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THE VAST EXPANSE, Sverre Knut Johansen’s third release on the Spotted Peccary Music label, offers a fantastic sci-fi themed electro-symphonic trek through the human awareness and contemplation of the Universe and its origin. Joined by acclaimed ambient guitarist David Helpling, Johansen shapes intriguing musical meditations, delicately crafting organic and synthetic environments that effortlessly underscore the grandeur of the album’s magnificent theme.
Driven by compelling rhythmic elements, the music is always in motion as orchestrated arpeggios and pulsing bass lines wind their way through rich atmospherics and heavenly dreamscapes. Johansen’s soaring melodies and detailed sequences, supported by Helpling’s spacial guitar textures and deep layered atmospheres, evoke finely tuned soundspaces filled with mystery and awe.
Inspired by the theory of the Big Bang and the writings of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Johansen crafted the album’s theme around the mysteries and theories surrounding the very beginning of the Universe, and humankind’s place in the vast expanse. Johansen explains, “All of us eventually ask ourselves ‘Where did we come from?’, ‘How did we come to exist?’ We know everything is in motion and expanding outward from a single point. This album is about that journey inside our mind trying to connect us all together with the Universe, a reflection upon the creation and how it all started.”
Track titles like “Origins of the Universe”, “Space and Time”, “DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)”, “Perfect Creation”, and “Abiogenesis” highlight Johansen’s thematic focus, while the music, filled with wonder, drama, and determination, accentuates the human search for cosmic meaning on this memorable musical exploration through the limitless themes of origin, expansion, and creation.