One of the most lavish album packages released in the 1970's (especially the Japanese version), this hit the streets at the time of maximum gimmicry in package design. But it was great value compared with today's CD's (unless, again, you buy the Japanese version).
The UK edition came in at least three colours of vinyl: standard black, sea blue, and a bright pink colour. In Japan, the album had a full colour inner bag and colour sleeve insert. Even the interior of the sleeve was printed in colour, with photos.
There are a number of different versions of the titles on this recording. The ones listed below are from the Japanese CD release. The album was also subtitled 'A Musical Fantasy of Science Fiction'.
As with many of Tomita's albums, the pictures on early releases of 'The Bermuda Triangle' LP differed from those eventually released on CD - the LP version and a 12" single from the album had a sort of oceanic look to them with a kind of spectral image on top.
The 12" single containing "Special Album Programming" from 'The Bermuda Triangle' was released for promotion only. This single is made from the cool sea blue see-through vinyl! The tracks listed below are in stereo on Side A and mono on Side B.
The computer encoded signals found on this album are in a format known as TARBEL. Using this system, messages may be encoded in a recording via audio signals. The TARBEL format was used as a way to save data onto an audio cassette recorder in the mid to late 1970s before the IBM PC and hard disk drives. The sound is familiar to anyone who has used an old tape interface (lots of 'piii's and 'gaaa's!) and can be decoded with a computer programmed to recognise the TARBEL system.
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Tomita on location in the Bermuda Triangle area, Florida itself.
it depicts Bermudan currency, and a handful of planets for old times sake.
Electronically Created by Isao Tomita
Produced by Plasma Music Inc.
Art Director: J.J. Stelmach
Cover Illustration: Don Punchatz
All of Tomita's albums are sonic encounters - composers' musical inventions transcribed into sound colors incapable of being generated by conventional instruments. Yes, Tomita imitates with his electronic devices, but with the infinity of resources at his command he can blend into the musical fabric glittering threads of such sounds of nature as humans whistling, the wind rustling, insects humming, waterfalls, rain - from the whisper of a dragonfly's wing to the violent sounds of worlds torn asunder. Projecting such sounds into the musical world of great composers brings our perception into closer touch with their imagery.
And now Tomita has created The Bermuda Triangle. I have no doubt that this is one of his greatest works.
Tomita weaves his own sonic inventions into excerpts of music by Prokofiev, Sibelius and John Williams to depict a science-fiction fantasy - a story at once plausible and imaginative, the details of which are largely elucidated in the mind when subjected to Tomita's sound. A storm rages in the ocean near Bermuda - the area of mysterious disappearances of many ships and aircraft, the dreaded Devil's Triangle. In the mist of the storm something approaches from the sky guided by an eerie signal from below the water. It is a craft from outer space - a UFO. The fantasy conjures up a giant pyramid built on the bottom of the sea by a super civilized ancient people. They have contact with outer space and guide the UFO to the pyramid. The story unfolds through the moods of the music: friendly encounter, exploration of the earth and sky, exchange of information, enjoyment of spatial cultures and finally revelation of the way to achieve a super dimension world. And we are left with sweet melody once more as the UFO departs into space - all of which we are drawn into and experience in our own fantasy, through the stimulus of sound.
Perhaps a new concept: Science-Fiction in Sound. Through this can we overcome realistic daily life, our time and physical limitations and contact our fantasy-imagination? We can, and through that we can reach into limitless space, touch the super intellect, be any object or being and cast ourselves, all powerful, into the universe.
- Sakyo Komatsu
For the past year I have struggled with a computer - a micro computer. I say "struggled" because a computer is beautifully precise, but I wanted it to produce musical results - in other words, as a musical instrument. How could this keyboard of only ten keys compare with that of a grand piano? But I came to realize that those ten keys could produce an almost limitless number of combinations, each of which is a signal that could determine a characteristic of sound: pitch, texture, attack time, duration, loudness. And the computer can be programmed to change any or all of these features with incredible speed.
The computer thus produces a sequence of signals that control the sound production of a synthesizer. It is something like millions of little hands rapidly changing all the synthesizer connections to produce a vast variety of sounds. My musical images must be coded by numbers to direct those hands to manipulate the synthesizer.
I build layers of sound by programming the computer. These are recorded one by one on separate tracks of a tape machine and finally all mixed together for the end result. I consider myself a sound animator, much the same as an animator of film cartoons.
I have used my computer in creating practically all the pieces contained in this album. It is made in Japan by Roland - model MC-8 - and is perhaps the best in the world with regard to memory capacity and accuracy.
Although I cannot walk onto a stage and have the joy of struggling to perform my music before an audience, I struggle to select the right numbers on my computer to build a creative entity that displays my musical personality.
This album is different from my others in that the master was recorded onto five tracks. Ideally, it should be heard through five speakers, four in the conventional rectangle and the fifth suspended above the center - thus a sonic pyramid. Although it is impossible to encode this onto a phonograph record, as much as possible of the five-channel effect has been incorporated into standard discs through the help of the engineering staff of Japan Victor.
A Coded Message
Each side of this record contains coded data in the form of certain sound effects. The message can be recovered if the electrical signal from the record is interfaced with the input of a micro computer programmed to the TARBEL System.
- Isao Tomita
THIS IS THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE, OVER. SLOW DOWN. TARGET 50 MILES OFF SOUTH FLORIDA, A GIANT PYRAMID AT OCEAN BOTTOM.
THIS IS THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE, OVER. LOOK OUT! THE CYLINDRICAL OBJECT JUST LIKE THE ONE EXPLODED OVER SIBERIA AND CRASHED INTO TUNGUSKA IN 1908, HAS JUST COME INTO THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
Huge Mysterious Pyramid Found Under Ocean in Devil's Triangle
Ocean explorers have found scientific evidence that a collosal pyramind - more immense than any other known - sits beneath the sea in the Devil's Triangle.
Sonar tracing reveals massive and symmetrical structure. Says author Charles Berlitz: "I believe we have found a pyramid where Atlantis may have existed!".
Pyramid as shown in artist's sketch is in 1,200 feet of water and reaches incredible height of
780 feet. Undersea researcher found it 50 miles off South Florida.
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System 700 [82k JPEG]
Roland Micro Computer MC-8 [78k JPEG]
2 Victor SEA-7070
Quad/Eight Compumix (24 Ch.)
Ampex MM-1100 16 Tracks
AKG BX20E Echo Unit