Touch the Sun
Light Waves Transposed into Music The final installment of Eric McCarl's Trilogy of Light is finally a reality. The CD is called Touch the Sun and now it all makes sense. In his exquisitely pensive solo piano pieces we find the much sought after third point on an equilateral triangle. There is symmetry, balance and most of all, completion. For McCarl and his listeners it has been a circuitous journey. We have learned much along the way, but we are not yet finished. But that is what real life is all about. So now we join the pianist/composer as he musically makes his way home. However, also as in real life, one trip leads to another. The first cut on the album is Journey's End. It announces that finally a goal has been reached, a destination found and a time for resting and reflection. But there is much to be done before we can begin the third leg of our journey, the return home. McCarl's medium upbeat tune is one of simple triumph, but a cautious one. The melody of Touch the Sun, the title track is almost hesitant. It is as if we are testing ourselves. Unsure, confused, and weary we make our way to the destination and we persevere. It is no easy task, but as in McCarl's previous works we have discovered that there is an inner strength in all of us that when called upon is ever present and inexorable. 1000 Angels is a reflective tune. A simple melody made up of sparse notes that tell a magnificent story. Gently spiraling, the tune is moderately soft and free and acts as a fulcrum under the somber bass notes. Looking deep in someone's eyes, it is the vision inside a mirror of the soul that reveals the true nature of the not only the subject, but also the beholder. Some mirrors work both ways. My Father is one of my favorite tunes on Touch the Sun. It is Eric's honor to his father. A man who, many years ago, left home as a boy, went to war and returned as a man with an incredible sense of duty surpassed only by his strength of spirit. It is a lasting trait that endures in McCarl and in his family. The sacrifices and strengths of our parents must be respected and cherished cries the music. The song is almost like a round as it keeps repeating the main tune, but like hearing his old stories, you never get tired of it. Coincidence is a funny thing. Like when I was driving home westbound on I-40 West. A massive cold front had moved in and off in the gloomy distance the clouds were thick as gray cotton. The rain began pelting the truck and the music suddenly caught my attention. I dug the CD box from between the seats and learned that the track was called Wild West Rain. It was light, almost breezy and very calming. The song is about burdens. Burdens in every day life that once attached can drag you down in several dimensions. Sometimes the burden is our lack of understanding or perhaps our failure to forgive. Fortunately, most burdens can be shucked and replaced with a new and different strength. Musically, this is McCarl's solution for lifting a great weight. It is funny how memory plays a big part in our lives. It influences us in our daily lives, our nightly prayers and our deepest dreams. Lost Again, an elegant tune, is one of McCarl's oldest contributions to the Trilogy. It was quietly locked away on brown shiny magnetic tape for some time and only now rediscovered. It is made up of salty memories, cold concrete and dusty places. It is the sound of trial and error and brave assertions. It probably sounds much different in the light of present day. Window Sill is the completion. It is a well-deserved rest for a weary composer who has turned out 45 songs that never fail to enthrall and inspire. It is the culmination of over twenty years of dreaming and hard work. It is a witness to a spirit that may have stumbled a time or two, but never faltered when it is called upon to do the impossible. McCarl's first album, Seeking the Light is about passion. His second, Atlantis Lost is about inner strength. Touch the Sun is about courage and spirit. We find that our spirit is brighter than the sun and invulnerable to the light, heat and negative energy. We know we can complete the journey, touch the sun and return better than when we began. Rating: Excellent - Excellent -reviewed by RJ Lannan for the New Age Reoprter on 4/30/2005.