Monday, July 30, 2012

Malcolm Cecil - Radiance (Unity, 1981)

In the early 1970's, Malcolm Cecil developed the world's largest privately built synthesizer- TONTO, or The Original New Timbral Orchestra. His desire was to create a synthesizer with "multi-timbral polyphony", where each key pressed is capable of creating it's own unique sound. Along with Robert Margouleff, Cecil formed TONTO's Expanding Headband and in 1971 released Zero Time which featured TONTO exclusively. Throughout the 70's and 80's, the duo performed studio work for numerous acts, most famously Stevie Wonder.

Radiance is Cecil's only solo release. It is mostly comprised of short pieces, some of which are focused around melodic themes, with one track featuring jazz flautist and new age pioneer Paul Horn. It's a beautiful, meditative record that maintains the spiritual and science-fiction themes of New Age music while showcasing TONTO's diverse capabilities. Recommended.