From Unseen Worlds Records:
The Expanding Universe
The Expanding Universe is the classic 1980 debut album by composer and computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. The album is reissued here for the first time in a massively expanded two-CD set, containing all four original album tracks plus an additional 15 tracks from the same period, nearly all previously unreleased. Some of the already well-know works included in this set are “Patchwork”, the complete “Appalachian Grove” series, and “Kepler’s Harmony of the Worlds”, which was included on the golden record launched on board the Voyager spacecraft. The pieces comprising The Expanding Universe combine slowly evolving textures with the emotional richness of intricate counterpoint, harmony, and complex rhythms (John Fahey and J. S. Bach are both cited as major influences in the original cover’s notes), all built of electronic sounds.
First time available since its original release on the Italian Ri-Fi label, Maria Monti’s 1974 LP Il Bestario is a rare item even in its native country. Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career, performing as a cabaret singer in the 60s, an ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the 70s, and starring in films by directors such Sergio Leone (Fistful of Dynamite) and Bernardo Bertolucci (1900) all the while. In addition to lyrics by the infamous poet Aldo Braibanti, Il Bestiario features arrangements and synthesizer from legendary avant-garde composer Alvin Curran, as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz-great Steve Lacy. The music of Il Bestiario is a prime example of “the new art-song” of the 1970s, as Alvin Curran calls it – lush, dynamic and full of intelligence and beauty.
“Blue” Gene Tyranny
Detours is “Blue” Gene Tyranny’s first album of new piano works since 2003’s Take Your Time. A beautifully recorded collection of tracks composed between 2004 and 2010, Detours belongs to a rarefied class of supremely listenable and beautiful piano albums that are not encumbered by any new-age shabbiness. It possesses the sort of timeless and elegant romanticism so unpretentious and accomplished it seems to at once effortlessly canonize itself.