1. Stealth Pepper
You know how it is, you go to some restaurant, and the waiter insists on grinding "fresh black pepper" on your salad, and hours later a piece of it that has lodged somewhere in you back teeth
appears. Suddenly you bite into it---life is like that sometimes. Stealth pepper can really get your attention.
2. Sixteen Oranges
This is the signature piece of this collection. On the cover of the CD are sixteen Oranges, but the secret is that they are all the same Orange. Next, try to find a rhyme for orange in English. Yes, that is
a kalimba playing in the background.
Somehow this piece turned into a kind of anthem. I keep thinking about huge ramparts and the sounds echoing in celebration of the immensity of it. Vocalizations appeared out of nowhere.
A peculiar little VSt instrument came my way. The GUI looks like two open mouths, evocative of killer whale jaws. I think undersea chirpings are a great source of amusement for all the inhabitants,
their whistling tones bouncing off the seabed.
5. East of Java
I presented this piece as “Krakatoa” in a simpler setting, and then added several new layers of Theremin reverberation. It celebrates the anniversary of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in the Pacific in
1883. A lot of people seem to like it now. (Not the eruption, just the music.) We have much reason to be in awe, and take nothing for granted.
6. Chuka Chuka Chuka
A chance to exercise some drumming, and liven things up again. Some humorous (to me) bits.
This is one of several works on the CD that are all synthesizer. Easy listening. I developed it mainly to accompany some video footage for a public art project.
I remember the singing of my VW van crossing the Blue Ridge in North Carolina, the little air-cooled aircraft engine sounding like the breaking of tiny chains. Music comes from the wind sometimes,
for me, in the twilight over long distances, over the meditative hum of the beginning of night. That could be the sound of a theremin.
All synthesizer. Some things are best left simple.
I think this is an apt title for a pleasant little piece.
11. Seige Perilous
I challenged my daughter to dance to this. She refused because it doesn’t have either an accordion or a cowbell in it.
12. Remember This Was
Probably the most complicated work I have ever done. Three, sometimes more Theremins are playing all at one time between two synth tracks. One synthesizer is creating a symphony of sound
suggestions, while the other is rhythmic. It is very close to cacophony, but just this side, I hope. Of course, beauty is in the ear “…of the beholder.” This composition exists in several forms, but this is
to date the best version, I think. Even if it is monophonic, the qualities of Theremin can be multivoiced.
14. Soma SamaVeda
The vocal part of this track is pure thermin, with a complex set of filters. It really sounds this way in “real time.” It is from a hymn in the Sama Veda To Soma, the food of the Gods. I added a Tibetan
singing bowl for punctuation.
15. Sirens in the Mist
This is about the ocean, but more of the surface than of the deep. It combines Theremin and Synthesizer to create a seascape that stretches into the distance. I think it’s a fitting end to the CD.
13. Some Chinese Ghosts
Lafcadio Hearn is a favorite author of mine, and the title was taken from a book of Chinese stories he collected and retold. He was a journalist who loved living in exotic places. He wrote Creole
stories, and then Japanese and Chinese stories. Many of these include supernatural elements. I think Hearn particularly liked living in places where the natural and supernatural live in close
parallel, with the flavor of the unknown darkness informing the life of the day. Me, too.
Flow forth, O Soma, flow thou onward, sweet to Indra's Mitra's, Pushan's, Bhaga's taste.
Run forth to battle, conquering the Vritras; thou speedest to quell the foes like one exacting debts.
Flow onward, Soma, as a mighty sea, as Father of the Gods, to every form.
Flow onward, Soma, flow for mighty strength, as a strong courser, bathed, to win the prize.
Fair Indu hath flowed on for rapturous joy, sage, for good fortune, in the waters' lap.
In thee, effused. O Soma, we rejoice ourselves for great supremacy in fight:
Thou, Pavamana, enterest into mighty deeds.
Who are these radiant men in serried rank, Rudra's young heroes, too, with noble steeds?
Agni, with hymns may we now accomplish that which thou lovest,
Strength, like a horse, auspicious strength with service.
The strong youths have come forth to view, to show their strength, God Savitar's quickening energy:
Ye warrior horsemen, win the heavens.
Soma, flow splendid with thy copious stream in due succession through the ample fleece.
(Twice "as thick as thieves !")
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Here are sound samples from the CD:
All images and sounds © LPKaster 2008