DAVID ROSENBOOM: Future Travel (Street Records, PO Box 834, Birmingham, MI 48012) A fine disc of computer music, with some additional acoustical instruments in a mix that sounds both natural and complementary. Rosenboom is clearly influenced by two of his mentors, LaMonte Young and especially Terry Riley, using what appears to be just intonation tuning systems.
A couple pieces, "Station Oaxaca" and "Nova Wind" sound like Terry Riley gone berserk meets Weather Report, with a bit of Cecil Taylor or McCoy Tyner piano thrown in the latter. An interesting rhythmic exercise with quasi-phase techniques seems to be the basis of "Nazca Liftoff," while Afro-rhythms and timbres play a major role in "Corona Dance," with apropos augmentation of mbira (thumb piano), dumbec, and clapping in addition to the electronics.
Three of the pieces also use female voice reading a cosmic, philosophical text which is double-tracked and electronically manipulated. The aural effect is not unlike Laurie Anderson's vocoder vocal embellishments, but the text itself is, well, a little too metaphysical for me. The synthesized sounds cut through with a crystal clarity characteristic of so much computer music. -Dean Suzuki
Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-11-95