The name “Ad Astra” is inspired by a quote taken from Launch Complex 34 at the Kennedy Space Center. LC34 is where the Apollo 1 astronauts died during a mission test. A memorial plaque there that reads: “In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars, Ad astra per aspera, (a rough road leads to the stars) God speed to the crew of Apollo 1.” It is our hope and desire that our music can help others reach Heaven.
DOUG BOWERS has an expressive, energetic singing style and has been compared to Echolyn’s Ray Weston. Doug has been playing music professionally for over 40 years. Primarily a keyboardist, Doug also provides guitar and bass for recordings. His writing leans toward the harder edge progressive of rock. Straight forward, clear lyrics hallmark Doug’s Christian worldview. Doug’s 2000 release "Autobiograph", spurred the trio to record
CHRISTOPHER FLYNN is the deep thinker of the band. Providing the more abstract, yet focused lyrics, Chris’ contributions never lose sight of bringing the believer closer to Christ. Chris is the primary guitarist for Ad Astra with a special fondness for the acoustic and electric 12 string. His fluid bass playing lays the foundation for many of the band’s songs. He has been playing and writing for over 30 years. Chris has helped many Christian singer / songwriters take their first steps.
Surface of Last Scattering - The title track for the project is an effort to see the surface and the beyond to the truth behind the first glance. This piece combines physics, meteorology and church liturgy to find out where we finally join together as a single entity in creation.
Lament - Asks the question “How Long?”, yet doesn't leave the listener without hope.
Cradle to Grave to Life - Is a triptych, a three part tour de force. From grief to recognition to renewal this tune takes you through the process of redemption.
A Gift of Peace - Doug's instrumental that beautifully that transitions into the depths of Pathways.
Pathways - Originally written as an expression of grief over the loss of our fathers. Pathways tells the story coming to terms with loss. The Reverend John Shoaf provided the music and melody to the lyrics while Doug provided the definitive progressive rock statement of the song.
DISCOGRAPHY
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The songs on “Beyond Our Bounds” form a portrait of the growth of an individual’s soul. Beginning with the first flush of new life, the album moves through the seasons and challenges facing the maturing Christian throughout his or her spiritual walk.
The first song on the CD “Liberty”, celebrates the contrast between the old and new man, and the liberation that comes with salvation. “Beyond our Bounds” articulates the musings of a new Christian, struggling to integrate hard questions with Biblical truth. “Fallen World” evokes the times when inexplicable and tragic events seem to shake our faith to the core: “Sometimes all we can do - is believe”. “Spirit Wars” examines the reality of spiritual conflicts, the kind that occur as a believer enters fully into community, and wrestles with the truth that the Church is made up of sinful human beings. “Severe Mercy” points to the fact that only God’s mercy, and not our own efforts, can see us through on the spiritual journey. The acoustic “Ed Spence” paints an audio portrait of a soul caught up in the deepening grace of prayer, and “All God Does” speaks to the maturing realization that as Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” And finally, “Angle of Repose” is a bold declaration of the individual’s unique identity in Christ, despite the expectations of those around them. Taken together, the songs proclaim that, in Christ, we can move beyond that which “ties us down to who we are”. We can indeed fulfill our God-given destinies by traveling “Beyond Our Bounds”.
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Notable Ad Astra contributing musicians include Henry Jablonski (bass), Steve Spayde (guitar), Chuck Tidwell (guitar), Dave Hope (bass), Jeremy Ribando (vocals) and former member Mitch Rall (drums),