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Album Review

M'Ocean is another Earth Turtle Music reissue by Michael Stearns. He released it first as Light Play on cassette on the Continuum Montage label in 1983. In 1984, Sonic Atmospheres released it on cassette and CD. Tracks two through six were originally written for live performances. Stearns composed and performed track one — "Sirens" — on an Oberheim OB8 synthesizer, one of the first digitally controlled analog synths. He created the piece as soon as he set up the synth. Track seven — "Walking Song" — is a short Igor Stravinsky piece that Stearns transcribed for the synthesizer. The music is vintage and classic Stearns. The soundscapes are bright and elegant as only he creates. The rhythms are subtle, even transparent. The atmospheres are huge, warm, and inviting. This is music for wandering in the heart, mind, and soul. Stearns is in a league of his own. There are few — if any — discs comparable to this one. It is essential.


Born: Tucson, AZ

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Composer/sound sculptor Michael Stearns was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, taking up classical guitar as a teen; in time he moved on to rock and jazz, and by the age of 16 was regularly backing top pop acts including the Lovin' Spoonful and Paul Revere & the Raiders. While a student at the University of the Pacific he turned to electronic music, completing his first musique concrète piece in 1968; four years later, Stearns returned to Tucson to open his own recording studio, subsequently producing...
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M'Ocean, Michael Stearns
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