Merge is on these releases:
The Music of Connection
2013 Epona (CD)
This collection of pieces was refined over several years of movement magic between horses and humans. Created for the Eponaquest horse-faciliated workshop Rasa Dance by equine innovator and best-selling author Linda Kohanov, the music sets the tone for interactive sessions where horses and humans literally move and dance together, thus providing a supportive atmosphere for the experience of connection. This dynamic music set covers a powerful range of emotions and inspiration which perfectly mirrors the Rasa Dance workshop theme. The collection brings together an inspired set of thematic, rhythmic, and melodic pieces from Steve Roach's vast body of work.
From the liner notes by Linda Kohanov:
The Evolution of Rasa Dance
In 1993, at the height of my career as a music critic, I sold my CD collection to buy Tabula Rasa, a beautiful black Arabian mare. Six months later, I was riding her in the desert when a huge Rottweiler chased us through a deep sandy wash, injuring Rasa's right back leg, ending our promising riding career, yet ironically leading us on a much more fruitful path.
The Chinese sage Lao-tzu observed that "it is upon disaster that good fortune rests," a lesson that Rasa and her other herd members challenged me to embrace over and over again. While the sheer joy of working with horses always outweighed the hardships, the most profound transformations happened when things didn't go my way -- when my most reliable tools, ideas, and coping strategies failed, and I had to respond to the world rather than try to control it. Through Rasa, I learned to dance with the unexpected while literally learning how to dance with her on the ground. This consolation for my inability to ride her turned into a relationship-enhancing practice that I used with other horses, and eventually taught to people through our "Rasa Dance" workshops.
For these clinics, my husband Steve and I perused his extensive list of original compositions, selecting various moods and tempos. This CD collection was refined through years of movement magic between horses and humans. "Eye of Noche" and "Where Rasa Lives" were later created in memory of two horses who became great dancers, then great dance teachers of people, including those who had never worked with horses before.
I was subsequently surprised to find the phrase "Rasa Dance" associated with the ancient god Krishna, who danced with his followers by moonlight. In India, a sacred performance is still called a Rasa Dance, signifying a state of grace in which Spirit engages with its many manifestations, expressing different aspects of infinity through the music of connection.
But it was a living, breathing horse named Rasa who taught me that when two beings move in synchrony, a greater consciousness arises. Most importantly, I learned that if we can dance with joy, ecstasy, power, frustration, miscommunication, tragedy and anything else that comes our way, an underlying sense of deep peace emerges, allowing us to fully engage with life.
Track 2 titled "Truth and Beauty"; Track 7 titled "Eye of Noche" (both previously-released).
2-CD Collectors Edition
2008 Projekt PRO218 (CD)
Reviewed by e/i magazine, MusicTAP, Musique Machine, Sonic Curiosity
The rights to Steve's 1986 release Empetus reverted back to him, and this along with some recently discovered "lost pieces" inspired a 2-CD Collectors Edition. The second disc, "The Early Years", features two amazing long-form sequencer pieces circa 1982. The first piece, "Harmonia Mundi" was recorded live in the L.A.-based Timeroom with Swiss-born electronic musician Thomas Ronkin. At 45 minutes, this is one of the more possessed and intense analog sequencer trance pieces you're likely to hear. "Release" is a 24-minute solo statement of emotion and energy connected to the early years of Steve's evolution in sound, harkening to NOW and TRAVELER. By the time Empetus was released, the approach of these longer German School styles were morphing into a new sound heard on Empetus and beyond.
"Empetus is full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach's music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the '70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track), EMPETUS' waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of ''Seeking'' contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of ''Empowerment'' or the turbo-charged synths that rev through ''Conquest''. It's all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, EMPETUS remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music." -- Darren Bergstein, Muze
"On EMPETUS, Roach has created a masterpiece, done purely on synths and sequencers... a rhythmic / melodic tour-de-force of solid, totally compulsive synth music." -- Andy Garibaldi, Lotus, England
"Harmonia Mundi" with Thomas Ronkin
1986 Fortuna FOR036 (LP, CD)
Reviewed by Muze
Full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach's music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. "On EMPETUS, Roach has created a masterpiece, done purely on synths and sequencers... a rhythmic / melodic tour-de-force of solid, totally compulsive synth music." (Andy Garibaldi – Lotus, England).