Illustration: Ron WalotskyThis is my fifth album. In the past I made music for jingles or soundtracks for movies and television drama series, and I made them in collaboration with others. However, I have made these five albums in the current series all by myself. The reason is that in the case of synthesizer music it is extremely difficult to write a description of the original sound. Even if one did do this it would require an enormous amount of paper if all the necessary details were to be noted down, and if a programmer were to try to assemble the sounds according to such directions there is no assurance that the original conception of the music could be realized.
Art Director: Joseph J. Stelmach
I often use the analogy of an artist's palette to explain about synthesizer music. First, an idea comes to my mind, and in order to express that idea in reality I use the synthesizer. This is almost like a painter who mixes his own colors on his palette using paints of some original colors in order to express the images he has in his mind. I try to create certain four-dimensional images in space, and I imagine in my mind a hall that can hold about 1,000 people. Therefore, space is integral and becomes the basis for my sound images in this collection.
The titles alone do not suggest a unity of the sound concept I have created in my mind. Let me explain:
"Star Wars" Main Title is from the American space-fantasy movie being shown widely throughout the world. I have used a rhythm box in making the arrangement of the music. Towards the end of the title music there comes a famous melody that a robot carries in a strange way. Is it the true melody?
Space Fantasy begins with heavy, deep sound expressing the shaking of the earth. Then the dawn, and from beyond comes a Pegasus waving its wings. I have tied all of these images into a fantasy.
Pacific 231 - the Pacific is the large steam locomotive, made some 60 years ago, that had two pairs of front wheels, three pairs of power wheels and one pair of rear wheels. In my childhood I felt that an electric train would go only for a short distance but a steam engine would be for a long distance and therefore would carry me to faraway spaces. I have tried to recapture and recreate such a scene before my memories of a steam engine become diluted and disappear.
When one listens to The Unanswered Question after having heard Pacific 231, one may feel that he is being pulled away from the earth into a space without gravity. One should imagine he is listening through speakers drifting in the airless space. He must then imagine experiencing sound without the air through which it is transmitted!!
Solvejg's Song depicts the pure and innocent heart of a woman who is left alone in a mountain cottage in Norway and waits patiently and faithfully for the return of her lover, Peer Gynt. She sings the song while working her spinning wheel. Time and space are woven into this haunting melody. It predicts the return of her unfaithful lover to find her still waiting - still spinning.
The image I have created in Aranjuez may differ from that which the original music intends. Whenever I hear this piece I imagine a picture, taken by a pilot in the late 1920s, of the Nasca Lines, which etch the desert in southern Peru. It is not an artistic picture. It looks like a symbol for a signal. Nearby there is something that looks like a runway of an airfield built in ancient times. Space travelers? Another unanswered question.
Hora Staccato - micro computers are being used readily nowadays, and we will soon find ourselves in an age where such computers will order most aspects of existence. Good or evil? Micro computers were used extensively in the making of this cheerful piece to suggest that there is hope that civilization will not be destroyed by its own technology.
The Sea Named "Solaris" - for this piece I was inspired by the Russian science fiction movie "Solaris". The planet "Solaris" consists entirely of a sea of plasma that is a living creature with its own power of reasoning. Men from the earth make a space station on Solaris, and send people there to make observations. The sea of Solaris extracts memories from the sleeping earthmen's brains and reincarnate loved ones from their past. I did not try to express the planet Solaris itself but a certain state of a human mind that might be created by the happenings there. The cherished memories are depicted by Bach's Invention, and the eternal longing is expressed by Bach's chorale I Call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ.
- Isao Tomita
Translated by T. Yamamoto
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