Constance Demby

Constance Demby at Alaron: Live Concert Recording

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A live concert by Constance Demby is quite an event, and these days is quite rare. Demby is a master at creating soul-stirring resonances and spacial vibrations with synthesizer and stringed instruments such as the psaltry and Chinese cheng, a koto-like instrument. This recording of a live1983 concert captures the breathtaking ambiance of her sonic spaces. "Untitled" for synthesizer unfolds a piece (could be by Bach) and exposes the nobility of its inner structure. "Chakoor Bird" is first played on the psaltry (with its wide range of notes), then reinterpreted in an otherworldly manner, like cosmic space winds whispering secrets. An excerpt from Sacred Space Music, Vol. II is like entering a major cathedral that is flying to the stars. The mellow bells of the gamelan create a delicate and mysterious beginning for the beginning of the second "Untitled"; Demby then switches to the cheng for an invigorating, yet meditative, melody. The final cut is her most abstract synthesizer creation. An organ drone thick, yet transparent as incense smoke, backs the lead melody which resembles an Islamic prayer. Demby's sultry voice then blends with the chant until the stately sound is all-encompassing, like a cosmic lullaby. This recording represents a bridge recording of Demby's styles: the Eastern-inspired strings with the Western symphonic space synthesizer. (Although the album was recorded live, the audience applause has been edited out.)