1. Icon [9:25] MP3 soundclip of Icon [3:00]
  2. Shining [11:11] MP3 soundclip of Shining [3:00]
  3. The sacred ordinary [9:33]
  4. Blue heron [4:47] MP3 soundclip of Blue heron [3:00]
  5. The still center of a turning world [7:25]
  6. Presence [5:11]
  7. Cascade [9:18]
  8. After all [3:12]
  9. Turning towards the sun [6:06]
  10. Slowly beating wings [6:50]
All music by Paul Ellis except Rudy Adrian on additional keys cuts 1,2,3 & 7
Steve Roach weaved his post production artistry into the album.

2004. Press information The album starts with "Icon" which features multiple sequences that make up a mesmerizing and intricate tapestry of sounds. The track reminds me a bit on Steve Roach's and Robert Rich's rhythmic, sequencer works. This is Berlin School, but done in a special way. Very enjoyable, the track just flows effortlessly in a relaxed, even a bit detached mood. Those flute sounds really add their own special touch to the proceedings. On this, and the next two tracks Rudy Adrian assists with additional keyboards. "Shining" has just one thing about it - it's intense! And when I say intense I mean it. There are so many sequences in it that I can't even think about trying to count them... It's the longest cut on the album that will make any fan of sequencer music drool. Nice atmospheres as well. Paul's music sounds improvised for the most part. There are some subtle melodies but it's not something you can hum to. Actually I think this music is all about so u nds and atmosphere. The title track must be one of the most beautiful and mysterious ambient pieces I've heard in a while - totally rhythmless, and very deep. There is a moment where a sound is pitch-bended in a way that pleasantly recalls the sounds that Robert Rich used to coax out of his lap steel guitar. It's really useless to try to describe with words the next track, called "Blue Heron". Let's just say that it's got an intricate structure that's based almost exclusively on sequential elements. "The Still Center of A Turning World" has more recognizable Berlin School elements such as the solos and some more typically German-sounding sequences. "Presence" features fat upbeat sequencing and has an oriental (Middle Eastern) feel to it. I must say that the range of sounds and influences on this album is huge. Rudy Adrian appears once again on "Cascade", providing some overtone chanting (heard at the beginning of the track) and additional keys. It's another sequencer track. Rudy's trademark sounds can be spotted within the sequences. Great melodic solos on this one! "After All" calms things down for a 3-minute ambient interlude. It's got excellent sounds and programming - very subtle and effective! "Turning Towards the Sun" takes it's cue from an extremely effective slow sequencing. This is simply perfect stuff - very cosmic! "Slowly Beating Wings" is the most beautiful track - symphonic and majestic, with great mellotron strings and flute sounds. It's so strong, this track is sheer genius! It's evocative and bitter-sweet, simply epic-sounding stuff. I can't recommend this album enough. Also of note is the beautiful artwork created by an Argentinean artist Pablo Magne.

2018. Artemi Pugachov / Russia On Sacred Ordinary Pauls artistry of creating a palette of rich emotional sounds sets a foundation from which he weaves a series of electronic web like pieces with a keen sense of melodic invention and dimensional symmetry. There is an hint of nostalgia in these tracks as well if one has been privy to the classic melodic sequencer style electronic music periods over the past few decades. This brings another kind of depth to the experience while at the same time this music is really about the here and now as it unfolds with a kind a graceful patience and awareness to detail that keeps pulling you in deeper with each play.

2003. Steve Roach 'The Sacred Ordinary' continues Paul Ellis' quest of fusing rhythm and melody into one unique and personal voice. The end result is one of the most listenable and interesting electronic recordings of the past decade.

2003. Jeff Pearce / To the Shores of Heaven, Bleed Nothing Ordinary about this one...Sounds like a classic album that has somehow slipped through the net. It has a timeless quality to it that I hear very, very rarely these days. a kind of mellow sadness pervades some of the tracks but it nevertheless leaves you feeling good.
Genuinely uplifting... It draws you in with its simple surface appearance that belies the subtly complex undercurrent.
A real human feeling soaks through this album.

2003. Paul Nagle / Sound on Sound The Sacred Ordinary really expresses musical freedom to me and it's a sensual delight of timbres, rhythms and melodies. I'm in awe at all the music you soulfully create with electronic means and make it sound so natural.

2003. Jim Cole / Godspace, The Way Beyond Paul Ellis' latest solo work is worth getting (for electronic music fans, at least) just for the opening track, "Icon", alone as it unfolds during its nine-plus minutes as a hauntingly beautiful slowly evolving composition, suffused with a combination of Berlin school sequencing and floating ambient textures, fine-tuned with an almost neo-classical elegance, thanks to the presence of a flute solo to die for! This is one of the best tracks released on any album this year and is probably the finest work Ellis has ever done (and he'll be hard-pressed to top it, as well). The juxtaposition of multiple layers of sequenced pulses and notes pulsating underneath the lilting flute and amidst sparkling sun showers of synth notes is gorgeous.
However, the Portland area keyboard artist is no one trick pony, as other tracks reveal his unique infusion of influences from Larry Fast (Synergy), Jarre, and lesser known EM pioneers like Patrick Gleeson and even new age guru Ray Lynch into his own brand of retro-futurism.
The Sacred Ordinary is a work of both intelligence and passion, mixing accessible and melodic elements, often suffused with emotion and drama, with more cerebral soundscape elements and cyber-futurism. The title song displays Ellis' adeptness at crafting fluid ambient electronic tone poems, undulating with the occasional brief light from a shimmering bell tone or Vangelis-like horn sound.
"Blue Heron" pulses with beats, semi-jazzy vibes, and a myriad of synthesized musical flourishes, some decidedly retro in characteristic and others more a hybrid of the new and the old, gradually building in intensity throughout its five minute length.
"The Still Center of a Turning World" is one of my favorites, as its celebratory synths, echoing both Synergy's zipping and zapping and Ray Lynch's strong sense of classical melodicism, whirl around some celestial dance floor, waltzing and rejoicing in their own post-modernism. There is a true sense of joy within this song (I especially smile at the sounds which remind me of some sound effects I heard in the film Logan's Run, and astute listeners will know just what I referencing when they hear them).
Whether he is embracing the Germanic sequencer-fueled speed and energy of "Presence", melding retro spacy keyboards, overtone chants (courtesy of Rudy Adrian, who also contributed some keyboards here and there on the album) and ambient beats on "Cascade", (sounding a bit like Todd Fletcher on this track), or crafting the somber electronic neo-classical adagios of "Slowly Beating Wings", Ellis balances the intellectual with the aesthetic in a way that showcases both brains and heart.

The Sacred Ordinary earns high marks as a musical venture which pays homage to the past even while gliding into the future. Highly recommended.

2004. Bill Binkelman / Wind & Wire This CD has a sort of "sacred spacemusic quality" to it. The melodies have a mysterious spiritual energy that exudes positive vibrations to my ears with each listen. From the first track (which reminds me of explorers stumbling on an ancient supernatural worshipping site), to the last track leaving the Mother Earth to the beyond, Paul Ellis has created another hypnotic electronic spacemusic adventure that should delight anybody who likes their sonic atmospheres served with beautiful and emotional melodies with a dash of complex and calming sequences.

2004. Craig Padilla / USA Synthesist Paul Ellis has come to prominence lately with a string of impressive and acclaimed Berlin School sequencer albums... Somewhere at the intersection of ambient synthscapes and entrancing sequences lies The Sacred Ordinary, Ellis's latest record... This is dramatic electronic music, well paced and with ever-changing sequences that feel like gentle showers brushing over the listener's body. Ellis is careful to intersperse the track with many random tones and sounds to keep the listener actively involved--it's a strength that prevents the sequencing from getting too repetitive... the sequences and synthwork here are top notch--sure to please any fan of modern synthesis... a very entertaining and diverse work that often manages to transcend the boundaries of its genre as it attempts to reach ever higher into the stratosphere.

2004. Brian Bieniowski / The Ambient Review I listen to electronic music since 30 years and this one is one of my favourites,simply a class act. Music for in your dreams.

2004. George Paul Ellis' music is like a mixture of the old Berlin School influences & the melodic/ambient American EM of the 1990s (think Brain Laughter et al). The result is a modern day version of so-called 'Picture Music' &that has an otherworldly quality.

2004. Carl Jenkinson / UK Every now and then, an album comes out that really does something to me... there is an electronic music album that has caught my immediate attention, "The Sacred Ordinary" by Paul Ellis. This American is of the most highly acclaimed musicians in electronic music. His work with the band Dweller At The Threshold as well as his solo albums are considered to be highlights in the retro-style. His music doesn't follow the "standard" sequencer/Mellotron work that usually can be heard in this style but has also touches of ambient and is a little experimental.

On "The Sacred Ordinary", the ambient element is provided by Rudy Adrian who contributed on synths and with overtone chanting on 4 tracks. Next to this, Steve Roach helped with the post production. So, an all-star team. This can already be heard on the fabulous opening track Icon. Peter Gabriel "San Jacinto"-like sequences create a wonderful atmosphere, to be heard over and over again. Next to the excellent sequences, brilliant soundscapes play an important part on "The Sacred Ordinary". The title track is a great example of this. Like being in heaven.
On some moments, Paul follows the more melodically side of retro as he does in "The Still Center Of A Turning World".
Adrians overtone chanting can be heard in "Cascade" in which the sequences have his signature.
In "Turning Towards The Sun" Ellis proves that simplistic things can be really beautiful because this track is built op from a single sequence.
The dreamy "Slowly Beating Wings" concludes this great album.

If there is an album that combines retro and ambient the best, then "The Sacred Ordinary" must be that album.

2004. Paul Rijkens "The Sacred Ordinary" might be the strongest Berlin school CD of the new millennium and it is certainly one of the best of that style - EVER! The compositions have depth, soul, class and integrity. Paul's virtuosity on all boards key, mixing and engineering is at its peak! This is a great CD, high on the list of 2003's best!

2004. Jim Brenholts An excellent sample of Paul Ellis's talent as a composer of a Space orientation. In this well cared for album, he takes a route through unusual life experiences, places and characters, which are described with an impressive sharpness in the music.
Thus, we find rhythmic passages which are truly powerful, dominated by overlapping layers of accelerated sequencers. And with slow pieces, rich in well-defined melodies, which range with an exquisite uncertainty between the beautiful and the enigmatic.
Also remarkable is the collaboration of Rudy Adrian, the keyboard magician from New Zealand, already well-known for his impressive albums of Space Music.
Famous synthesist Steve Roach, on the other hand, collaborated in the post-production phase.

2004. Edgar Kogler / Amazing Sounds This release from 2004 offers 73 minutes of engaging electronic music.
Joining Ellis on several tracks is Rudy Adrian, with Steve Roach lending post production artistry to the entire album.

Nimble fingers stimulate keyboards to release sprightly tones into the air. The atmosphere swiftly fills with these weaving textures. Crystalline riffs cavort in tandem with each other, looping to generate a twinkling panorama that evolves with each subsequent cycle. Gradually, grittier sounds enter the mix, their gravelish presence lending the melody an earthier demeanor. The dominant aspect is grandeur, however. Chords that inspire inhalation without exhalation. Riffs that fill the soul with expectancy. Complex interplays that quicken the pulse and flush the face with rapture.Sedate sequences invariably lead to feverish passages that seethe with vigor and dazzle. Chords fly with passionate delivery, sweeping everything into an urgency that exudes importance. The tuneage radiates a dynamic drama, rising from passive intros and fading into vaporous closings.
Ellis has a way of organizing these euphonies to achieve spectacular histrionics that remain in the listener's mind long after the CD has finished playing. His compositions evoke a lasting impression.
This union of land and sky is a subtle undercurrent, though, for Ellis' focus in this music is heavenly elevation. Humanity's relationship with celestial divinity is not the topic here; the real spotlight is on great power as it exists apart from mankind.

Viewing such majesty becomes a spectator experience, as the listener becomes immersed in observing the presence of divinity in everything around us.

2004. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity Paul Ellis has truly struck a chord with Sacred Ordinary! This CD contains some of the best music on the planet - maybe even the solar system! Wow - what a remarkable collection of material - all on one CD.
I cannot help to be enthusiastic about Sacred Ordinary, or any of Paul Ellis's works. Sacred Ordinary is a work that allows the listener to go beyond their dreams and escape into their own world. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction that this CD is among my most treasured in my collection. From the very first time I heard this music I was hooked. You cannot help to be taken by the melodic interludes, or drift away in the sea of undercurrents. I use this music for stargazing and for my home office, and I must say that Paul Ellis is a true blessing and his music has blessed my life in a very real and positive way.

2004. Alan Atwood / USA There are many talented artists in EM, whose paintings are magnificent, but in the Sacred Ordinary, Paul Ellis has created a sonic Sistine Chapel - and I took up flight and was carried away to higher climes.
If electronic musicians of the future will see farther, they will have done so by standing on the touchstone of the Sacred Ordinary, which is a paradigm event unfolding - a new reference point. The music is close to being divine aural inspiration, floating & travelling without movement, because your already there. Not bound to anything known, it is free to go where no others have been.
If the EM world were ancient Egypt, then Sacred Ordinary is the rising Sirius - a chalice of colored flames, a flowering shoot of sound, a realm of possibilities about to go supernova. Paul plays and the cosmic keys are at his fingertips. He reveals and I am in awe!
Sacred Ordinary is the Force, you can feel it in a moment of timelessness, experienced like a Baroque work of art. A fusion of romance with science, brilliant passion and splendor. Through the music, other places you will see - spacetime ,long ago and far away , celestial seas and the future, a splinter of light in the minds eye.
There is a Round Table of electronic music icons, and if you happen to see an empty seat, that is the Siege Perilous and it is reserved for Paul Ellis. If you seek the Grail, there is a name written upon it and it is called 'the Sacred Ordinary'.

2004. Christopher Chamberlain / USA Paul Ellis is one of the few EM artists today who is working hard to combine the well-used Berlin School influences with a more atmospheric, cosmic approach that, unusually for modern EM, has a very characteristic feel. This has been evident on all his releases to date & carries on with this latest one where his knack for combining spacey atmospheric textures in the best tradition of the American artists of the 80s & often otherworldly melodic textures (like providing a soundtrack to a most fantastic dream, in my opinion) means that he stands apart from most of the current EM crop.

Rudy Adrian also pops up on this latest release, contributing 'additional keys & overtone chanting' to quote the sleeve notes, including the opener "Icon" apparently, although his contribution is difficult to detect on this generally restful & restrained opener as it is on the serene cosmic title track which is one of those numbers best appreciated late at night with the lights out & with a duration of over 9 minutes there's plenty of time for it to really work it's magic.
In between we have "Shining" which builds from it's atmospheric openings, via a simple step sequence & foreboding melodic accompaniment into a pacey action-packed number, somewhat reminiscent of the b-side of "Stratosfear" although the overall tense feel remains throughout & indeed makes a return on "Blue Heron" where some complicated sequencer work acts as the focal point around which various melodic touches take their cue & again during "Presence" where the morphing sequencer effects, offbeat leads & infectious melodics show the same sense of adventure that has characterized many of Dweller At The Threshold's best works.
The album's stand-out track is, for me "Still Centre Of A Turning World" where the amazing sequencing will leave you wide-eyed as it takes you on a journey full of new sights & sounds you could only imagine in your wildest dreams. This is a more obviously American approach to EM (reminding me slightly of the band Brain Laughter) & shows Ellis playing to his strengths & when the end product is such high calibre music you can only applaud.
"Cascade" is a more reflective piece where the fluid sequencing works in unison with the atmospheric chords & lead lines that make their mark later to set the mood, thereby proving an integral part of the compositional process rather than just rattling along underneath for about half an hour.
The isolated but emotionally effective opening chords of "After All" act almost like beacons illuminating the darkness & this intensely beautiful piece is another reminder of Ellis' musical skill, really playing on the heartstrings through some effective electronic piano work while the sound of rain, simple though it is, is a stroke of absolute genius-if you've ever known any kind of heartache then this track will speak volumes to you.
This rain continues on into "Turning Towards The Sun" before the closing "Slowly Beating Wings" once again brings your dreams to life with brilliantly-executed ethereal strings.
Some of the darker moments bring some of Steve Hillman's quieter cassette works to mind although the remainder of the piece is beautiful enough to engage the emotions once again but strange enough not to sound too twee, proof positive that Ellis knows what it takes to make the best EM while the final Mellotron-like flourish cannot fail to hit the spot every time before the piece slowly fades into nothingness.

Some might feel I've gone a little overboard with the praise but I can honestly say it's been a long time since I've heard an EM album that so totally engages the heart & mind as Ellis' skill for matching the melodic with the ethereal & the offbeat is unmatched by virtually any musician I can think of.
This artistry is put to excellent use time & again here which makes this album little short of a masterpiece.

2004. Carl Jenkinson I like this CD better now and will play it on my show. I put it aside before, perhaps thinking I might play it later, without listening carefully enough. I thought it was kinda thin and trite at first. Well, I made a mistake. At least I admit it when I do, unlike some people.
I think the CD does have a few overly-repetitive parts, but mostly it is imaginative, sensitive and gentle. It is in a neo-TD style of course, but has a lot of variety.
I do recommend it.

2004. E. Alan Meece / Mystic Music The Sacred Ordinary is rightly called a solo effort because Paul Ellis musical stamp is all over it. But Ellis joins forces (again) with Rudy Adrian on four of the tracks, and the disc had "post production artistry" by Steve Roach.
A successful result is therefore not at all surprising.

"Icon" is a beauty, with a gem of a gossamer sequence. Flutes and other nice touches hang just so.
"Shining" starts with a growling drone that restlessly swirls, as eventually some bass notes flit about. Then, a couple sequences layer over the top of each other, really driving this one home.
Next comes the title track, light and airy, beautiful stuff.
"Blue Heron" is a low-key builder, starting with a dancing bass line then adding various electronic sounds, some coming and going briefly, others staying and adding to the atmosphere.
"Cascade" is another winner, with vintage lead lines and more luscious sequencing.
The subdued "After All" is very nice, sparse yet tight as piano and soft synths meld harmoniously.
"Turning Towards The Sun" keeps the mellow mood established by "After All", which continues through to the lovely mellotron flutes and synth strings of "Slowly Beating Wings", ending the disc in dreamy fashion.

2004. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space Paul Ellis is one of the few EM artists today who is working hard to combine the well-used Berlin School influences with a more atmopsheric, cosmic approach that, unusually for modern EM, has a very characteristic feel.
This has been evident on all his releases to date & carries on with this latest one where his knack for combining spacey atmospheric textures in the best tradition of the American artists of the 80s & often otherworldly melodic textures (like providing a soundtrack to a most fantastic dream, in my opinion) means that he stands apart from most of the current EM crop.

Rudy Adrian also pops up on this latest release, contributing 'additional keys & overtone chanting' to quote the sleevenotes, including the opener "Icon" apparently, although his contribution is difficult to detect on this generally restful & restrained opener as it is on the serene cosmic title track which is one of those numbers best appreciated late at night with the lights out & with a duration of over 9 minutes there's plenty of time for it to really work it's magic.
In between we have "Shining" which builds from it's atmospheric openings, via a simple step sequence & foreboding melodic accompaniment into a pacey action-packed number, somewhat reminiscent of the b-side of "Stratosfear" although the overall tense feel remains throughout & indeed makes a return on "Blue Heron" where some complicated sequencer work acts as the focal point around which various melodic touches take their cue & again during "Presence" where the morphing sequencer effects, offbeat leads & infectious melodics show the same sense of adventure that has characterised many of his former band Dweller At The Threshold's best works.
The album's stand-out track is, for me "Still Centre Of A Turning World" where the amazing sequencing will leave you wide-eyed as it takes you on a journey full of new sights & sounds you could only imagine in your wildest dreams. This is a more obviously American approach to EM (reminding me slightly of the band Brain Laughter) & shows Ellis playing to his strengths & when the end product is such high calibre music you can only applaud.
"Cascade" is a more reflective piece where the fluid sequencing works in unison with the atmospheric chords & leadlines that make their mark later to set the mood, thereby proving an integral part of the compositional process rather than just rattling along underneath for about half an hour.
The isolated but emotionally effective opening chords of "After All" act almost like beacons illuminating the darkness & this intensely beautiful piece is another reminder of Ellis' musical skill, really playing on the heartstrings through some effective electronic piano work while the sound of rain, simple though it is, is a stroke of absolute genius-if you've ever known any kind of heartache then this track will speak volumes to you.
This rain continues on into "Turning Towards The Sun" before the closing "Slowly Beating Wings" once again brings your dreams to life with brilliantly-executed ethereal strings. Some of the darker moments bring some of Steve Hillman's quieter cassette works to mind although the remainder of the piece is beautiful enough to engage the emotions once again but strange enough not to sound too twee, proof positive that Ellis knows what it takes to make the best EM while the final Mellotron-like flourish cannot fail to hit the spot before the piece slowly fades into nothingness.

Some might feel I've gone a little overboard with the praise but I can honestly say it's been a long time since I've heard an EM album that so totally engages the heart & mind as Ellis' skill for matching the melodic with the ethereal & the offbeat is unmatched by virtually any musician I can think of. This artistry is put to excellent use time & again here which makes this album little short of a masterpiece.

Mick Garlick Having experienced the genius of Into the Liquid Unknown I didn't know where Paul would go from there. But when I heard his 2004 album, The Sacred Ordinary released by Groove I soon found out. Well I thought the last one was brilliant, and then this. I listened to it with headphones the first time I played it, and boy, am i glad I did.
From the beautiful opening track Icon through the next amazing sequencer track Shining which has to be heard to be believed and totally blew me away (there's another equally brilliant one later), through to the sublime and divine final track, Slowly Beating Wings this album is a pure joy to behold.
I hold this album up as probably the Holy Grail of EM.
It is pure unadulterated magnificence and genius from start to finish, and Paul's best work that i have so far heard. The production on it is also magnificent. Can he do better than this? Who knows where Paul is concerned. I wouldn't bet against him.

2006. Roy Jackson