Across three discs Live on Star's End 2021-2022 (196'30") presents the Chuck van Zyllive to air concerts of 7 February 2021 and 7 August 2022, plus his 26 March 2021 performance for SoundQuest Fest 2021. Each occasion built on the one that came before, and offered meaningful opportunities to advance his craft, further his artistry, and venture into a new sonic frontier.
In discharging audio from electricity works by Chuck van Zyl sing the song of the synthesizer. Searching through the cosmos, as well as his own imagination, he plays in the true spirit of exploration. Each of the realizations documented on Live on Star's End 2021-2022 builds toward a destination unknown at the outset. Beginning with nothing more than the spark of an idea, the wall outlet powers his instruments, while the logic of improvisation, the force of emotion, and materiality of sound provide the direction and form. This album supposes that the mind is still big, that thoughts are still vast, and offers no option to think small. After a deep listening it will be hard not to hear this strange magic everywhere.
Throughout this epic release we find a machine pulse propelling scales of notes. Radiating with each tight turn into widening arcs of mechanized certainty,sequencer lines solidly motor on. An unconstrained affair, the music winds out in cycling patterns of melodic invention - skipping and echoing with a determined energy. Thoughtful and as tightly coiled as ever, notes fly in and out of the mix, rising and receding in practiced precision. The assembly of tones and textures, somewhere between sonic storm and soothing sigh, stutters, sputters, then whispers a tale of electronic circuits dreaming.
From the sculpted and soft to the ambiguously toned, at times these live sets use negative space to delineate form - placing the listener on intimate terms with the present moment. With an ethereal human harmony hanging gently in the air, a beautiful animation is brought to an often impassive music.
Live on Star's End 2021-2022 will be difficult to abandon to the background. The coolly controlled concerts conjure a rare dream logic - a kind of beauty which always passes too quickly. Yet, from these monumental acts of invention comes the theme of intimacy. In his unforced experimentation Chuck van Zyl discovers hidden affinities. From the raw and power packed on down to the subtle and dulcet, these works recall the spirit of the Berlin-School - and the charged sparks of an exploratory, voltaic realm.
The purpose and meaning behind Star's End is as diverse as its audience. It conjures a sonic state as distinctive as each listener. Some use it to discover new music, others for quiet contemplation, or as a soundtrack for sleeping and dreaming.
For me, each outing with Star's End provides the opportunity to pursue the Public Radio ideal of leading the audience to someplace beyond themselves. To journey in our minds with new ideas, profound expressions and abstract thoughts. My aspiration is that we achieve some measure of enlightenment, excellence and enrichment. But, as the content is so innovative, so forward-looking, this endeavor involves a certain amount of risk - as only a select few are capable of comprehending the meaning of this music and appreciating the value of Star's End.
In Winter 2023 listeners to WXPN were again asked to place a dollar amount on what they believe this unique service is worth, and make a contribution.
Giving to Public Radio continues to be a meaningful gesture. During the broadcast of 19 February 2023Star's End spent the entire night in a fundraising effort, and was counting on your help. Sincere Thanks for staying up, tuning in, and calling in, or going online, to make your donation!
-Chuck van Zyl: Host of STAR'S END (February 2023)
Special 2023 Fundraising Thank-You Gift
Please Note: The 02.19.23 broadcast of STAR'S END offers a Special Thank You Gift: the WXPN produced STAR'S END T-Shirt & sticker (Thanks to listener Neil Cippon for help with the graphic). Please tune in for details.
WXPN 2020 Online Auction - STAR'S END Fan Experience - Item #104
Electronic Musician, Concert Organizer and STAR'S END Host Chuck van Zyl has taken part in WXPN's 2020 Online Fundraising Auction with the offer of a unique listener experience. The winning bidder of Auction Item #104 will receive 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.
WXPN's 2020 Fundraiser Auction ran from 8:00AM on 6 March 2020 to 6:00PM on 26 March 2020. Sincere Thanks to winning bidder Jim Causey for taking part! 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-today fresh. A ceaselessly inventive work, its history begins now.
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