About this album
Comets Over Flatland
The pieces in Comets Over Flatland were recorded in the Emergency Music Studio, a collection of pre-MIDI analog synthesizers and sound processing equipment. The studio was assembled in 1984 and used for the recordings Danger: Starts Automatically and Suburban Jazz Studies. One of the perceived problems of EMS was that without a computer interface, all the patches, knob settings and sequences were a one-shot deal and performances were essentially irreproducible at a later time. The studio was abandonded to make room for what was believed at the time to be the current state of the art in keyboard synthesizers.
EMS was resurrected in 1994 to deal with a deficiency in the new hardware, namely the lack of any means of playing music outside of twelve equally tempered tones per octave! EMS is an outstanding collection of gear for xenharmonic music. The old synth modules still generate big wanton ramp waves that haven't been heard in most music in recent years.
This is genuine electronic music, full of real electronics, intermodulation, phasing effects, crackly ADSRs and many other aural anomalies that just don't fit well with current musical trends. The important point with this recording though, is the many tunings that are used. They are as distinct from everyday 12 as the equipment used for this recording.
- Notes by Randy Winchester, 1997