrystalXulu