Hollan Holmes | Prayer to the Energy

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New Age: Space Electronic: Ambient Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Prayer to the Energy

by Hollan Holmes

An ambient electronic space music journey exploring both Berlin School sequencing and drone-based soundscapes.
Genre: New Age: Space
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prayer to the Energy
6:04 $0.99
2. Insulated
4:59 $0.99
3. Darkness and Light
5:21 $0.99
4. Great Expectations
5:04 $0.99
5. Lucid Dreams
6:46 $0.99
6. That Ephemeral Spark
7:28 $0.99
7. We Can Never Go Back
6:59 $0.99
8. A Midwinter Night's Dream
19:27 $2.99
9. The Suspension of Time
7:59 $0.99
10. Cloud World
7:05 $0.99
11. Cover of Darkness
7:47 $0.99
12. Sublime Stasis
9:14 $0.99
13. Breathing
7:51 $0.99
14. Cerro Torre
19:45 $2.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"It’s been an absolute pleasure to spend a lot of time dropping into Phase Shift. The deep end of it is remarkably so, a full-on brain massage edged with emotion. Its uptempo side is simply fun, not just for its nostalgic side but for the quality of the interlacing of lines as well. Holmes makes it sound effortless, and his sense of overall pacing creates a well-realized sonic through-line. Another superb offering from Hollan Holmes. If his name is not on your radar yet, check again.
It needs to be." - Hypnagogue

"While The Spirits of Starlight (62'07") may be reaching for the celestial realm this music is truly about us, the Earthbound. On his fourth CD Hollan Holmes again provides the mind with an artificial environment then pushes us through that environment in wonderful ways. The first few of the nine tracks each move along like a precision timepiece. Evincing a liveliness and emotional drama we must admire Holmes' engaging sequencer fabrications, metrical patterns and pure structure. This language in which sonic objects move together in time communicates an interesting energy, one that is akin to neurons firing inside a thinking brain or the mechanical motions of the Cosmos. The further in we travel with The Spirits of Starlight the calmer and more cerebral the musical territory becomes. These slower spacier synthesizer pieces play with unforced tenderness and warmth - their stillness achieved from the music's electronic emotionality. Arising from the combined action of melodic contour, harmonic transition and shifts in dynamics these modulating musical shapes soon have our thoughts moving in ways they ordinarily do not. This music calls to the entire person, with the message from The Spirits of Starlight emanating from a region quite close to its source." - Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 14 August 2014

"It’s a thrill to dive into the high-quality content of Hollan’s fifth album, ride its captivating and sparkling sound waves, being captured by its intrinsic drive, awe and wonder along the various in-depth spaces/moodscapes it addresses.
What a joy to play this stuff on a HQ audio system makes the most impression if you immersive the full outcome with quality headphones.
Hats off to this talented composer for this most impressive and enchanting result that I’m sure will please (if not blow away) many ambient/space fans out there" - Sonic Immersion

"Phase Shift" is a superb epic odyssey and another fantastic release by Hollan Holmes, both, visually and sonically. Without doubt, Hollan Holmes enters now the pantheon with the giants of deep space voyaging!!! "Phase Shift", which was mastered by his fellow Texas sonic sculptor Chad Kettering in his Soniclayers Mastering studio, is dedicated to Neil Armstrong. A must have for all connoisseurs of outer space oscillations and drifts!!! - Richard Gürtler (Apr 28, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)



to write a review

Richard Gurtler

"Prayer To The Energy" is simply another milestone!!!
I still keep in mind the wintery day in January 2011, when an unknown artist named Hollan Holmes introduced his debut album "A Distant Light" on the pages of EMPortal, featuring stunning self-made cover artwork. Sure, also the fact Steve Roach was credited as the mastering engineer added some extra curiosity into my explorations, but since then I have been closely following this talented Texan soundsculptor and visual artist. Over the years Hollan Holmes has released another 5 solo albums plus one collaborative project Common Ground together with Californian duo Resonant Drift. The path taken with "A Distant Light", when the aural part was masterfully accompanied by exceptional visuals, still keeps on blossoming with each self-released album and obviously "Prayer To The Energy" is no exception. Even more this time, when Hollan Holmes comes with his most ambitious project, a double album supported by his own paintings. "Prayer To The Energy" is out since the beginning of February 2017 and it comes in a nice glossy 6-panel eco wallet designed by the artist himself. Fellow Texan soundscaper Chad Kettering is credited for his mastering skills, as he does since Hollan Holmes' second album "The Farthest Fringes". Known for juxtaposing ear-tickling Berlin School memories with grandiosely expansive landscapes, Hollan Holmes has decided this time for monumental double set to separate his hallmarking sonic canvas.

Disc one is ignited by 6-minute title composition "Prayer To The Energy" and what a kickoff it is!!! Persistently glistening sequences fire up the show, swiftly galloping and soon joined by another vigorously engrossing layer, while warmly scenic washes slowly sneak in and cascade through hauntingly captivating elevations. A top-notch introduction!!! "Insulated" (btw, inside the eco wallet there is a painting of a glass insulator) is more mid-paced, yet still enough shimmeringly animated with some catchy crescendos thrown in and auxiliary permeating intangible meridians. "Darkness And Light" moves smoothly into serenely embracing terrains, highlighted by heartwarming, nearly poetic sequencer patterns painting intensely evocative longing vistas. What a beauty!!! "Great Expectations" surprises with its gentle electric guitar rawness, surrounded by leisurely emerging metallic percussive subtleties on the back, along with percolating orchestral glimmers and guarded by remotely ethereal choirs, while additional, poignantly enchanting tapestries navigate the composition into its finale. Wow, this is a truly magnificent piece of ambience!!! "Lucid Dreams" shifts into intenser, yet utterly enveloping cinematic solitudes, but pulsing quietudes arise and relentlessly traverse across. Celestial choir-like drones are riding atop, but eternal pulses clandestinely metamorphose into headlining magnitudes, dazzlingly lonesome at times, yet splendidly engrossing, before reuniting again with etheric drifts. A pure sonic ambrosia is served here! "That Ephemeral Spark" keeps on the orbit, but soon the journey is stolen by distinguishing blend of sequencer-driven traceries, slightly tribal fragranced aeonian beats and evocatively helixing melodic curtains. Another strikingly attractive composition! "We Can Never Go Back" reveals with impalpably tinkling contemplative throbs, though the center stage is leaded by sparklingly absorbing sequences coupled with picturesque spirals and glancingly resurrected intensified undercurrents. Richly textured sonic euphoria! The closer "A Midwinter Night's Dream", by far the longest piece on disc one reaching 19 and a half minutes (all other tracks are clocking between 4:58 and 7:27), was originally recorded for Chuck Van Zyl's Star's End radio program "2015 Winter Solstice Special". The track employs delicately pulsing joyful sequences backed by stargazing blankets, occasionally augmented by synthetic-driven rippling glimmers. Sublimely sweeping deep sky psalm wraps up this absolutely exhilarating ride, prodigiously ebullient and tremendously absorbing, yet always securely wired to authentic Berlin School incandescences with significantly ingenious insignias thrown in. Yes, disc one is triumphant indeed!!!

8 minutes long "The Suspension Of Time" unveils disc two with expansively gliding graceful washes, balmily encircling and awe-inspiringly evoking infinite spatial emptiness and loneliness. "Cloud World" shifts this serenely immersing odyssey into magnificently longing magnitudes, where Hollan Holmes masterfully merges imposingly multidimensional graciousness with perpetually pervading splendiferously ethereal choir-like drone layers and ephemeral transcendental dissonances. Pure aural bliss!!! "Cover Of Darkness", as indicated by its title, is swallowed by unfathomably spiraling enigmas, while inconspicuously emanating glimmers are guarding vast solitudes. And just the same with the composition, which is entitled "Sublime Stasis" and clocks over 9-minute mark. The listener is immediately bathed by heartwarmingly inviting, sonorously graceful and endlessly overwhelming horizons. The gates of sheer atmospheric beauty are unlocked!!! "Breathing" is driven by helically filigreeing subtleties, constantly overseen by tranquilly embracing and surreptitiously nuanced spellbinding drifts, sporadically reinforced by mildly magnifying movements. Nearly 20 minutes long ending track, "Cerro Torre", initially created for Star's End radio program "2016 Halloween Special", unfolds with desolate drone stratums fastidiously bridged with nebulously mindscaping vertexes, persistently delving into the deepest fissures of delightful drone Eden! Massively humming magmas join this splendor along with thrillingly jaw-dropping, choir-like charged cinematic sceneries, towards the end amalgamated with tumultuously outbursting organic apexes and titillatingly high-pitched dramatic sequencer glimpses. Wow, a truly breathtaking listening spectacle fully reveals its magic, as much adventurous and grandiose as majestically towering massif of Cerro Torre mountain in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. An epic grand finale!!!

Well, after all above words it's quite obvious this monstrously challenging and all-inclusive tour de force double album by Hollan Holmes has quickly became a very strong competitor for The Best Album of 2017!!! But I think this is not surprising anymore to all those ambient connoisseurs who are already familiar with exceptional gift, creative potential and spectacular multi-craft of this Texan artist. Your self-taught mastery is so inspirational for many others, Hollan, you have my deep respect for each of your sonic and visual jewels!!! 122-minute "Prayer To The Energy" is simply another milestone!!!

Richard Gürtler (Apr 23, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Candice Michelle

Review from JourneyscapesRadio.com
Every once in a while, I’ll come across an album that is so profoundly moving and personally resonant that it leaves me utterly speechless. This time, it’s a double album clocking in at over two hours, titled Prayer to the Energy, by ambient-electronic music composer, as well as fine artist, Hollan Holmes. With a title and accompanying cover art that appears to be a nod to Nikola Tesla, one might get the impression upon first glance that the music herein is rather observational in nature, and while that’s true, each piece is also deeply emotive and incredibly haunting without ever becoming morose. Comprised of fourteen flawless compositions, Prayer to the Energy is Hollan’s sixth release, as well as his first recording that employs both vintage and digital analog hardware synthesizers, with the first part of the album largely centered around dynamic electronic sequencer passages, and the second part offering up a deep space excursion.

Fluidly shimmering sequencers open the title track, “Prayer to the Energy”, which are soon joined by emerging layers of lush chord progressions underscored by a pulsating bassline; all seemingly evolving in a circular rotation like electrical sparks flashing upon a dark, gravitational whirlpool. Immediately beguiling the listener, the rest of the album continues in this motif, with “Insulated” offering up dynamically swirling textures that seemingly conjure real-time images of atomic particles and molecules. While there isn’t a weak link among this perfectly stunning album, I certainly came away with a few favorites; among these include “Darkness and Light”, a supremely gorgeous composition that softly treads into chill-out territory, as drifty piano notes wash over a pristine electronic soundscape. Easily one of the most affective pieces of music I’ll have heard all year, this tantalizing passage is mysteriously evocative of beholding an evening ocean tide, as waves of bioluminescent plankton magically light-up the shoreline. “Lucid Dreams” is another standout with its subtly churning sequencers and languid keyboard notes, which seemingly emerge from the ether as they steadily move across a vast expanse. Equally enthralling is “The Ephemeral Spark”, a piece that reminds me a bit of Norwegian electronic music composer Erik Wøllo, likewise conveying images of a cold, isolated northern landscape. Bearing further reminiscence with its textural guitar sounds, subtly echoing percussion and floating bed of sequencers, this gently melodic composition lends itself to a melancholic and pensive mood that permeates the listening space. Concluding our first part of the journey is the engrossingly sublime, “A Midwinter Night’s Dream”, which clocks in at over nineteen minutes. Beckoning from afar like the call of distant cosmic voices, this indescribably beautiful piece conveys a sense of having become dissolved among the primordial essence of the universe itself.

Introducing the second part of the album is “The Suspension of Time”, as misty drones appear to extend across the furthest reaches of tangible limits. “Cloud World” follows with an encompassing haze that seemingly enshrouds a landscape that is both familiar and alien. Slipping further into a foreboding atmosphere is “Cover of Darkness”, which comfortably evokes a sensation of slowly descending into an immeasurable spatial abyss. Closing out the album at almost twenty minutes is “Cerro Torre”, in which the eventual re-emergence of subtle sequencers towards the end of this long-form piece signals a returning to our original destination.

Culminating in a truly unforgettable listening experience, every composition on Prayer to the Energy is spectacularly arranged, as Hollan continually layers new textures over rather simple yet deeply affecting chord progressions throughout. In fact, just the very notion that these inexplicably beautiful sounds could be created by modern machines seems miraculous in of itself. That they are emanating from the incredible mind of a sentient being is even more incomprehensible. Sitting on par with the greatest ambient-electronic works ever recorded, this album particularly recalls some of the finest outputs by Erik Wøllo and Steve Roach. As someone who first discovered ambient/electronic music as child, as well as having since amassed quite a collection over the years, I can assuredly conclude that Prayer to the Energy is destined to become one of my favorite albums of all time!