"Leaving Terra Firma" by Stephen Peppos on iTunes

13 Songs

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Customer Reviews

From MainlyPiano


"Leaving Terra Firma" is the fifth full-length release from Stephen Peppos and his first in the ambient genre. MainlyPiano.com’s Michael Debbage has referred to Peppos as “the Indiana Jones of New Age Music” because of his adventurous nature, and that nickname still seems appropriate. Not that this album moves into dangerous territory, but it is a mix of dark ambient, space music, and electronica plus a few other genres that may not yet be named. One track features the ethereal vocals of Seay, an artist Peppos has collaborated with before. In the liner notes of the CD, Peppos says, “My heartfelt desire is that my music brings you enjoyment and contentment, as well as an insight into the joy that awaits us in our next place.” Trying to express in music the reality that our time on earth is short and creating a musical depiction of what awaits beyond this life seems daunting and overwhelming, but Peppos has done a beautiful job of doing just that. Listening to the album for only its musical qualities is also a very rewarding experience, so I would expect that Leaving Terra Firma could be one of the most talked-about albums of the year. Peppos composed the twelve main tracks as well as the bonus 13th track and also arranged, performed and produced all of the music. The album artwork by Stephen and Barbara Peppos is also exceptional!

Stephen Peppos is a well-seasoned musician who started playing the piano as a young child. In addition to his five albums, he has produced more than 2000 tracks for his original music libraries, composed national television jingles, and has been a sound designer for a wide variety of projects. His music has earned six Telly and Rim awards and his "Follow the Mist" album received the “Best Instrumental Album - Piano” award from Zone Music Reporter for 2008.

"Leaving Terra Firma" begins with the title track, a soothing, ambient piece with bits of a melody weaving in and out of the other sounds. “Magnetic Fields” is much darker and more atmospheric, creating feelings of floating into deep space. I really like the energy of “Vita Secundom Vita,” a rhythmic piece that seems to swirl and dance with complete freedom. “Everlast” is a beautiful, somewhat mournful piece with electronic strings floating over a bed of atmospheric effects. Even though it feels sad, there is comfort in the peacefulness and openness of the sounds. “Praesentia Animi” is one of two tracks that Peppos calls “Epic Ambient.” More orchestrated and melodic, these beautiful soundscapes easily transport the mind to places it has never been before. “Amor Dei” is the other “Epic Ambient” track and features what sounds like a cathedral choir, but is Seay’s voice in many layers - an amazing effect! “To See” is ethereal and seems imbued with hope and light. “Finalis” returns to deep space while retaining feelings of timelessness and peaceful comfort. The “hidden” bonus track, “Cold But Warm Peace,” is very light and airy, but still fits in with the rest of the album.

Stephen Peppos has created another work of art with "Leaving Terra Firma." Recommended!

Review from Journeyscapes Radio


Stephen Peppos is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose fifth album, Leaving Terra Firma, explores a variety of atmospheric sonic terrain. Comprised of thirteen compositions spanning seventy-two minutes, the compositions herein range from classic new age to cosmic space and electronic-ambient music, which are often imprinted with unique touches of eclecticism.

Washy synthesizers and muffled piano droplets open the subtly sweeping and melodic title track, “Leaving Terra Firma”, bearing all the classic hallmarks of cosmic new age music. The comparatively more ambient, “Magnetic Fields”, follows next with slowly metamorphosing chords and deeply immersive tones. Here, both electronic and organic textures create a slightly foreboding and cavernous soundscape full of vaporous swells and subterranean sounds, which impart an esoteric sense of mystery. “Vita Secundom Vita” ensues with a gentle pulse and harpsichord effect, which are soon followed by distant thundering percussion. One of my favorite pieces on the album, it possesses a distinctly medieval or renaissance flair that incorporates ambient-chamber musical elements, while imparting an earthy yet ethereal quality that seemingly eludes to a mysterious and fantastical voyage. Following up this number is “Everlast”, a celestial, classical-tinged composition that recalls the music of Aeoliah and Constance Demby. Bathed in an immersive glow of distant angelic choirs, streams of light seemingly slip in and out of this most heavenly, peaceful passage of gossamer tones and textures. Moving on to “Sea of Joy”, this especially gorgeous composition aptly conveys the watery depths of the ocean. Expansive washes of synths move along a gently rolling undercurrent, as radiant, shimmering tones seem to mimic the sun’s rays illuminating a beautiful undersea kingdom. Picking things up a few notches is the equally mesmerizing, “Transulence”, which possesses a more ambient-chill vibe. Guided by a light trance rhythm, this euphoric number imparts a feeling of flying high above the sea. The tenth track, “Amor Dei”, is an especially majestic sounding piece that features Seay on vocals, which are given a cosmically ethereal and processed effect. Comprised of synthesizers, strings and symphonic percussion, this piece recalls that of an epic fantasy movie depicting magical creatures in a land of enchantment. Closing out the album is a thirteenth bonus track that clocks in a just over two minutes. Aptly titled “Cold But Warm Peace”, its whimsical, crystalline soundscape seemingly paints a picture of an ice castle hidden among a snow forest.

A thoroughly rewarding album that bears subtle similarities throughout to the music of Aeoliah, Constance Demby and even Vangelis, Leaving Terra Firma is sure to appeal to a wide range of both classic new age and ambient-space music fans!

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