CD: The Ascent
Artist: Amy Faithe

The AscentFrom soul to Soul describes the journey of vocalist Amy Faithe in the creation of her debut new age music release, The Ascent. In the years preceding the creation of this album, Amy has made a name for herself in the jazz, soul, and R&B genres, influenced by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. However, with this album, Amy has a sense of moving into greater expression of what she feels is her life purpose and higher calling… to create music that is healing and spiritually uplifting.


However, this is not a new or sudden transition. It is part of a realization that has been with her since she began singing at the age of 6. Amy grew up in a family that was into alternative medicine and a holistic approach to health and life, so the idea of healing was something that was part of her world. As she shared in our interview: “The true driving force and passion behind my music and sharing it with the world is simply that I believe I am here to heal through the vibration and frequency that my voice emits. If you were to ask my parents about the most frequent thing they would hear me say as a kid, that was it. Music heals. I knew I was meant to be a channel for that.”


She went on to describe the experience of working on this new project: “The entire album really reflects a very intimate space for me. I have always felt that being able to make music has blessed me with the opportunity to be my most authentic self. Honestly, being that this is my debut album I really didn’t know what it would look like or feel like, therefore, my inspirations were completely in the moment with very little preparation. I truly feel that the making of this album was the most present I had found myself in years. That was very eye opening to me.”


When asked about what inspires her music and life, Amy replied: “I am an observer. I always have been. Almost like I am watching ‘a movie of the world’ – I have felt that way since I was a child. That being said, I watch people and how they interact and the emotional expression that occurs. It teaches me new things each time such as to how sensitive and fragileAmy Faithe we really are. What’s real, what’s a façade? Human behavior is truly fascinating. I am very empathetic and these things along with my own personal discoveries about purpose and truth are all fuel for my writing.“ Amy is quick to give credit where it is due in the making of this album. As she describes: “John Herrera, my producer, co-writer and studio engineer and I wrote the entire album together. We locked ourselves in an ethereal world for a while as we were creating. I am really looking forward to doing that again and seeing what shows up.”


So lets venture into that ethereal world for an experience of The Ascent. The album begins with a track called “Moments,” that for Amy is a reflection of the movie of her life – “the beauty, the pain, moments of elation, and moments of deep introspection.” Although, this song is not just about her life, and as she shares: “We all have a remarkable story to be told and it’s comprised of the moments that have embedded themselves into our hearts and minds.” For me, a few things stood out right from the very beginning of the track. First, of course, is the diaphanous quality of Amy’s angelic vocals, which seemed to float above the music like an out of body experience. The word “ethereal” as described above, perfectly captures the essence of her sound. The other thing that stood out to me right away, as a music producer and ambient musician was the gorgeous production and expert use of studio effects such as reverb and digital delay to add dimension and a celestial sonic presence to the vocals. The musical soundtrack consisting of piano and layers of synthesizers is expansive yet lush, supporting her voice like a magic carpet as it drifted in the rarified atmosphere. Again, hats off to John Herrera. There is a floating-on-a- cloud feel to the music that swept me up right from the start and prepared me for the journey that was beginning to unfold.


A rush of wind and softly pulsing electronics signal the beginning of the next track entitled “Daybreak,” of which Amy says: “It’s mystical feel immediately reminded me of the quiet and spiritual moments that happen as night shifts to day. It reminded me of the purity and immeasurable potential we are graced with every morning upon opening our eyes.” At nearly 7 minutes in length, this is the shortest of the album’s 7 songs, with all the others being in the 8:30 to 10 minute maui-daybreakrange, leaving plenty of room to drift away on each track. On this piece, Amy’s vocalizing is wordless rather than lyrical. On one level I could draw a comparison to Enya, although Amy’s music is more cosmic than Celtic. But I’d imagine that listener’s who enjoy Enya, might like this as well.


Track 3, “Serenity’s Call” segues directly in from track 2, assuming an electro-oceanic ambiance as it evolves with the sound of waves, sea birds, layers of synthesizers, and Amy’s haunting vocals. Likewise, this track segues into the next one as well, maintaining it’s meditative flow. Entitled “Peace Be Mine,” this song highlights Amy’s dreamy lyrics over a synthesizer soundscape with gently pulsing sequencer in a classic electronic music style associated with artists like Tangerine Dream and Jean Michele Jarre.


The album’s title track reveals an unique and intriguing feature. While percussion is generally thought of as adding an earthy element, if there is such a thing as “air percussion,” this song has it. There is a light rhythm track composed of puffs of air, whispered syllables, and a variety of little electronic chuffs and sounds that are propulsive yet quite atmospheric. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything quite like it – very creative! The next track asks the question: “Who Am I?” Amy describes the music as “Swirling colors, dazzling light… free from space and time. To dance and twirl in the cosmic dust of the Universe.” The final song, “Only In My Dreams,” is absolutely gorgeous and uplifting, with lyrics that speak of “a world in harmony, with no hearts broken, harsh words spoken. No pain to be found…”


I am extremely impressed with this album and especially considering that it is Amy’s initial entry into this genre. This title of her recording, The Ascent, could very well be a self-fulfilling prophecy and mark the birth of a new star in the ambient music universe. Not to overuse the word “ethereal,” but that is what this music is from start to finish. Amy’s voice has akvant gossamer dream-like quality that elevates the listener, and is particularly well suited to listening with headphones. And, once again, much well deserved credit goes to producer John Herrera for his spacious otherworldly electronic soundscapes that set the stage for Amy’s lofty vocals. It’s a perfect collaboration. In Amy’s words: “We were inspired to create an album that would fuse together healing, contemporary, entrancing melodies and tones to take listeners on an introspective cosmic voyage.” To which I can only add: “Mission accomplished.”


But beyond the actual sound of the music, I experienced something else that although intangible, was very real. That was the feeling of intention, higher purpose, and most of all, heart. I will leave the final words of this feature article to Amy, who in our interview when asked about what the future holds for her musically, replied: “My desire is to continue to help lift the vibration of the planet and reach as many people as possible through my music. I want to ‘use up’ all I’ve got. I feel incredibly grateful and blessed.”


Links to Amy Faithe’s music:
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