The Magnificent Void

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The Magnificent Void
The Magnificent Void.jpg
Studio album by Steve Roach
Released February 13, 1996 (U.S.)
February 22, 1996 (world)
Recorded at The Timeroom in Tucson, Arizona
Genre Ambient, dark ambient,[1] space[2]
Length 69:35
Label Hearts of Space/Fathom
Producer Steve Roach
Steve Roach chronology
Well of Souls
The Magnificent Void
Halcyon Days
Music sample
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Muze (positive)[4]
Tucson Citizen (favorable)[5]
Wired (positive)[6]

The Magnificent Void (1996) is an album by the U.S. ambient musician Steve Roach.


The backcover of The Magnificent Void quotes from transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof's 1992 book The Holotropic Mind: "One of the most enigmatic of all transpersonal phenomena is the experience of the Void [...] This absolute emptiness is simultaneously pregnant with all of existence since it contains everything in a potential form."[7]

The music on this album is dark, expansive, pure electronic textures, ending in an intense chord progression titled "Altus" (a Latin word meaning both "high" and "deep"[8]). Genre-wise, the album says "File under Ambient, Electronic"[7] and is tagged as "Electronic Space" by its record label,[2] but is also classified as dark ambient[1] by reviewers. The Steve Roach website files it in its custom category "Atmospheric Space",[9] but adds that "it has more in common with 20th century avant-garde than other genres."[8]

The Magnificent Void is one of many productions that Steve Roach has no memory of creating, because so many elements of each track were worked on over a period of years.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Between the Gray and the Purple" – 7:42
  2. "Void Memory One" – 2:53
  3. "Infinite Shore" – 7:47
  4. "Cloud of Unknowing" – 10:38
  5. "Void Memory Two" – 3:40
  6. "Void Memory Three" – 3:41
  7. "The Magnificent Void" – 13:13
  8. "Altus" – 20:01

All compositions by Steve Roach.[7]


  • Design: Stephen Hill, Jeff Taylor
  • Artist photo: Robin Stancliff


  1. ^ a b "Roach's dark ambient explorations come as a curious and vibrant wind" (Tucson Citizen review); "[Some] might label this venture 'dark ambient' [...]" (Muze review)
  2. ^ a b "Electronic Space" (Hearts of Space album page)
  3. ^ Allmusic ( review
  4. ^ Muze review
  5. ^ Tucson Citizen review
  6. ^ Wired review
  7. ^ a b c d e f See: Roach, "The Magnificent Void".
  8. ^ a b The Magnificent Void (
  9. ^ "Atmospheric Space — Soundworlds created for altering the perception of time and heightened sense of space." (
  10. ^ Ambient Visions interview with Steve Roach


External links[edit]