The videoballet,“Journey” was set to the music of “Lyric Images.” "Lyric Images" itself was the first work I created for a live electronic music ensemble (which later would morph into Electric Diamond). The work was premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in the Spring of 1979. With an instrumentation of Lyricon wind synthesizer, two Crumar keyboards, and percussion. Lyric Images is a 4 movement symphonic work. The recording is from a pirated tape of that performance, secreted into the auditorium. It is but a pale reflection of the colossal sound we created. Using a Mutron Biphase (anyone remember that device), we developed a stereophonic phase shift of swirling overtones that bathed the audience in an immersive ocean of sound. At the time of its premiere with its raucous rhythms, improvisations, and lyric sweep it was both hailed by some critics as the music of the future and reviled by others. (My favorite decried that it augured the “beginning of fascist Classical music.”) Liz Geyer Gottlieb, a former member of the New York CityBallet, was inspired to create a videoballet to the score -- one of the first ballets ever created for directly for the medium of video. With years of MTV behind us it is hard to imagine the time when creating dance directly for the camera was still a revolutionary idea.

Renamed Journey, Lyric Images became the score for this dramatic pas-de-deux of two lovers at the end of time. It won major awards at Festival of the Americas International Film and Television Festival Julian Montaner and Regine Maximilien are the dancers.


Beauty Beast followed Lyric Images. It was premiered live in 1980, scored for Soprano (Sally Jo Anderson as Beauty), Lyricon Wind Synthesizer (as the Beast), 2 Crumar keyboards (a modified organ that was a predecessor to today's modern polyphonic synths), and drums. James Roos of the Miami Herald, described the group as “among the first of the new generation to maximize rock in classical form.”
For its time quite out there - a classically based electro-acoustic group performing complex written scores (with many technical directions) - including challenging pounding poly-rhythmic passages - 7/8 against 7/4 at ferocious speeds. Was definitely pushing boundaries while hewing to the simple sentiments of the story. I can still remember Mike Lauren, our drummer, yelling out “ONE” and pounding out the downbeat trying to hold the ship together. Ultimately, it was a 30-minute, musical fantasy with grand operatic duets – Sally Jo Anderson’s Beauty matched against the Beast portrayed by my Lyricon. (The Christians Science Monitor described the work as “Music Tolkien might have written if he'd used a piano instead of a pen.”
This version is a studio recording I did a few years later on an analog 8 track tape recorder. The video was done in 2012-13, adding words and dance. One day perhaps we will resurrect “Beauty Beast” in live performance.

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