Laurie Spiegel

Obsolete Systems

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Software developer and technology pioneer Laurie Spiegel has worked with many of the first synthesizer and computer music systems. This CD culls some of her best works written for Obsolete Systems: Don Buchla's machines, the Apple II computer, the McLeyvier computer-controlled synthesizer, and the GROOVE Hybrid System. These pieces were created between 1970 and 1983, at a time when technology evolved quickly and even the standards in analog sound and digital information treatments changed constantly. The music varies in style from delicate modal synthesizer pieces to acousmatic works. Spiegel's strongest trait is her lack of aggressiveness. There is nothing gratuitous or ear-splitting just for the pleasure of splitting ears. No harsh sounds, no outbursts; these pieces focus on melody, rhythm, and a sense of inner self obtained from or played on unusual sources. Some may find similarities between her music and the works of Larry Fast and Tangerine Dream at the same time -- even though they worked quite differently. The album's highlight is the final track, the 15-minute "Voices Within: A Requiem," previously released on a 1982 Capriccio LP. Obtained through classic tape techniques and delay effects, it achieves a dense shroud of sustained tones. The musical element equals the historical relevance of this collection.

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