One of the Pacific Northwest’s hidden societies, GEIST & THE SACRED ENSEMBLE forges a doom-inflected folk ritualism; dirges tinged with Eastern psychedelia and meandering meditative trances. For the last several years, the group has shown the Washington state underground a clear vision for their sound and lyrics – creating an otherworldly space for the listener, placing them into a trance, then building up the excitement. The overarching theme of their lyrical work is that of an idealist, a yearning for an end to the modern human condition, for destruction of the constructs and constraints of oppression.
Geist & TSE has shared the stage with acts as diverse as Oranssi Pazuzu, Insect Ark, Soriah, Six Organs of Admittance, Pedestrian Deposit, Yonatan Gat, Father Murphy, and Jackie-O-Motherfucker, and have appeared at Thirst For Light, Northwest Psych Fest, Missoula Psych Fest, PNW Folklife, Magma Fest, Dismal Fest and Escalator Fest. With tours from Maine to Virginia and California to Montana, their live shows are hypnotic and emotionally-charged, often taking place at unique locations like a metal forge & foundry, forests and meadows, old schools, churches & more. At their greatest, Geist & the Sacred Ensemble’s tunes exist as an ever-changing pilgrimage; transforming their abstract drifts into apocalyptic folk hymns or private confessionals.
Geist started in late 2005 after Michael Sauder left Geist Road in Lancaster, Pa and hitched-hiked around the country with a childhood friend. Inspired from that trip and experiences of growing up as a gravedigger from a Christian household led to the original themes of this project. In 2007 percussionist Samuel Joseph came in to offer his rhythmic wizardry thus becoming Geist & Samuel Joseph. By 2008 they self released their self-titled ep 'Geist & Samuel Joseph'. The following year they started to have a rotating cast of musicians and Geist & the Sacred Ensemble was born. The current version of the band with M.Sauder, S. Yoder, C. Segawa and C. Howe have been together since 2011.