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Rainforest Images

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Catalog Number: CPS-8617
Audio Format: Stereo, DDD
Playing Time: 72:33
Release Date: 1993

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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    Priscilla and Barton McLean
Rainforest Images (48:14)
   Listen: RealAudio or MP3
    Priscilla McLean
  6. On Wings of Song (5:12)
    Barton McLean
  7. Himalayan Fantasy (19:04)


Also Available on Capstone


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Classical Net - January 2001 - by Raymond Tuttle

"One might think that composers of electroacoustic music have much in common with nuclear physicists. Plenty of forbidding images arise -- for example, those of "mad scientists" in clinically spotless labcoats speaking a language that only they can understand, and cackling over projects whose merits one needs to be equally brilliant to comprehend. After all, "fun" is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of this musical genre.

Then one becomes aware of the work of Barton and Priscilla McLean, a husband and wife team based in Petersburgh, New York, whose electroacoustic music is . . . well, different. Together, they are known as "The McLean Mix," and their literature describes them as an "Electroacoustic Music/Media Duo." Bringing their work to a non-traditional (that is, a non-concert-going) audience is important to them, and they promise "sounds and sights so unusual that you the audience will want to get up and perform and dance and paint . . ." Disney's Epcot Center was never like this. The McLean Mix can recreate a jungle in Borneo, a rainforest, or a desert spring in a small performance space; participants can play acoustic and electronic instruments, sing on a sound processed microphone, immerse themselves in slide and video images, and move their bodies in response to the rich banquet of sights and sounds. As you might have gathered by now, the description "environmentalists" also belongs to Priscilla and Barton McLean, although they might not explicitly identify themselves as such. To "Save The Rainforest" is a noble goal few would argue against, but it is too abstract to mean much to most people. The McLeans' interactive multimedia performances bring rainforests and other vulnerable environments to the audiences, and, if the music alone is anything to go by, it would be very difficult not to become emotionally involved in the spaces that are so vividly evoked. Truly, there are universes in the compound eye of a bee, the McLeans seem to be telling us.

These four CDs are always surprising and provocative. They contain several types of sound. First, there's straight-ahead acoustic performance, as in the sound of a clarinet, saxophone, or human voice. Sometimes, the instrument will be manipulated during performance; Priscilla McLean "prepares" the piano in the style of John Cage with wedges, washers, credit cards (!), and other timbre-altering objects, and the inside harp may be played as well as the keyboard. A good example of this is in The Inner Universe, a suite inspired by electron micrographs of plants and animals. Fantasies for Adults and Other Children (a set of songs to texts by e.e. cummings) makes even more dramatic use of a prepared piano. Another manipulated instrument is the "clariflute," which is a soprano recorder with a clarinet mouthpiece; it can be heard in Dawn Chorus, Earth Music, and in other works on these four discs. The McLeans don't use electronics gratuitously, then; in Wilderness, Priscilla McLean (who has a fine soprano voice) adds reverberation to her voice with nothing more high-tech than an empty mayonnaise jar. She, it must be said, is a brilliant practitioner of what sometimes is called "extended vocal technique." Her whoops, shrieks, mutters, and palette of noises, guttural and otherwise, will endear her to anyone who loved Cathy Berberian's virtuosic performances of extreme 20th century music (particularly Luciano Berio's). Fans of Meredith Monk will be comfortable here too.

The McLean Mix frequently accompanies "live" instrumentalists or vocalists with pre-recorded stereo tape. In the funny and frightening Where the Wild Geese Go, the tape contains samples of the clarinet soloist's own playing, and so a virtual duet for one is made possible. The tape also contains samples of animal sounds (birds and bees) and percussion samples. In Barton McLean's Dimensions, the pianist (Dimensions II) or saxophonist (Dimensions III) plays along with pre-recorded piano or saxophone samples that have been processed, sometimes - as in the case of the piano in Dimensions II - past the point of recognition. Priscilla McLean's Dance of Shiva incorporates pre-recorded samples of everything from Buddhist chants and Hildegard von Bingen to bumblebees to evoke the Hindu deity Shiva. In concert, multiple slide projections depict "volcanoes, landslides, glaciers, storms, [. . .] peoples and animals appear, flower, and disappear in a continuous lifeflow cycle, on and on forever." (It is time for The McLean Mix to consider a DVD of their work; to a certain extent, perhaps these CDs are already outdated!) Further multicultural ambitions are revealed by In the Beginning. In this work, one of the most recent on these four CDs, Priscilla McLean reads creation texts from Babylonia, Greece, and Chaldea, and also draws upon Hindu, Arunta, Zuni, and Occidental cultures. This work contains some of the most complicated manipulation of live and pre-recorded material. As she sings "live," her husband alters her voice with echo- and delay-processing. The tape that is played simultaneously contains almost nothing but her voice, but extensive manipulation via the ASR-10 synthesizer dramatically alters its range and the timbre, even creating choral textures.

These are not the only unusual sounds to be heard on these discs. In the joint composition Rainforest Images, the McLeans have written for didgeridoo, the wind instrument created by Australia's indigenous peoples. The spokes of a bicycle wheel are bowed and struck with dampers in On Wings of Song, which also gives wonderful prominence to the pre-recorded "voices" of mosquitoes and bees. Even ancient glacial rocks are found to be highly musical; they are struck with mallets in Earth Music.

Lest the impression be given that this is New Age music for softy-eared tree-huggers, I need to say that the McLeans don't seem to feel any obligation to make traditionally pretty noises. This is not music to be lulled by or to fall asleep to. I admit that one afternoon I tried dozing off to one of these CDs, and woke up startled by the challenging sounds that were coming out of my speakers: did my house need an exorcism? Again and again, The McLean Mix comes up with awesome sounds and textures - and I mean "awesome" quite literally. Even though this is modern music that places communication with a non-specialist audience high on its agenda, listeners will get no free rides from it. They'll have to put aside their prejudices and hear it for what it is.

These discs have a refreshingly homemade quality that is in tune with the music that they contain; they are professional but hardly slick. The recordings - some of them in concert settings -- were made over decades and in many different locations. Nevertheless, the four programs hold together, and the engineering is just fine. If I were to pick just one (and I'm glad I don't have to), I would choose Capstone CPS-8637, which bears the title "The Electric Performer." It strikes me as being the most representative of the four."


Twentieth Century Music - February 1999 - by Mark Alburger

"Priscilla and Barton McLean are uncompromising performer-composers with their own personal musical vision. Often this vision is directly related to actual images, as in the case of Priscilla's The Inner Universe, a work in five movements that opens their Capstone release, The Electric Performer. This composition for amplified piano using "soft" preparations (super-balls, piano wedges, coffee mugs, covered metal washers, light chains, books, guitar picks) buzzes, perks, and glissandos along in response to electronic-microscope slides of David Scharf -- at times Cageian and Crumbian Priscilla's Where the Wild Geese Go is another busy bee in its samples of wild animal calls (Canadian geese, bald eagles, American bittern, loons, owls, honeybees, and bumblebees), clarinet (Gerald Fanner), bottle drum, and tabla.

Barton checks in with Dimensions II, a piano and tape composition excitingly performed by the well-known David Burge, who no doubt found his experiences recording the Makrokosmos cycle of George Crumb able preparation for this varied essay. Barton's neoprimative, haunting and spacious Dawn Chorus finds the composer as performer on soprano recorder and clariflute (a hybrid clarinet/recorder) through the sophisticated machinations of digital processing enriched by stereo tape. The album comes to a shrieking and ominous conclusion in Dimensions III, with alto saxophonist Albert Regni.

Priscilla and Barton bill themselves as The McLean Mix on two other Capstone releases, and indeed their compositional voices are more thoroughly entwined. Barton's Earth Music, the first selection on Gods, Demons, and the Earth, finds the composer on keyboards, clariflute, digital synthesizers, samplers, and digital processors, complimented by Priscilla as vocalist, ocarinist, and percussionist on ancient glacial rocks struck with mallets. Wilderness flips the responsibilities with composer Priscilla as extended vocalist to Barton's flexatone percussion supplemented with "animal [one assumes this means "mammal"], bird, insect, and surreal instrumental sounds (using digital sampling and synthesis) on stereo tape. The two more discrete compositions on this disc are the Visions of a Summer Night (Barton) featuring the mysterious wolfish sparkling light console on the third-movement "Fireflies," and Dance of Shiva (Priscilla), which adds sampled Buddhist Chant, music of Hildegard von Bingen, and precipitous glissandoing instrumentals to the mix.

The duo's continuing interest in natural and high-tech sounds is well shown by a third CD Rainforest Images. The jointly-composed title work, in five continuous movements, features voices, violins, wooden records, clariflute (here characterized as clarinet mouthpiece with recorder body), didgeridoo, wolf howls, monkey cries, birdsong, and ominous sustained vocals. Priscilla's vocals are allied with Barton's amplified bicycle wheel and insects (mosquitoes and bees) in On Wings of Song and Barton closes with a studio solo Himalayan Fantasy, a wonderful assemblage of recordings of Tibetan singers and instrumentalists organized into a large composition featuring synthesizers, sona, and harp-like sounds. This is one of the more convincing Fast-West syntheses since Philip Glass's music for Kundun."

American Music - Fall 1996 - by Robert W. Butts

"In 1991 I taught electronic composition at Drew University (Madison, N.J.). Although at first daunted by the thirty-year-old Moog modular system and four-track tape deck, I soon experienced the joy of discovery in experimentation. In the process I explored and reflected on the nature of tone manipulation, coming closer to understanding the excitement that I had witnessed in my electronic-oriented colleagues during my pre-electronic days. Investigating new relationships of time and form or line and rhythm, as well as the infinite effects of modulators, oscillators, and patch cabling, I found myself pushing the boundaries of my creative self, whether working for tape recorder or for recorder quartet.

In 19931 purchased a Roland MIDI board to connect with Finale in my IBM-clone computer. With much excitement I anticipated how the ready array of sounds I had spent many lab hours seeking would again expand my creativity in even newer directions. No fuss with webs of patches. No constant mixing down to achieve greater~than~three-voice polyphony; no panic when a particular well-liked sound mass was dismantled before I had remembered to record all the combinations of dials and wires.

Astonishingly, it did not happen. Instead my creativity became stifled and more traditional than ever. Without the catalytic force generated during the hours of searching, patching, splicing, mixing, and searching again, I fell into the habit of using a few, mostly familiar sounds in highly conservative formats.

Reviewing these two recordings, I was reminded of these experiences. In a similar way, the recordings reflect a large segment of the modern creative world, for it seems that as the available technology increases, the quality of the things created becomes less notable and more average. The paradoxical situation is similar to the cable television phenomenon: the more channels there are, the less worthwhile material one finds to watch. Similarly, as the technology to produce music has become cheaper, easier to use, and more available to more people, the music produced has grown less daring, less innovative, less reaching, and less individual.

This is not to say that one approach or another is definitively good or bad. For me, there is a spark in the earlier Dockstader work that is missing from the more recent McLean Mix composition. The listener can discern in each the limitations and the strengths of its technologies, as well as a zeitgeist of its era, a spirit perhaps somewhat dependent on its contemporary societal and technological level. Although both albums contain a great deal of rewarding material, it is startling to realize how conservative a large number of us have become with tools expected to produce the precise opposite.

In the now fairly long history of electronic music, neither Tod Dockstader nor Barton and Priscilla McLean (a unique husband and wife team known collectively as McLean Mix) has figured particularly prominently. Indeed, most reference books mention them briefly, if at all. Both these discs contain much of artistic and scholarly value, however, as relates to the artists themselves and their place within historical context.

Like Pierre Schaeffer; Vladimir Ussachevsky, Otto Luening, and other pioneers of analog composition, Tod Dockstader worked extensively with musique concrète, a label often oddly relegated to the bin of archaic terms even though many-from Billy Joel to Steve Reich-use manipulated tape sounds in one fashion or another. (The phrase does not appear at all in the liner notes accompanying Rainforest Images, although the use of prerecorded real noises figures prominently.) Dockstader submits the basic sounds of a drop of water, balloons, or adhesive tape to numerous manipulative formats, creating rich combinative textures as well as variations for use as the basis for further manipulation, or-as he and those of his time prefer-organization. Each of the thirteen tracks is determined by carefully coordinated sound elements that inspire imagery, demand attention, and generate strong emotional responses. Forms are clearly delineated. Themes are progressively developed. Counterpoint becomes a driving force of layered rhythms and thematic planes.

In the six parts of Water Music (1963), sound bites are presented in several levels of construct. The germinal form of the water drop, from which subsequent motifs are generated, is repeated at effectively placed intervals. In constant and immediate stages of development, the source appears in an endless array of transition states, the effects of device alteration. Finally, the germinal motif is heard in Dockstader's choices of the many potential transformed modes. In fascinating profusion the three stages-germinal, transition, and transformed-take on individual and collective identity.

Two Moons of Quatermass
("First Moon," "Second Moon") and Quatermass ("Song and Lament," "Tango," "Parade," "Plight," "Second Song"), both composed in ~964, are decidedly different, although equally forceful in emotional expressivity. All seven movements (Two Moons was a spinoff of Quatermass) are more strikingly electronic-reverberating than are those of Water Music. In addition all elements feel more controlled, less spontaneous. Counterpoint is thicker, imagery is more abstract, construction is tighter, and textures are denser. Percussive effects dominate, becoming the force that drives the music forward. In "Song and Lament" cannon-shot sounds in the initial moments lead into an impressively "orchestrated" passage filled with moaning glissandi figures. The tango's essential rhythm is generated through successive entries of beat splices that unite to create the dance.

Like many individuals working in the medium, Dockstader derives new and constructive principles from the fabric of his experimental materials manipulated through the endless hours of splicing and patching. Concepts of dissonance and resolution are based not on tonal/harmonic juxtaposition but on the cumulative thrust of altered frequencies, velocities, and pulsations. Also noteworthy is the psychological effect of Dockstader's scores. His sound elements are clearly artificially produced and arranged, yet they sound eerily human. They are disturbingly expressionistic and dark in their intensity. On a deeper level the electronic moans, cries, and sighs touch a root of human emotionality, sounding almost more human than does a real voice.

Real voices and nonelectronic instruments combine with taped and synthesized sounds to produce the strikingly different selections of the McLean Mix. Rather than pull in the listener, however, these tracks create an ambient atmosphere in which the music frequently fades into part of whatever surroundings the listener inhabits. Unobtrusive, the album is perfect for creating a mood of listening while doing something else. At first hearing it is easy to dismiss this as another modern effort to produce pleasantly interesting combinations of sound that can be soothingly entrancing. Dissonance and resolution here become little more than semiexistent ripples in an even-flowing space-time continuum. Multiple listenings show this to be a misleading evaluation, however.

Bird calls and songs begin Rainforest Images (the title work, which consists of five continuous movements). The listener is quickly absorbed by jungle visions and tropical imaginations. Slowly, like a primordial force, a "tonal" center emerges and gradually evolves. To complete the dreamy essence, pleasant tinkling sounds evocative of the magical waterfalls of mist-shrouded fantasies impart added warmth. Human voices enter subtly, casually invading and disrupting the fabric of this tonal Eden. More often than not, the vocal lines are intrusive, even though they initially blend with the natural world, even implying a harmonic oneness. In various sections of the piece these human elements attempt to dominate the score, subjecting the random and rhapsodic bird sounds to a controlled compositional process. Tension is main-
tamed through the contrapuntally conceived juxtaposition of bird and human voices. The entrancing harmoniousness to the dynamic and textural sameness is deceptive. Beneath the tranquility buzzes the human voice, at several points more mechanical than human. As nature squawks in protest, one is reminded of the buzzing mechanical presence humans inflict on the dwindling resources of the tropics (and the rest of the world). At least in the McLean Mix universe, the forest withstands the human invasion.

Similar to Dockstader's music, Rainforest Images (and the other two selections, Priscilla McLean's On Wings of Song and Barton McLean's Himalayan Fantasy) demands new terminology for critical discussion. Levels of activity create timbres and textures more easily described in computer language. The notions of sound bites, bits, asynchronous manipulations, and memory displacements describe what is heard more accurately than do those of chords, notes, rhythms, or voice leadings. Every McLean Mix element is primarily significant in its relationship with other elements, regardless of the effect of any vertical slice in time or score. The effect of Brendan Dickie's improvised didgeridoo passage on the bird calls and chanters, when heard in overlapping in consequent segments, thus becomes a point of thematic contact over the entirety. Specific pitches played on the Australian instrument or sung by the singers are almost irrelevant in the holistic compositional concept.

It is perhaps unfair to be too critical of the overwhelming ambience of Rain-forest Images, especially without the benefit of the digital light machine and image projection that are part of the piece's performance. As in much modern music, minimal techniques, long-range relationships, and a generally slower pace soften the effect of dramatic expression and the immediate thematic event. Repeated listening to the album will yield increased results to anyone able to resist the temptation simply to close his or her eyes and relax. In the end, for me, Tod Dockstader, with his more limited resources and more labor- and time-intensive technological devices, reached further into new areas of musical form, structure, and content. The McLean Mix sounds more like a retrenchment, despite the greater number and ease of access to similar sound resources (which is meant to imply not that any creativity is ever easy but only that the electronic means of realizing the creative impulse can be). As Barton McLean states in reference to his solo composition, however, the goal is to fuse existing elements in their real and electrified states. In this way buzzing bees, amplified bicycle wheels, hybrid instruments such as the clariflute (Barton McLean's combination of the clarinet and the recorder), and instruments from anywhere in the world are elements to be combined in imaginative ways to create music that makes its statement for the most part in unobtrusive ambience. The electronic composer of thirty years ago saw similar sounds in their potential to be manipulated, organized, and re-created in an ever-expanding musical universe."

Journal SEAMUS - April, 1995 - Volume X, Number 1 - by Rodney Oakes

"Priscilla and Barton McLean are certainly well known to Journal SEAMUS readers. They have been touring as the McLean Mix since 1973. Both Priscilla and Barton have contributed articles for the Journal. Their music has been widely available on concerts, recordings, and installations. Their new CD, Rainforest Images, is the result of much labor, enormous thought, and offers a mature work that reflects the McLean Mix at its best.

The McLeans have pioneered electro-acoustic music that involves and engages audiences. They have toured extensively presenting concerts and gathering material. They are also avid lovers of nature and their respect for nature is reflected in their music. They also have a deep respect for human culture and traditions, and they have incorporated indigenous music from many different corners of the world. Rainforest Images is a celebration of nature and human interaction with nature. The McLeans are twentieth century romanticists in the best sense of the term. No, they are not a part of a new tonal movement. Their respect for nature and human cultures is all reflected in their music.

The centerpiece of the CD is the five movement title work, Rainforest Images, composed by both members of this unique husband and wife composition team. Two additional works are included: On Wings of Song by Priscilla, and Himalayan Fantasy by Barton. The result is a CD that represents the team's collaborative and individual efforts.

Rainforest Images is an ambitious work and symphonic in scope. At forty-eight minutes in length and five connected movements, the results are like having one's own personal world symphony in one's living room. It works well for an audience of one.

The basic core consists of material gathered by the McLeans during their many world tours. There is extensive use of bird calls. They also use the talents of Panaiotis, a composer-singer who works with Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Band, and Australian vocalists Kerrie Ryan and Ivana Troselji, plus the talents of Brendan Dickie performing on the didgeridoo. Sometimes this information is given to the listener in a natural form. At other times it is heavily processed. Usually it is combined with the McLeans' original creations.

The McLeans also contribute acoustic performances. Priscilla sings, chants, and performs on recorder in a number of movements. Barton performs on the violin and the clariflute, a recorder with a clarinet mouthpiece. According to the liner notes, both contributed to the compositional process.

The work begins and ends with the ancient creation myth of the Wintu Native Americans (more evidence of romanticism). The intervening movements develop this creation theme. There are two musical techniques that hold the movements together: drones and bird calls. The imported and original musical ideas are then juxtaposed onto the recurring drones and bird calls. The result is a very satisfying balance of repetition and contrast.

Each movement has its own qualities, and yet each is related to the whole. In addition, there are no distinct separations between the movements, and one simply dissolves onto the next. It is a highly integrated piece.

Rainforest Images makes a powerful aural statement. The McLeans have explored a wide range of timbres that are only available in the electro-acoustic music medium. They have creatively incorporated world music traditions. They have also utilized their own vocal performance and performances on traditional and invented instruments. The results are extremely impressive and I hope that the piece finds a wide audience.

Somehow the McLeans were able to squeeze two more works onto this disk. The first of these is Priscilla's 1986 work, On Wings of Song, a short homage to the pesky insect. It is scored for soprano voices, amplified bicycle wheel, and recorded bees and flies. The bees and flies were recorded in a glass jar! I can not help but wonder what kinds of microphones were used?

On Wings of Song is a short but effective work. The text is from the 1911 book by Stewart Edward White, The Forest. Priscillas voice is accompanied by the flies, bees, and wheel. It is difficult to identify the sound sources, and the piece recalls many of the drone techniques used in Rainforest Images.

The last work is Barton's 1992 piece, Himalayan Fantasy. Source material comes from his 1985 Hawaiian trip. There he recorded Tibetan singers in their performance of a traditional pastoral song. Mclean presents these to the listener initially in an unaltered state. Ultimately they will become processed.

Himalayan Fantasy moves far away from the other works on this CD. There are very few drones here, and the piece gradually builds in intensity relying on rhythmically intensive passages. The first fourteen to fifteen minutes just keeps driving, and driving, and driving with no let up. The tension builds as layer upon layer of rhythmic activity is added. An introduction of drones and a thinning of timbres gradually lessens the intensity. The Tibetan singers who introduced the work also end it.

Rainforest Images is a powerful CD. The McLean Mix has spent years developing a distinct style. This CD is a testimony to their musicianship, their creativity, and their commitment to mother earth and the human race.

PS. The Mclean Mix recently announced a USA tour during the 1996 winter-spring season. Information regarding their offerings may be obtained by calling Barton at (518) 658-3595."


Turoks Choice - June 1994 - Issue No. 46 - by Paul Turok

"Rainforest Images, by Priscilla and Barton McLean sound like an electronic version of Villa-Lobos gone to seed (CPS-8617)."


Experimental Musical Instruments - June, 1994 - WB

"Barton and Priscilla McLean are two composers whose dedication to nature and ecological causes have guided their work. Over a number of years, they have visited rainforest environments throughout the world, recording sounds and or-ganizing them into pieces which they hope will raise people's awareness of the need to preserve these delicate places. Since 1989 they have been touring the world with their installation "Rainforest," which consists of playback of tapes of rainforest and other sounds, along with invited improvisation from mem-bers of the public. By 1990, they had collected a number of tapes of this installation and created, with assistance from the com-poser/electronic technician Panaiotis, the lush 48 minute montage presented here.

To say that "Rainforest Images" is romantic is an under-statement. The McLeans are consciously developing a very interesting late-2Oth century hyper-romantic aesthetic. Their dedication to capital N Nature is of a piece with their Transcen-dentalist philosophy, which unashamedly acknowledges its heritage of ideas from Thoreau, Muir and, musically, Charles Ives. Their rich multi-layered mixes, already charged with highly evocative bird and other animal calls, are made even richer with their accompaniments, mostly consisting of long notes, sustained chords, and ornamental flurries of electronic bell and harp sounds; and also by Panaiotis' digital processing and equalizing. Improvisations by three Australian musicians, on didjeridu and voices, also add to the overall richness of sound.

For me, one of the fascinating things about this piece is how all the types of sound used electronic sound; acoustic instru-ments, straight, extended, and sampled; voices, straight and modified; animal sounds; and digital processings of all of these merge into one sort of "superorchestra." Nothing loses its identity, but everything seems integrated into a kind of all-embracing sound world.

Readers of EMI will be particularly interested in Bart McLean's clariflute (clarinet mouthpiece, recorder body) im-provisations that start section 3 of the piece, which remind me of whalesong (Whales in the rainforest? The metaphor is getting pretty broad here!); and in Panaiotis' impressive digital modifications with his "Extended Instrument System."

One issue the piece raises is that of exoticism. For most people, the amazing sound of the Australian magpie, a recurring motive in the piece, will probably be incredibly exotic. For Australians, though, this extremely common sound will simply raise a familiar smile. Who is exotic to whom?

Interesting comparisons can also be made as to how dif-ferent composers use similar material. The Australian com-poser Ron Nagorcka's work for sampled Australian bird calls, didjeridu and other acoustic instruments, and political environ-mental poetry, for example, is much leaner, and angrier, than the McLeans' luscious, almost sweet sound mix; while English com-poser Trevor Wishart's use of animal sounds in his 1977 "Red-bird" was for much darker and more sinister purposes. By contrast, the McLeans' approach is optimistic and reverential, "a myriad of voices raised in song to the beauty of the rainforest," as they themselves describe it.

Also on the CD are two solo works, both on related themes. Priscilla McLean's "On Wings of Song" is a hilarious homage to the mosquito; while Barton McLean's "Himalayan Fantasy" takes a recording of a Tibetan folksong and weaves an impres-sive electronic tapestry around it."