Sacred Songs was released in October, 2012. Recorded between March-August, it features 14 brand new songs, and the tone is gentle, devotional and profound. It is more mellow and reflective than Asher's previous very recent release, the dynamic and popular O Great Spirit, and is largely piano-based with heartfelt vocals, orchestrated tenderly with cello, violin, acoustic guitar and soft, insistent, shamanic rhythms.
The poetic, spiritual messages are very direct and intimate, sung lovingly and with great feeling and mastery. There is a profound coherence and flow to this music, and the overall effect is one of warmth, beauty and high integrity. All the words and music here are composed by Asher, except the melody from Pachelbel's Canon which forms the basis of the song 'One more hour' (the Hallelujah song) which closes the album, and it's as if they are encoded with a specific message from beyond which opens the emotional heart to great and powerful truths. There is a sense of timelessness and awe about these compositions.
'Heaven on earth', which opens the album, seems to move from the Old Testament to the New, both musically and poetically, during the course of the song. It starts with an almost gospel-like, Hebrew set of melancholy chords, but finishes in a warm, rapture. Hungarian dancer and actress Henriett Tunyogi stars in the YouTube. The wonderfully, directly titled 'I love you', which follows, is a very catchy and pretty love song, sung both to a loved one but also to Spirit itself, in the style of a Sufi poem. Then comes the lilting and pagan 'Green man' as a folk dance, followed by the haunting and disarmingly beautiful 'The road home'.
Tracks five, six and seven have a unified, interior feel all of their own, with piano and vocal combining to bring a strange, mesmeric and other-worldly beauty to life. They are 'Evangelina', 'Beyond Saturn' (named after a dream) and 'You are loved'. The startling raw, simple and unexpected song of grace 'Kyrie' then follows, suggesting with the combination of piano and Persian lute, a synthesis and some common ground between east and west.
The wistful 'I wish' is a beautiful and deeply moving, devotional love song, and the quirkily titled 'Illusions I have loved', which comes next, is a Baroque, harpsichord-based declaration of faith, and belief in the journey to Self-awareness. 'Talia the thief' is a mythic folk song, based on a Hebrew tale, which will appeal to the natural child, and 'The shepherd' is a naiive, immensely touching vignette which feels almost like a night-time prayer in the style of the celebrated mystical poet, William Blake.
'Passion play', the heartbreaking penultimate track, begins with a crackle and a music-box celeste, and conjures up a magical, nostalgic sense of archetypal love, sacrifice and devotion, which somehow evokes the longing for Divine love of the eternal child, and spiritual seeker, and finishes in a tempest of beauteous emotion. The epic 'One more hour' (the Hallelujah song) closes Sacred Songs in a grand, joyous, touchingly celebratory style. It is simply a Hallelujah chorus set to Pachelbel's Canon, which develops hypnotically until eight unexpected love verses burst forth towards the climax of the song!
At 70 minutes, Sacred Songs is a generously full musical narrative, as is Asher's usual style, and it is perhaps his most plaintive, complete and direct offering to date.
A word about the songs by Asher…
songs came to blossom, flower and fruit rather unexpectedly, between March and
July, 2012. I was not planning to write new songs quite yet, having only just
recorded my previous collection of songs for an album I called O Great
came anyway on a strong wave of feeling, one after another… once, four songs in
a single weekend. I felt a great and passionate force behind them, a sacred
insistence. These are love songs channeled by spirit and hewn by nature, some of
them mythic, pagan and other-worldly, sacred but not sectarian, and all of them
philosophically eclectic. As I received and faithfully transcribed them, I felt
in my heart the passion of the Christ, the intoxication of the dervish, the
wisdom and irony of the Jew, the harmony of the Dao and the energy of the sun.
And all of this before breakfast.
my daily role as provider for my family, and my weekly work as a
psychotherapist. I recorded the songs devotionally at the weekends and continued
to give concerts that had long been planned. But I felt gripped afresh by a
force from beyond me, by a powerful passion play that consumed me and cast me in
mysteriously ill during this intense time, and… driving to Pamplona in Spain to
sing… I began to pee blood. There was suffering, beauty and enlightenment in
equal measure in this archetypal theme in which I found myself immersed. I came
to feel that I was in a kind of a Grail quest. These songs were anticipating the
dramatic conclusion of a journey I had been making with a beloved friend and
keenly that the greatest love one can ever ultimately experience is the psychic
integration of that mysterious 'other' that appears in our lives from time to
time… our sacred counterpart, anima or animus, sometimes referred to in diluted
form, and projected onto another, as a soul-mate. For a man this can be
symbolised at the highest level by Sophia, or Mary perhaps… the divine feminine…
and for a woman it can be the divine masculine, the Christ or the King.
We meet and
fall in love with another soul at so many levels, often romantically, but
somewhere deep in our being we can fall in love with the apparent messenger of
the greater life… of the divine life beyond... the supreme feminine or masculine
that we see in, and project onto, our beloved. It's just that we don't always
realise it, or know how to articulate it.
In one way,
the journey of the holy Grail is to come to find that 'life beyond', and to
realise that we ourselves are loved by something numinous beyond our
ordinary reality; desired even. Our ordinary self is loved by our higher Self,
with a passion that is eternal and inextinguishable. The drama of the passion
play is when this ordinary, mortal sense of self is crucified by the relentless
shattering of illusions… again and again… until, in the end, only the truth
about a greater cosmic love remains.
when we love, we project all kinds of things onto the other, and these are
mostly illusions… Maya… illusions, but important illusions. They are our
thoughts and feelings about the other person, but we only ever know those
things inside us really, not the real truth about that person. We need to bind
like this, ultimately, for consciousness… we need these kinds of attachments and
illusions to prevent us from sinking into the the deadly swamp of solipsism.
Love, in the ordinary mortal sense, is a helpful and necessary illusion, a
projection. Not very romantic! But, paradoxically, the great truth veiled behind
that illusion is the greatest love story of all… that the heart of the divine is
in everything. It's a deeply mystical perspective.
these songs inspired by my spiritual collaborator, fellow warrior and muse
figure… she who is my Mary in this life. Together we fight in the resistance…
soldiers of love, both… fighting our personal ego cultures to liberate a
remembrance of the divine. I knew that they would find a home in the vessel of
her profound and beautiful intelligence, and that they would thrive and be
nurtured there. Her knowingness somehow brought the very best out of me. For
five years we shared a collaborative, creative partnership, where she eventually
came to build my website, create my videos and design my artwork. We talked
about many things… spirit, art, music, myth, the meaning of dreams, Jung,
Steiner, Jesus, Mary, life, money, football, gardening, business, success,
failure, eternity, the apocalypse, the merits of mildly mood-altering poppy-seed
cake and so on.
We had a
deep, deep bond, full of great work, childish delight, sense and nonsense.
Heroically, she was my Mary, and I was her Jesus. Top jobs! We helped each other
grow. But we also had separate lives in different cities, were different ages
and at very different stages of life. Ultimately, the challenge of maintaining
that precious bond, whilst continually separating and returning to our
individual lives, crucified the relationship. I recovered from my mysterious,
bloody illness eventually, but then soon afterwards she fell even more ill,
herself. Bravely, my trusted friend helped me give a concert in Budapest in
June… one that had been long planned and eagerly anticipated… and then kind of
collapsed, dreadfully fatigued for weeks, with infection and anaemia.
had a voice, and my companion came to consistently feel that she had to
completely sacrifice our working mortal bond and relationship, in order to
recover; to separate our souls out. Her illness signalled the crucifixion point,
where the Maya of our connection had to be exposed. We shared much that was real
and also projected much onto each other. Some of these were illusions that
worked delightfully in many ways, and were paradoxically very productive…
friend, muse, knight, helper, child, parent, saviour, redeemer, business
partner, creative companion, badminton opponent… but ultimately, that which we
sought and imagined we glimpsed in each other, had to be sacrificed for a higher
Don't get me
wrong… you might think that burdening somebody with being their Mary would make
anybody fatigued! With projections, however, there are always hooks. That's how
they work. At the ordinary level we continue to lead our confused, bewildered,
brave and magnificent lives, but the projections we have onto each other can
reveal deeper truths about who we really are. My friend is my Mary, not
enough Mary there in her being for that to become a portal for the boat of my
spiritual imagination, as it sailed upon the highest sea of dreams. It's
important to have a sense of humour about it all, though, and to sit down and
have a cup of tea over it, like we do in England. We willingly explored the
adventure we found ourselves in, pushing open the creaking castle door to
discover a waiting stage in a different dimension. We were cast in a divine
comedy… two ordinary mortal souls in a tragi-comic passion play.
two French-speaking art films from my younger years, here: Jesus of Montreal
and Julie and Celine go Boating. In the first, an acting troupe put on a
passion play in Montreal, but the real drama and passion… the personal
crucifixions and resurrections… occur in the relationships between the cast
members, between friends, lovers and rivals. In 'Julie and Celine', two teenage
girls suck boiled sweets and, rather like 'Alice in Wonderland', get transported
to a different life, parallel to their own. When they want to see the latest
developments in that dimension, they suck the sweets! With me, it was English
tea and Hungarian poppy-seed cake that transported us to the parallel universe
passion play we were in.
story, however, despite regular cups of tea, our earthly time together had to
come to an end. Only then could we both bust through the illusions, endure the
terrible pain and suffering of loss, and find the Grail beyond. She could not
ultimately stay as my Mary, nor I as her Jesus. She had to have her separate
life and I mine. To ever stand a chance of integrating Mary or Sophia, I had to
withdraw my projection of the muse onto my companion, and it was the same for
her with her projections of sacredness onto me. It is not a life choice I
initiated… my soul-mate, the couer-de-lyon, made the coup-de-grace
She took her
sword and made that sacrifice, valiant warrior that she truly is. She put our
relationship on the cross, and then we spent three awful, biblical days saying
our tearful goodbyes and heartfelt thankyous, before agreeing to separate
If you are
interested, some of the poetic narrative of our story is there, in the
last thing that she sent to me was this verse from the Song of Solomon, which I
now present here:
"Set me as a seal upon thy heart,
As a seal upon thine arm,
For love is stronger than death...
Many waters cannot quench love,
Rivers cannot sweep it away."
SACRED SONGS by ASHER QUINN (2012)
A 5-star review!!
Quinn's recently released CD, 'Sacred Songs' is truly a monumental
work! It’s his twenty-sixth album, and, believe me, every new album is
even better than the last. Actually, it is inconceivable that this man
has remained so relatively unknown all these years, as he has
progressed from being, originally, the creator of beautiful, innovative
instrumental new-age music (recording then as 'Asha') to a composer and
performer today of great, mystical love-songs. Perhaps he is best
described as a spiritual singer/songwriter, and the pioneer of a genre…
the spiritual love song.
‘Sacred Songs’, says Asher, was
channeled, literally, between March and July last year. Beautiful
arrangements, excellent musician-ship and a disarmingly pure voice open
the gates to the heart each time one hears the very first notes of the
fourteen songs. And people who love poetry also have much to enjoy and
marvel at, listening to his profound lyrics and metaphors (reminiscent
of William Blake and the romantic poets) in gorgeous love-songs like
'Beyond Saturn' and 'I wish', and the spiritually themed ballads 'You
are loved' and 'Evangelina'. There is so much spiritual wisdom here, as
well as startling beauty. There is the folky, pagan 'Green man', and
the heart-achingly beautiful 'Passion play', but particularly special
is the final song ‘One More Hour’ (the Hallelujah Song). The original
melody ‘Canon in D’ (Pachelbel) later contains Asher’s own lyrics and I
can tell you, it’s tender, passionate, heart-opening and enriching…
Characteristic of Asher Quinn’s music is that
the songs are so deep and diverse. If you listen to them frequently,
every song actually seems to gather in strength, depth and intensity…
as if they continue to grow and develop in your soul! A monument,
indeed, with perhaps one small point of criticism: just over seventy
minutes seems so very short with these kind of songs!! A double CD of
this material would have been ideal!!
Marc de Klein
Reviewer of Consciousness Magazine (Bewustzijn), The Netherlands.
This morning I ordered 'Sacred Songs' from your webshop.
I heard it on SoundCloud and was so deeply touched, that I just had to have the
'The shepherd' is one of the best songs you have ever
~ Christl, Austria
~ Sandy, The Netherlands
Wow! I cannot even start to describe how deeply 'I love
you' moves me... such beautiful lyrics.
~ Trevor, UK
'The shepherd' is simply beautiful. Where does your
inspiration come from?
~ OhFortunae, YouTube
Pure light flows through 'I wish' and shines into my
~ Aislinn, USA
I've just heard your song 'Talia the thief' inspired by
the story in my book, Asher. I'm delighted by how you've transformed my simple
~ Jonathon Keats, USA, author f 'The Book of the Unknown'
What a gem 'Green man' is!
~ Nicole, Germany
'I wish' is too beautiful... magical and enchanting.
~ Dagmar, Germany
I love everything about this song 'I wish'. The lyrics,
the melody... everything!
~ 7Lizet, YouTube
Wow... 'I Wish'... I love it. Thank you.
~ Mystikgirl47, YouTube
'The road home' is such a poignant song. Divine, and so
~ Ian Hawkins, UK
'Heaven on earth'! Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~ Marc, The Netherlands
'Beyond Saturn'... why didn't you take me with you?
~ Anas Almazhar
'Passion Play' is the most beautiful track on 'Sacred
Songs'. Beautiful words, great music, superb video.
~ MacLittle53, YouTube
'Heaven on earth' is a benediction. What an immaculate
gift this song is.
~ Reine Amodeo, Spain
'The road home' is such a gift. I thank God to be able to
listen to it and remember how precious life is.
~ Maya Bei, Brazil
'The road home'... crafted and sung by a master.
~ Brenda, USA
'I love you' just blew me away.
~ Judith Kelman, UK
Loved 'Talia the thief'. You're a great story-teller,
~ Levandetag, YouTube
'Evangelina' is adorable. Like the sweet angels around
~ Andre & Joanne, Belgium