Story

Barry Schrader's Lost Atlantis reveals Schrader as a composer born to the electronic medium. He paints with veiled and mysterious tone colors.
Philip Springer, Los Angeles Times

Lyrics

INNOVA 629

  • Trinity  15:17
  • Lost Atlantis
  •         Introduction:  The Pillars of Hercules - The Great Harbor  6:10
  •         The Gardens of Cleito  6:28
  •         The Temple of Poseidon - The Dance of the Gods  7:50
  •         The Gathering of the Kings - The Hunting of the Bulls  6:47
  •         The Mystery Rites of Purification  4:14
  •         The Destruction of Atlantis - Epilogue:  "…and Atlantis shall rise…" 8:20

Story

This CD salvages two electro-acoustic works composed by Barry Schrader in the mid-'70s on the Buchla 200, a keyboardless analog modular synthesizer. Not only were these pieces realized on a little-known instrument, but also they were originally quadraphonic. Few are the composers who truly mastered Buchla's innovative instruments and the quadraphonic electro-acoustic repertoire has been all but lost, so this CD is a very welcome release, both in terms of music history and listening enjoyment, for these two works remain fascinating, regardless of how they were conceived. Trinity (1976, 15 minutes) is a rather formalist exercise in theme and variations, where the theme consists of sound shapes instead of notes. It is dry, but it exploits and showcases the possibilities of the Buchla 200 to a nice extent, while featuring a high level of aesthetic elegance. In comparison, the 40-minute Lost Atlantis (1977) is gorgeously evocative, its sound poetry often reminiscent of Francis Dhomont's Cycle de l"Errance.  A suite in ten parts (grouped into six tracks), the work depicts the lost continent as described by Plato in his Critias. The music is imbued with mystery, its reliance on non-melodic material empowering it with an ageless appeal that could as well be ancient. Schrader makes use of a wide palette of tones and textures, and his sense of space and drama create a mysterious place in which the listener is eager to lose himself or herself. "The Gardens of Cleito," especially, achieves a touching form of grace that is light-years away from the rigors of "Trinity." Recommended.

François Couture, AllMusic Guide

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The Electric Music Box, otherwise known as the Buchla 200, designed and built by Donald Buchla in 1970.

Story

Nicholas England (1921-2003) was a pianist, harpist, composer, violist, violinist, singer, and a noted ethnomusicologist and Africanist, with his research concentrated upon the Ewe music and musicians of Ghana and neighboring areas. He made his first research trip to Africa in 1961, doing field work with the Sixth Peabody-Harvard Kalahari expedition. He returned to Africa throughout his life, doing field work in Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and Togo. He earned degrees from Baylor University, Yale University and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in 1968. He studied composition with Walter Piston, Paul Hindemith and Randall Thompson and was associate professor of music at Columbia University before coming to CalArts where, at various times between 1970 and 2002, he was Chair of the World Music program, Dean of the School of Music, and Interim President of the Institution.

Nick was a great friend and mentor, and, as you can hear, had a marvelous speaking voice, which is why I asked him to record the narration for
Lost Atlantis. The narration is based on the text from Plato's Critias. I recorded Nick's performance myself in Studio B304 at CalArts in 1977.

You can download the six narrations for each movement of Lost Atlantis and put them in your mp3 player before each of the respective movements.