From Ancient Worlds

New Albion Records, 1992

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"From Ancient Worlds" is an allegory for a journey of the soul. "Song of the Rose," representing the soul, is the central theme of the work, and is presented in the style of a chorale (although it also appears in numerous variations, such as "Quest for the Rose", "Epiphany" and "Rose of Remembrance"). Various motifs, cadences and harmonic relationships from "Song of the Rose" are echoed in other parts of the work as well, depicting the soul's return in different guises as it travels through the imaginary landscapes of the various sections.


At the end of its journey, "Song of the Rose" returns in the elegiac "Rose of Remembrance", where phrases are juxtaposed with flashbacks of the major themes of the work. This is a metaphor for what is believed to be one of the first experiences of the afterlife: seeing life pass before your eyes in the presence of a Being of Light. "Rose of Remembrance" reaches for a glimpse behind the veil of our reality as it explores the experience of passage into the other world. What once existed is never completely finished, and as the soul lives on, so the final note of "From Ancient Worlds" is left unresolved.

Voted the No. 2 Best Recording of the Year on WNYC-FM’s New Sounds Listener’s Poll.

© 2019 by Michael Harrison