Michael Stearns realizes music that is cerebral yet emotional. His meticulous sound designs are breathtaking, cinematic, state of the art productions portraying humanity's contemplation of life's eternal mysteries. On Within - The Nine Dimensions, Stearns presents a range of themes and styles connecting the stars with the earth, the land and the sea, subterranean darkness with ethereal light and the head with the heart. The product of thoughoughly electronic procedures, the sound throughout Within comes across as organic and acoustic. Bells, singing bowls, vocal samples, wind harp, native flute, exotic percussion, The Beam, environmental recordings and a plethora of other imaginative sound sources give Within its evocative depth and dimension. A variety of enigmatic synth timbres (including Stearns' signature Serge Modular) are also present in the mix. A penchant for complex harmonies and grandiose chord progressions provide the tension and release that draws the listener through the ten sonic atmospheres. It is hoped that listening to this music will call forth a sense of grandeur and wonder at our home that is The Universe.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 14 June 2000