It is rare for a new age music title to become part of mainstream culture. One such title is of course Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (1973). Another is Enya’s Shepherd Moons (1991). A more recent album released under the new age music umbrella to reach such heights is Hypnotica’s The Sphinx of Imagination (2003). It has been on the very top of CD Baby’s New Age Music chart for years and has received more enthusiastic 5 star reviews than any other title in the genre.
Even celebrity Neil Strauss of the New York Times has commented the Sphinx phenomenon:
SO WHAT IS IT? IT IS A 51 MINUTE 50 SECOND CD CALLED ”THE SPHINX OF IMAGINATION” WHICH COMES EMBLAZONED WITH THE WARNING, ”DO NOT LISTEN TO WHILE OPERATING ANY TYPE OF MACHINERY.” INTENDED TO BE HEARD IN ITS ENTIRETY ON HEADPHONES, THE CD USES MUSIC AND WORDS TO SPEAK TO THE UNCONSCIOUS OF THE LISTENER. ITS INTENT IS TO DO A LITTLE REWIRING AND EXPAND LISTENERS’ PERCEPTIONS, OPEN THEIR MINDS AND ALLOW THEM TO CHANGE THEMSELVES, SORT OF LIKE A GRATEFUL DEAD CONCERT WITHOUT THE BAND OR THE DRUGS.
Or according to the artist himself:
SO WHAT BECOMES OF A MASTERPIECE? WELL WITH THE ADVENT OF 2012 AND ALL THE ANXIETY AND ANTICIPATION THAT HAS EMERGED WITH IT, THE COMPOSERS HAVE ENHANCED THE EPIC MUSIC JOURNEY AND RELEASED “THE SPHINX OF IMAGINATION 2012.” THE UPGRADED RELEASE IS LITERALLY WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF! A MUSICAL LABORATORY STEEPED WITH SUBSONIC SYMMETRY, SUBLIMINAL AUDIO FREQUENCIES, CUTTING-EDGE BRAIN ENTRAINMENT TECHNOLOGY AND EERILY EVOCATIVE MELODIES, “THE SPHINX” IS THE FARTHEST YOU WILL EVER TRAVEL BETWEEN STEREO HEADPHONES. SIMPLY STATED, IT IS A MIRACULOUS MIND VOYAGE.
To describe The Sphinx of Imagination accurately is actually very hard. On one level it is a story told by Hypnotica that takes you on an imaginary voyage. One another level it is deeply relaxing music and sounds. It truly is a multi-layered story. Through the power of suggestion, Hypnotica leads you through landscapes and images of your own creation. No two people will experience the same journey – and every time you listen to The Sphinx of Imagination, your own experience changes.
Hypnotica used six years to design and develop the albm. With a background in linguistics and the study of the human mind, he carefully crafted the story – and worked closely with sound designer Denver Clay to blend together impact words with just the right musical sounds and frequencies.
The Sphinx of Imagination is one of those albums that actually are more than the hype surrounding it. It is very much a world of its own, that you get to explore and enjoy when you get this album. It is some of the most interesting music this reviewer has ever heard, and it changes every time I listen to it. It is a proof that the ears are the doorways to the mind.
And if you don’t believe me, New York Times or the 1000s of positive reviews posted – this album will become everything you want it to be.