INTERVIEW WITH JONATHAN MILLER
How would you compare your latest album, Sanctum Sanctuorum, to your earlier material, both from a compositional and technological standpoint?
An interesting item about Sanctum Sanctuorum is that it was released right around the same time as the 911 event in NYC. Listeners wrote back to tell us it was exactly what they needed and wanted to hear at a time of such shock and trauma. Interesting that the music had originally made its appearance years before as Faces of the Christ in California, then came to it's ultimate expression years later in Spain, and finally appeared as the perfect tone at the perfect time of 911.
Sanctum Sanctuorum was built upon an album entitled "Faces of the Christ" a score from the video of the same name. First Light Music licensed it in 2000, then I moved to Spain, and they called me from the US to say there was a problem with the master, and could I remix it? As this process got started with the remix, one thing led to another, and then this huge magnificent beam of powerful energy came pouring in, and just knocked me over! The whole thing opened up wide and glorious, and I was overtaken. I was in a four story hacienda at the time, and it was as if the whole roof lifted off the top of the house as this energy came pouring in.
With Sanctum coming forth out of Faces, it was an unusual experience for me as a composer to be writing new music on top of a previously composed piece, as I've never done anything like that. Compositionally, even the framework was already built in Faces, when Sanctum grew out of it, it became a sublime Sanctuary of Peace.
Speaking of peace; the whole time I was composing Sanctum, the workers were downstairs installing the heating system in the house, using drills with huge drill bits that created irritating loud unnerving sounds that made the whole house vibrate. As long as I was totally immersed in the composing process, I never heard the racket. But as soon as I would come out of that space, and come downstairs for lunch, I would announce, "these are the most impossible, totally unacceptable conditions for any composer to work under!" Then I'd go back upstairs and as soon as I started, I wouldn't even hear the drilling sounds.
Technologically, we had the challenge of half the crew, the composer and the engineer on one side of the world in Spain, and the record label and the mastering engineer on the other side of the world. We all had different speakers and systems, different bass responses, and had to FedEx the master recording back and forth over and over to finally get it right for all our respective ears.
The spiritual energy in this album somehow enfolds you in a Sanctuary with a sense of peace throughout it that I have not heard in any other music that has ever come through me. Many of us, myself included, listened to nothing else for a very long time, playing it over and over....