The new Yes album and the concept of “Heaven and Earth”

Steve Howe’s reflections on the concept of “Heaven and Earth” are highlighted over at the new web site (which management seems to have set up in response to the unauthorized audio excerpts):

I don’t know whether it’s a concept record in the true sense, but basically Roger Dean and I were talking about different things and sometimes it helps to get Roger fired up about ideas that we can draw from. In a way, the parallel of saying ‘Heaven And Earth’ is the same as saying good and bad, yin and yang, up and down, left and right. They’re two extremes, but I think the way Roger and I liked it was that in fact the Earth is a physical place where you can measure stuff and you can do quantum physics.

You can look at tiny things or you can see the world as a very big thing in an even bigger universe. It’s all about the physical. But Heaven is an unknown place of no particular destination as far as anybody knows. And yet it doesn’t matter whether you’re totally tied up in a religious belief or whether you’re spiritual in a way that doesn’t require religious commitment — it just requires awareness to the fact that there’s obviously something out there that we don’t know about.

In fact, there’s most probably 99% of everything about the universe we don’t understand and that isn’t only in the physical. It’s also in the effects of what is spiritual or what is ethereal. What is heaven and is there life after death?

You know, all of those questions that just have no bloody answer! [Laughs] That keeps us guessing and I think that’s why I approved the title ‘Heaven And Earth’ because basically it sums up the dualistic quality of the known and the unknown and the more you look at the known the more you see that there’s even more unknown than you knew before.

 

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