The Spacemusic of Arjen Schat relates more to an age or an era than it does any particular aesthetic or movement. His work's ever-changing destination is linked to the mood, talent and craft of the performer - who takes us with him on a journey to the creative center. Schat's album Audionautic Research Program (72'29") is a mind trip of well over an hour - across an improvised synthetic landscape of sustaining strings, interlocking tone patterns and ethereal effects. A wonderful tension is felt between the mechanistic sequencer blips cycling beneath an unfurling ribbon of synth lead melodies and the rush of sustaining chords. Exposing its elemental power, each of the two lengthy tracks on this release takes instant and utter possession of the listener. Sprawling, pulsing lines, running parallel to one another, are fantastically simple in their construction, but endlessly complex in effect. Cycling patterns motor and syncopate, and whirl by. In the magical motion of intricate, echoing notes we encounter a strange machine beauty. From the round and warm to something more thin and brittle, a range of melodic synthesizer expressions ride above the interplay of urgent, ever-evolving arpeggiated scales. A spirited energy of celestial harmonies, spiraling spacey effects and graceful synth-bourne melodies provide this music with a luxurious feel, even where it is most spare. Schat's expressive analogue lead voices manage to bring focus and life to what is otherwise an exercise in repetitive mechanistic virtuosity. Working at a scale that is sure to dwarf the listener, his imaginative scoring and rapt intensity evokes limitless horizons. Audionautic Research Program wonderfully captures the spacefaring atmosphere and cosmic mystery expected from this style - but also acknowledges that the height of the Cosmic Music genre may have been set many years ago by its founders. Schat knows that it is up to him and his generation of Electronic Musicians to continue in the realm of the Berlin-School - in their exploration of this work's breadth.
Please tune in to the 03.17.19 broadcast of STAR'S END for music from Audionautic Research Program, the new album by Dutch Electronic MusicianArjen Schat
WXPN Online Auction 2019 - STAR'S END Fan Experience
Electronic Musician, Concert Organizer and STAR'S END Radio Host Chuck van Zyl is taking part in WXPN's 2019 Online Fundraising Auction with the offer of a unique listener experience. The winning bidder of Auction Item #211 receives a one-on-one workshop with Chuck van Zyl covering synthesizer basics, followed by a private salon spacemusic concert for the winner and ten friends at WXPN's World Cafe Performance Studio (the new CD Chuck van Zyl: Live on Star's End 08.26.18 was a direct result of last year's Fan Experience).
This unique concert/workshop has already received some attention. Please click through to Auction Item #211 and consider making your bid too. Thanks very much! Your support is sincerely appreciated!
Produced by Public Radio Station WXPN, Chuck van Zyl:Live on Star's End 08.26.18 (63'36") is not a commercial release. It is available only as a "Thank-You" gift to those making a donation to WXPN/STAR'S END.
This album is a conventional silver CD featuring over 60 minutes of the Chuck van Zyl live electronic realizations made in the WXPN performance studio during a private Salon Concert(for Tony Masiello) and live-to-air broadcast of 25/26 August 2018. Its four parts each offer passages of improvised in-the-moment sequencer manipulations, amidst the ethereal yearning of synthesized harmonies and cresting lead lines. The listener is invited inside, to float away as the patterns and textures envelope them - tumbling in circles, spirals and pinwheels, beneath unfurling ribbons of creamy synth melodies and modulated, chirping effects.
Chuck van Zyl:Live on Star's End 08.26.18 may seem more like a spiritual expression than an exploration of a musical form. This work has mysterious power purely on a sonic level. But the miracle of this release is that every time we listen to it, our minds will hear something new - and will so find a different album. Absorbing the full tapestry of the Electronic/Berlin-School experience, and the ideals of live improvisation, we can easily imagine every concert outing serving as a mystic portal for this musician's own spiritual journey.
Whether channeled from the astral plane, or just the transformation of electricity into sound, Live on Star's End 08.26.18 is for those seeking a deeper examination of tone and mood. Anyone in love with Spacemusic and its very specific poetry will want to own this recording. While this musical form may have been established in the 1970s, Live on Star's End 08.26.18 feels made-yesterday fresh. A ceaselessly inventive work, its history begins now.
Please tune into STAR'S END this weekend for music from Live on Star's End 08.26.18 by Chuck van Zyl - the special Thank You Gift for contributors to WXPN's Winter 2019 Fundraiser
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