Guiding listeners from the safe place of what they know to an active awareness of what can be is the job of a good DJ. During his ongoing 40 year tenure as host of the weekly radio program STAR'S END,Chuck van Zyl has been commissioned with the task of leading an audience. These sonic encounters encourage deeper understanding of ourselves and of others. Bringing you to this place, a musical world beyond ordinary existence and experience, is the purpose of STAR'S END - an undertaking that deserves your support.
In Winter 2020 listeners to Public Radio StationWXPN were again asked to please phone in and pledge their financial support to STAR'S END. Public Radio exists through the support of its listeners, and periodic on-air fundraisers are the most sensible method for WXPN to meet its fiscal goals. On-airfund drives are also a good opportunity for listeners to make themselves known to the programs they frequent.
Throughout its many years of broadcast the most important person in the STAR'S END endeavor has been the listener. Giving to public radio was and still continues to be a meaningful gesture. During the broadcast of 23 February 2020 STAR'S END spent the entire night in fundraising effort, and counted on your help. Thanks for staying up, tuning in and (when you heard the number 1-800-565-WXPN) calling in, which led to another record breaking total - $9670 in donations (from +80 donors) in one night.
...and Thanks to those who, while making their call, took a moment to congratulate STAR'S END HostChuck van Zyl as he marks the 40th anniversary of his first night behind the microphone at WXPN...
Sincere Thanks to everyone who called in with a donation and Thanks also to our phone room volunteers who stayed up all night taking your calls! Ken Anderson, Chaka Benson, Neil Cippon, Art Cohen, Emily Guthrie, Diane King, Shawn Kralicek, Chuck Nixon, Maria Roman-Gremmel, Ian Staer and Jeff Towne
Please Note: The 02.23.20 broadcast of STAR'S END offered Special Thank You Gifts available to those calling in with a donation made using a valid credit card. Many Thanks to all the artists and labels pitching in their resources to help STAR'S END with fundraising, and of course, Sincere Thanks to all the listeners who phoned in with a donation. Please see below for highlights from the list of Donor Thank-You Gifts
Special 2020 Fundraising Thank-You Gift
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.
Listeners to the 02.23.20 broadcast of STAR'S END heard 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 2020 Fundraiser
The CD premiums pictured were donated by the label/artist and available (in limited quantities) as thank-you gifts to those making a credit card donation by phone during the 02.23.20 fundraising broadcast of STAR'S END. More traditional premiums furnished by WXPN were also offered during this broadcast and throughout the Winter 2020 Fund Drive.
Live on STAR'S END 10.06.19
Guiding listeners from the safe place of what they know to an active awareness of what can be is the job of a good DJ - and a good musician too. During his ongoing 40 year tenure as host of the weekly radio program Star's End,Chuck van Zyl has been commissioned with the task of leading an audience - the proficiency of which may also be found in his musical realizations.
So inspired by the music he was spinning on-air,Chuck van Zyl began making his own Electronic Music works - with a synthesizer he still uses to this day. Live on Star's End 10.06.19 (75'22") is the second in a series of live-to-airradio concert releases, and features over 75 minutes of the live Spacemusic he made in the WXPN performance studio during the private Salon Concert and live-to-air broadcast of 5/6 October 2019.
In this music Chuck van Zyl gives voice to the character of his existence. It is a proclamation of his alive-ness, by way of an in-the-moment inventiveness. A complex multi-leveled album Live on Star's End 10.06.19 utilizes the full dynamic range of sonic possibilities. Moving truly between an electric unrestrained intensity on down to shivering chill currents, the juxtaposition of the primitive and the delicate lends tension to the drama. Working the dials, searching out the sound, groping for the pulse - in whirlwinds of intertwining sequencer lines, and the gorgeous exploration of tone color, form and atmosphere - he coaxes magical moments into the sound space.
Chuck's live concerts show the identity of his instruments as equally as they do the identity of the artist. Making music in an enormous present, his live improvisations find Chuck attempting to transcend, not an instrument, but a system of instruments - a constellation of synths, sequencers, echoes and reverbs all in service to a potent musical vision. An expressive power, the right situation of the venue and the heedful is capable of releasing unsuspected energies. With the body activated and central nervous system firing the joy of playing this music is unmatched.
If the moral track of the Universe arcs upward, then this music must be part of that eventuality. Just as the optimism of the weekly broadcasts of Star's End (in contrast to the present moment) seem a notion leftover from the previous century, so will albums like Live on Star's End 10.06.19 chip away at the inherent dissonance at the heart of modern life. Although the subject of this album may be specific, its implications are cosmic.
Following his 2018 visit to Philadelphia, we find that there is still plenty of fight left in Ian Boddy. Altair presents concert music from this trip. Dazzling and engaging, the first disc of this double album unfolds in the fast-moving, unerring style Boddy has become known for at The Gatherings Concert Series. Providing a comfortable feel, amidst neat beats and pulsing sequencer patterns, Altair veers between fearsome acceleration and a breathtaking stillness. Boddy's talent for harmonizing aural pleasure and vanguard ideas is in full play here. The rapturous strings, expressive solos and machine tone patterns ask us to feel something, while atonal clusters and metallic rumblings challenge the listener to ponder deeper mysteries. Synth leads edged in platinum bring melodies played with poetic sincerity, and pleasure the ear with caressing phrases. Riding above an insistent bassline, interlocking sonic structures wind around each other in fragile synchronization. The potent effect of the seven tracks on the audience (and the musician) was intensified within the reverential performance space, and may be felt again at each listening session. The second disc in this two-CD set matches the celestial scale of the STAR'S END radio program - where it was recorded. An elaborate musicalized dreamland the five tracks of this volume finds consonance retreating into a separate territory - as modulated effects wear down harmonies with deliberate pressure and howling electronics bellow through cavernous reverberation. These portentous soundscapes, rendered in dark gauzy layers, are offset by passages of focused energy and a sense of rocketing between star systems. This fifth such transmission by Boddy creatively uses well the dynamic range available to artists invited to these sessions. Sonic fragments were mixed and matched and layered one upon another. A glassy calm begets a serene interiority, until an enchanting discord clouds our heads. Whenever a scalding, raspy roar wails in caustic disquiet, the negative space enlarges - straight on to nowhere. Boddy, like all other Electronic Musicians, makes music out of electricity - but his true material is time and space. Altair exists so that others outside the moments of these recitals may hear the truth of his work, and know the magic of traveling in place.
Ian Boddy - Altair double CD $120.00 one-time Credit Card Donation
M21/The Rhodes Less Travelled by Radio Massacre International
In a world in which everything may be known, Spacemusic does remain a mystery. This portion of the musical spectrum may be too vast for some, but not for the likes of Steve Dinsdale,Duncan Goddard and Gary Houghton. Their long-lived live band Radio Massacre International has executed a great number of successful experiments in this discipline. Drawn together more in cooperation than in competition, to achieve each of their concerts this collective of improvisers calls on personal resources none are certain they possess. The double CD sets M21 and The Rhodes Less Travelled present this trio in some of their finest moments - with M21 spotlighting the 7 May 2011 show at St Clement's Church in Manchester, and The Rhodes Less Travelled featuring out-takes from this event's luminous rehearsal sessions. Making works meant to move the mind from still chill to smoldering state, RMI's encounter with their audience sets up the possibility for transcendence. Where intertwined sequencer riffs mix, shift and divide in a twisting double helix of echoing synthetic tones, further in RMI confronts a dissolving world of perpetual gloom - and ascends to the sonic stasis of gentle twilight realms, then on to melodic and harmonic fog clearing clarity. With their synthesizers, sequencers, Mellotron, Rhodes piano and electric guitar RMI performs the Berlin-School form to realize an even remoter music. Dinsdale, Goddard and Houghton live in the flow of the moment. As their bodies become activated by what they are hearing, their central nervous systems fire and a mysterious drama is built. Spacemusic runs deep in the fabric of these three. Their music is spontaneously composed, and so the act of performing live is constantly evolving. As they attain this otherwise unreachable experience, the atmosphere generated remains mysteriously ever in the near future. Yet, the retreat into wordlessness, the struggle against inevitable decay, and its desolating states are no match for the calm and quiet of an old electric piano set against a background of electronic night spirits - giving hope that maybe one day the profound peace RMI knows out in space will also be found here on the Earth.
Fluxes in Philadelphia/Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past by Skoulaman
The Dutch Electronic Musician Hans van Kroonenburg chooses to make his life bigger through playing concerts as Skoulaman, and ours richer through the act of listening. His Fluxes in Philadelphia (71'45") extends the fleeting connection of the concert venue through a live CD. Recorded on 18 May 2019 as part of The Gatherings Concert Series it reaches moods and emotions that a less adventurous contemporary instrumental music could ever possibly touch. Seated in the pews during this confident performance it was hard to recall the existential emptiness of modern life just beyond the reverberating sanctum. The seven tracks found on Fluxes in Philadelphia are examples of the Skoulaman live dynamic at its peak - living in the flow of the moment and simply playing to those assembled from the heart. With still sustaining synth pads supporting interlocked sequencer blips, rising keyboard lead lines converse with electric piano. In the ambient, more reflective zones the mind flows inward - with the focused, melodic, rhythmic sections leading us on a journey outward. When stirring up metallic glitter analogue synthesizers breathe ethereal tones. In an instant we hear the lyrical rush and rumbling of a coming time. With its celestial choirs, growling pads and delicate textures this work portrays a certain amount of drama - yet its delightful acceleration never disturbs the friendly and contemplative feel. With the sound expanded on two tracks by local electric guitaristHarrison McKay, the Skoulaman show took flight in midnight swirls and cloud nine bliss - and demonstrates the rare thing that may be felt when a unique talent, receptive audience and reverential air all converge in a unique sanctuary setting. This is a realization that could never be the mere distillation of several classics, as the unique and supportive atmosphere contributed so significantly. The conditions under which this music was made are of a factor that can never be replicated - a one-time-only moment for Skoulaman to hold forth and make his statement. Those at the performance could see the joy this man took in the act of playing music and creating something new. Through the release of Fluxes in Philadelphia everyone may now hear this joy. This event and album reminds us that the world is still full of beauty and kindness - and the musical realm Skoulaman creates is a place we should all aspire to live in.
Skoulaman - Fluxes in Philadelphia and Dreaming of the Future Reflecting the Past both single CDs $100.00 one-time Credit Card Donation
Bloom Ascension (41'25") is a most striking creation. Here we find Steve Roach as musically insatiable as ever - and working through a life-long commitment to a distinct creative impulse. This album exemplifies the spare patterns, unwinding energy and low-boil minimalist vibe which propelled his Grammy nominated Molecules of Motion (2018) and Spiral Revelation (2017). A robustly orchestrated work, Bloom Ascension very nearly allows us to hear the musician's mind at work. Conducting ample instrumental forces Roach combines an innate feel for texture and gesture with his interest in the sonic intensity of Electronic Music and the sensual potential of modular synthesis. Each of the four tracks move high into the air, tracing graceful arcs of mechanical precision. With the rippling counterpoint of pinwheel dancing notes and skittering flows of sparked adventure we spin forward. As the whirling designs add additional mysteries, this work's pulsing, generating minimalism portends a slow but relentless tide of change. In this subtle shift in perspective, a deep down dark descends - leaving behind a trail of echoing notes and quickening chords. Inspired by a dream, we wake to a prophetic mission - and a view of the world which belongs to us all. Exerting an emotional pull Bloom Ascension culminates with spirits revived. Building a world in volume and density, we are drawn in completely - held in a true electronic moment, and experiencing the invisible symbols of sound.
Steve Roach - Bloom Ascension single CD $75.00 one-time Credit Card Donation
Keeping analog sequencer music alive in the 21st century poly-rhythmic sequential melodies of warm, engaging electronics propel Transmitter, an album created live-in-the-studio on vintage synthesizers and sequencers. Organic performances of six new tracks (and one from MantraSequent) glide through evolving epics with a classic 70s feel. Thick synthesizer textures and pulsating rhythms generate and modulate the pieces captured 18 June 2017 at WXPN's STAR'S END Radio. Transmitter is a continuous, pulsating, teutonic-flavored album with hypnotizing textures and throbbing sequences. Utilizing complex layers of analog synths and shapeshifting rhythms, the transistors overlay human synaptic transmitters for an album of new electronic music designed for yesterday and tomorrow.
Jeffrey Koepper - Transmitter single CD $75.00 one-time Credit Card Donation
Saul Stokes makes Electronic Music that sounds like it is coming straight out of the wall outlet. Over the years he has become known for his concerts of sonic improvisation and albums of complex atmospheric energy. His work has always been, and continues to be, based on crafting original sonic elements and forms into beautiful realizations of texture and consonance. More recently Stokes has been embracing his internal contrasts. On Sleek Nucleus (54'42") he produces music that registers in both the body and in the mind. Sleek Nucleus is front-loaded with catchy, engaging tracks - but although this CD's songs may be easier to grasp, this accessibility in no way represents a scaling back of ambition. While overlapping rhythms push Sleek Nucleus to the dance floor, for all its heat and beats the most interesting elements transpire quietly. His one-of-a-kind aural ideals bring a unique aesthetic to the field. This album is full of infectious rhythms, kinetic throbbing and subliminal pulse, but the thoughtful listener will also find grainy tones, chirping modulations and fascinating timbres amidst Stokes' melodic sound designs. Never succumbing to formula, Stokes uses ideas and imagination as maps. He is the musician who speaks most directly to our contemporary condition, but has always been too far out there and unclassifiable to gain the following he deserves. Not one of his works are less than perfect.
Saul Stokes - Sleek Nucleus single CD $75.00 Credit Card Donation