True to the concept of the album title, Phoenix Rising designed the music of Ascension specifically for relaxing, de-stressing, yoga and meditation; in fact, the concept occurred to Wendy one day when she was in the midst of her yoga class. Drawing on their dynamic synthesis of jazz, new age, classical and world influences, the collection’s seven compelling musical pieces equate to the seven parts of the human body where the major chakras (or centers of rising energy) are believed to exist. There is also literal “Ascension” as each new track is composed and performed in ascending key signatures.
Themes for the the tracks on "Ascension" were written by Wendy Loomis and the arrangements were by Phoenix Rising.
While the first project was more self-contained and featured piano and flute with minimal outside instrumentation, the new collection has a guest musical artist on six of the tracks—each of which represents an element of another chakra. The artists adding exotic world flavors to the mix are Jennifer Lim, who plays the guzheng (Chinese harp) on the hypnotic opening track “Seed”; Debra Podjed, who brings a deep sense of rhythm to “Creation” via her Indian tabla which seduces underneath the weavings of piano and flute in the melody; Jessica Styler, who helps the duo bring “Nourishment” to the stomach and soul with the Swiss Hang Drum; Suellen Primost, whose deep cello shadings add a film score lushness as they tap the “Heartstrings” at the center of the chakra flow; Russian vocalist Irina Mikhailova, whose haunting wordless vocals on “Unspoken” touch the throat chakra in a minor key with a cold, wintry feeling.
The final two tracks are the jazzy and slightly more upbeat “Insight,” featuring the crisp acoustic guitar harmonies of Karen Segal, and the title track, which wraps the set with an ultimately joyful, minor to major chord movement that leaves the listener feeling enlightened and hopeful.