Richard's studio. Photo: David Mattingly

The Wave-Sounding Sea

RICHARD (2009): The pieces on "The Wave-Sounding Sea" were all recorded in the State University of New York at Albany's Electronic Music Studio in 1973 and 1974, using the Moog CEMS (Coordinated Electronic Music Studio) System developed by my composition teacher Joel Chadabe. Joel worked closely with Bob Moog in developing the CEMS, and Moog developed many custom modules for the system, which at the time may have been the largest integrated Moog synthesizer in the world.

The CEMS System contained an extended array of sound generating and processing modules as well as a unique programming system consisting of an automated matrix mixer, a digital master clock, and a bank of eight analog sequencers with customized logic hardware for running them together, independently, in succession, or in any combination of those modes.

"The Wave-Sounding Sea" and "Iron Hill" were both recorded by multi-tracking multiple passes of the CEMS output to 4-track Scully tape decks, which I then mixed down to stereo. The Wave-Sounding Sea" was the last composition in my older Morton Subotnick-influenced style; "Iron Hill" was my first work using my One Sound concept.

"The FM Automat" is a realtime recording of the CEMS System controlled by Daisy, an analog computer designed and built by John Roy that generated pseudo-random control voltages. "FM Automat" is a study in creating a system to generate as many different sounds as possible in realtime from a single frequency modulation patch.

"Snow", another One Sound work, was my first composition that used a computer in any way, and is another realtime recording. The studio acquired a DEC PDP-11 computer during my last year at the University, and I used it to write a simple program that would output random clicks through the computer's digital-to-analog convertors. I then processed that output through the CEMS System's filters and gates to create the final sound.


Discography:  These Last DaysTen Thousand Shades of BlueI, Mute Hummings (compilation)White NightLuxLuminous AccidentsCranes Fly WestThe Wave Sounding Sea/The Course of the RiverPolychromatic IntegersAn Abandoned GardenNEW! – Modulisme Session 101

Recommended: Listen on headphones
or external speakers.

The Wave-Sounding Sea (1973/2010)

The Wave Sounding Sea 15:01
Iron Hill 12:24
The FM Automat 16:25
Snow 08:38

Performed and recorded in real time without overdubs.

Album available from Vicmod (001)

Lainhart's crystalline notes drift without attacks, with a hint of Frippertronic-style melodies and occasional rhythmic implications from flowing oscillations. The clarity of each individual note belies the tendency to get lost trying to follow the circulating harmony, as it slips out of reach into chords impossible to name. — Caleb Duepree, Furthernoise