I can't recommend singing for xenharmonic embodiment any more. And I can't recommend a single microtonal album that has aged so well in ~18 years. This music is timeless but you must be willing to sing or hum or drum or dance along!
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
Reading of the descriptions has cleared many things. Ok, there IS an idea, but the music is still annoying. I wouldn't call it experimental or innovative, because microtonal music is very ancient, and somehow all Western microtonal music I've heard so far always sounded annoying to me. It's allways too dull. Maybe the problem is that the artists are so enthusiastic about that microtonal thing and so absorbed by the idea - they forget about the music. And it doesn't have to be like this. Eastern microtonal music sounds pretty cool, for example. Although this music didn't speak to me I must say that I appreciate very much the explorative spirit behind it, the work and the idea. Way to go!