One thing that characterizes all great mediation music is its ability to give your imagination wings. It can take you wherever you want to go. Carl Borden’s new album “Beyond the Sunrise”, released by Myndstream, has this quality in abundance. The soundscape is so rich that it feels like a warm blanket, a safe zone where everyday life stresses cannot reach you. The title is true to its name. It really is a ticket to go beyond the sunrise. Nothing feels better in this time of social and political unrest.
Carl Borden is an American composer, record producer, recording artist, and music engineer. Carl holds a degree in Sound and Music Technology from Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. His music has been featured on The Fox television series Scream Queens and the TV series Single Ladies. He debuted as a New Age music artist with “Echoes of Bliss” in 2016, for which the Global Music Awards honored him with silver medals in both Best New Age Album and Album Production. His most recent albums are “Breathe” (2017) and “Morning Embrace” (2019).
At First Light
A new day is dawning on the colorful album opener “At First Light”. Borden fans will instantly feel right at home, although this time around, there are much fewer sounds of nature. The focus is on deep synth pads and gentle textures. “At First Light” also has a high pitched angelic vocal synth. It almost hisses, bringing with it a deep sense of relaxation. The lead synth is organ-like, giving the soundscape a divine touch. This new day seems to be filled with promises. Waking up to this inspired piece must be magical!
There are, however, some sounds of nature here; The title track has bird sounds throughout, giving the impression that we are way up in the air, flying beyond the sunrise. I love the interesting lead synth, which is actually quite sharp – but here, its sliding sound just works. I must also mention the deep bass, which gives the piece both energy and warmth.
City of Dreams
“City of Dreams” has a slow build-up, from total silence to a powerful display of synth magic. There are some enigmatic plopping sounds here and there, giving the impression that the city of dreams might be floating. My favorite piece on the album is Vangelis-like “Drifting Stars”. The ambient melody takes us well beyond the sunrise and into deep space. The feeling of weightlessness is terrific. It is flawless, pure and simple.
I believe we are back on Earth on the next track, although it is named “In Space and Time”. This is about the concept of space and how time passes. There is a wonderful ambient piano here – and wind chimes too – wrapped in a heavy echo. This piece is like a bridge between the previous synth pad songs and the upcoming piano ballad “Jamila’s Song”. It is a bold move, which breaks up the meditative feel of the album. But I think it works. “Jamila’s Song” ends a bit abruptly, as in a mid-sentence. It makes the listener think.
Memories of You
“Memories of You” (including the Interlude) is deep as the ocean, illustrating how far away “the you” seems to be. It is a sad piece, but I can sense gratitude here too. Out of the calmness rises something that almost sounds like an alarm (at 4m:45s), which perhaps can be interpreted as rock-bottom. From here, it is ok; The memories of you are still there, but they are not as painful. It is a phenomenal piece! But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself:
“The Road Home” is deep and heartfelt. You can sense that it is not an easy road to travel, and Thomas Wolfe’s quote, “You can’t go home again” seems especially true here. There is a sorrow hiding just beneath the surface. I am happy to report that the album ends on a high note. “Walk with Me (A Beautiful Journey)” has a hopeful and bright ambient melody. It is a journey I want to take again and again.
In conclusion: Carl Borden’s new album gives the imagination wings to fly “Beyond the Sunrise”. It is a superb meditation album containing some unexpected twists and turns that make it interesting and unique. The synth arrangement is top-notch, and the ambient melodies stay with you for a long time after you are done listening. “Beyond the Sunrise”. is in sum the perfect relaxation album for the stressful time we live in.
For more information and music samples, visit carlborden.com