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Crystal

Maggi Payne

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Album Review

These seven beautiful and well-crafted electronic music compositions suggest vast internal and universal dimensions. Events within the interior of a humble flute become a gigantic sonic landscape in the stunning "Scirocco" (1983) for flute and tape. Taped flute sounds — whistles, tones, multiphonics, humming, and so on — are processed through a digital delay and layered in up to 32 tracks to create dense and massive structures. A low motoring sound is suddenly swept into an angelic siren. Electronic vocals, like an ululating chorus, are underscored with a low wind resonance. A slow crescendo of low winds sweeps from side to side as high sustained sounds sail above, seeming to morph into a gigantic buzzing string, and then high crystalline clusters. More than once, everything is swept aside into silence. Extremely soft winds gradually build into an overwhelming air storm and the piece concludes. "Crystal" (1982), an elegantly beautiful and sensitive study in electronic timbres created on a Moog synthesizer with multi-track recording, opens on a thin, icy surface of emerging tones with gentle wind and chant-like sounds resonating in the background. Winds begin to build and sweep in a massive crescendo of overlapping waves. A slow organ-like sustained texture — a positive light appearing after the ice and wind — soon spreads across the surface, concluding the work. After this music was completed, Payne created a video to accompany the tape, with prismatic, colorful crystals seen forming in real time as if magnified by a microscope. Other compositions on this CD are "Subterranean Network," "White Night," and "Solar Wind" (based on shockwave interactions of Saturn and Venus with the solar wind). ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi

Biography

Born: 23 December 1945 in Temple, TX

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Studied at Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Mills College. Several grants and awards. Music for two of dancer Carolyn Brown's works Synergy II and House Party. Recording engineer and instructor-in-music, and co-Director at Center for Contemporary Music, Mills College. Her multi-media performances...
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Crystal, Maggi Payne
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