A reminder from AAM that Steve Layton’s new album “Vision” is out. I had a listen today and I’m pleased to report that it has all the Steve Layton hallmarks. Grand, playful, dark, surreal and inventive with deep textures and lots of treats in the way of poetry readings and unconventional sampling from small metal balls falling through pachinko machines in a Japanese game parlor to the single recording of a honeybee. Each work is described in detail here.
It just occurred to me that my release of Bats in the Belfry was fairly close to Steve’s and both albums have quite a bit in common (both employing the digital piano roll), although the approaches are substantively different. As Steve notes: “While some may consider all of this to be simply “machine music”, I think of it as nothing of the kind. The score is composed in every way identically to how we composers have done so for centuries with pen and paper; but in addition the score records my own “touch” in every note, something not possible before the coming of digital sequencers. And the synthesizer is no more a “machine” than a violin is. Both are truly instruments, each designed to create and channel vibrations from within their body into the air and ear, all of it the impetus of a human agency.”
While it was my aim to create a mechanism which I imagined succumbed to flesh at moments and at other moments forgoing a human touch altogether, taken over by a rusty, old machine, Steve took care to create beautiful works with an imprint of the human hand.
Steve Layton’s Vision is available through numerous online outlets. Click the album pic for a direct link to iTunes.