Beaver & Krause

In a Wild Sanctuary

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On In a Wild Sanctuary, their second recording issued in 1970, Beaver & Krause moved into new territory. They were inspired by the words of 19th century writer Ellen Glasgow who wrote: "Preserve, within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reveries," as well as those visionaries and activists like Ralph Nader (wonder what they would think now?), Pete Seeger (Bernie Krause was a one-time member of the Weavers), Paul Erlich, the Whole Earth Catalog and the Sierra Club. Other musicians included Dave Grusin, Bud Shank, Howard Roberts, and percussionist Milt Holland. The music here is a reverie of primitive synths, organs, jazz orchestras, and natural sounds from the environment, all woven together here as is evident from the opening cut, "Another Part of Time," which blends gothic organs, Moogs, and a bluesy B-3, and trap drums to wind blues, jazz and classical themes into a framework of constant evolution. "Spaced" is one of the first true pieces of ambient music, years before Eno would coin the term; it's full of divergent tonalities from the synth, spacious textures, sine waves, and a gradually unfolding presence brought by the Moog that is a bit tense for a moment before ending on a truly majestic plane. "So Long as the Waters Flow" brings a Bach theme into plain aural view before winding in ocean sounds, small blips, and watery sounds from the Moog. There is humor here, too, where the pair blend in the theme from Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," which had been used effectively two years before on the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey -- here titled in a brief interlude as "Aurora Hominis." The most beautiful thing here is "Walking Green Algae Blues" that employs jazzy guitar, Moog, space, texture, dimension, canned voices, and real voices in various tones speaking the word "War!" to weave a flowing dynamic whole. This is dated material to be sure, but it is nonetheless fascinating and curious.

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