NFO-file created by PostAssistant v009
Date : 1/6/2006 -- Time : 7:34:40 PM
Artist : Don Slepian
Album : Sea Of Bliss
Source : CD
Year : 1981
Genre : New Age
Label : Fortuna
Url : http://www.donslepian.com/the-sea-of-bliss.html
Codec : Lame 3.93
Quality : CBR, 224kbps, stereo
ID3-Tag : Yes, Version 1 & 2.3
Included : This Info-File (NFO)
01 (29:32) Sea Of Bliss
02 (24:48) Awakening
03 (16:06) Sonic Perfume
Playing Time : 70:26
Total Size : 112 MB
Ambient Electronica for Meditation and Relaxation by Don Slepian
The Sea of Bliss was composed and performed on a unique instrument in a unique place. Here is the story behind this music.
The Sea of Bliss was recorded February 3rd and 4th, 1980 in two passes on a four track taperecorder in Max Mathews' sound lab at what was then Bell Telephone Labs main research center in Murray Hill, NJ. Computer music was born in Max Mathew's lab back in 1958. I had first worked in Max Mathew's lab in the summer of 1971, building analog tuned resonant circuits with u741 op-amps. From 1979 through 1981 I was "Artist In Residence" at the Labs and spent most of my time working with the Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer which was known as the Alles Machine (pronounced "Alice") after its designer, Hal Alles. With the help of engineer Greg Sims I ported my favorite sequential permutation algorithms that I had used on analog sequencers, such as the EML 400/401 in my piece "Glimmerings" (1976) (on my CD "Electronic Music From The Rainbow Isle") to the Alles Machine. This enabled me to perform two levels of mathematical permutations on a list of up to 150 notes using real time controls. I had two finger actuated sliders which were read sequentially, each allowing me to skip from zero up to seven notes in the note list. For example, I could have the instrument go through my note list, play one note, skip three notes, play one note, skip seven notes, and so on, wrapping around from the end of the list back to the beginning. Manipulating these two sliders with a well chosen note list yielded a number of interesting non-obvious melodic fragments which could easily mutate from one to the other. Besides great permutations I had three octaves of transposition, instant retrograde, and a variety of rhythmic options, such as triplets, dotted rhythms, half speed, instantly available and performable on the beat. I performed with the sequencer while playing the long sustained bass tones, and this allow me to transpose the sequential parts as I modulated the underlaying harmony. The quality that makes The Sea of Bliss more interesting than most pieces of its type are the high arpeggiated figurations, like little fairy bells, that interlock in time and harmony. These clouds of melody notes, the output of my sequential permutation algorithm, show the power of real time control to produce interesting and varied music from sequential and stocachastic techniques.
The Alles Machine was disassembled in 1981 and The Sea of Bliss was the only full length piece of music ever realized on it. Larry Fast played a solo on the machine in his album "Games", and Laurie Speigel also composed and recorded some music with it. Bell Labs is now part of Lucent Technologies and exists in an atmosphere that precludes the possibility of music/art research. Like many good things The Sea of Bliss was produced by unique circumstances. It was often featured on the popular syndicated radio show, "Music From The Hearts Of Space", and became the influential archetype of a whole genre of New Age Space Music.
The purpose of The Sea of Bliss is to change your state of consciousness. People have often used it for meditation and massage. In a local hospital it has been used during labor and childbirth as a sonic analgesic. In the car it combats rush hour traffic stress. In New Age stores and workshops it is used for ambience, a form of aural fragrence.