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Lyra Sound Constellation

Artist: Michael Stearns

Year: 1983
Country: United States
Catalog No: Continuum Montage, CM 1006
Format: Vinyl Lp
A1 Arrival 7:19
A2 Subterranean Ambiance 4:29
A3 Intervals And Echoes 5:19
A4 Rivers Of Rhythm 4:20
A5 Sanctuary 3:37
B1 Invocation 3:08
B2 The Dragon's Dream World 6:56
B3 Return 11:37
  • Chorus – Georgianne Cowan (tracks: A2, B3), Sandy Gekler (tracks: A2, B3), Sandy Gekler (tracks: A2, B3)
  • Photography By – Michael Williams (6)
  • Strings [George Landry's Lyra] – George Landry, Georgianne Cowan, Jean Krois, Kristine Shelton, Michael Stearns, Sandy Gekler, Susan Harper
  • Synthesizer [Serge Modular] – Michael Stearns (tracks: B3)
Reissued on CD in 1999 on Groove Unlimited.

Liner Notes:

Michael Stearns composes with George Landry's LYRA / Sound Sculpture, an innovative 156 string micro-tonal instrument.

In association for many years, musician/composer, Michael Stearns and artist/sculptor, George Landry have shared an enthusiasm for energy and its resonance between two or more persons sharing a given space. Designed and built by George Landry and engineered for sound by Michael Stearns, LYRA is the result of combining sculpture and music -- a tonal barometer amplifying the resonance of people in spatial relationship.

LYRA / Sound Constellation is a stringed instrument designed to accommodate a variety of architectural spaces. Its initial home was the Double Rocking G Gallery in Los Angeles, where its 156 wires stretched 15 to 20 feet from floor to ceiling. Each wire in the sound sculpture is tuned to a micro-tonal octave (tones in-between regular intervals) and connected to crystal and magnetic pick-ups. When the strings are played, clusters of tones are fed into amplifiers and out through speakers located in the octagonal base of the instrument and in surrounding positions above the instrument.

The sound of LYRA was recorded in stereo directly from its magnetic and crystal pick-ups onto two tracks of a 4-track tape recorder. Simultaneously, the remaining two tracks were recorded using two Neuman M-50 microphones to pick up the accoustic sound of the sculpture in the gallery. The 4-track recordings were transferred, processed and orchestrated onto an 8-track recorder before final mixing. The synthesizer section, "Return", was recorded live during a concert performance with LYRA. All other sounds were created on LYRA except the chorus on Subterranean Ambience and Sanctuary.

The sounds of LYRA are often subtle and nuanced. We suggest a quiet listening environment for your exploration.