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Michael Stearns

Composer/sound sculptor Michael Stearns was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, taking up classical guitar as a teen; in time he moved on to rock and jazz, and by the age of 16 was regularly backing top pop acts including the Lovin' Spoonful and Paul Revere & the Raiders. While a student at the University of the Pacific he turned to electronic music, completing his first musique concrète piece in 1968; four years later, Stearns returned to Tucson to open his own recording studio, subsequently producing a series of advertising jingles. In 1974, choreographer Emilie Conrad convinced him to move to Los Angeles to serve as the resident composer at her Continuum Studio; in the process of creating spontaneous live accompaniment for the dance group's groundbreaking explorations of human movement, Stearns developed a unique sound combining synthesizers and environmental samples, over time incorporating increasingly exotic instrumentation as well.

In 1977 Stearns released his debut album, Ancient Leaves, on his own Continuum Montage label, its space music aesthetic anticipating the coming rise of new age. Efforts including Morning Jewel and Planetary Unfolding followed as he developed The Beam, a 12-foot-long aluminum shaft strung with some two-dozen piano strings designed to generate low frequencies; in 1983, Stearns also collaborated with composer Maurice Jarre on Dreamscape, the first in a series of innovative film scores. His fifth solo album, Lyra, was performed on George Landry's mammoth Lyra Sound Constellation, an instrument comprised of 156 microtonally tuned strings of lengths up to 20 feet. In 1984, Stearns began a longstanding collaboration with filmmaker Ron Fricke that first yielded the soundtrack to the groundbreaking IMAX production Chronos; that same year, he also founded M'Ocean, a studio situated in Santa Monica, CA. (An album of the same name followed in 1985.)

In addition to 1986's Plunge, Stearns reunited with Fricke for the short film Sacred Site; soundtracks to two more IMAX productions, Seasons and Time Concerto, further solidified his reputation as one of the most innovative film music composers of the moment, highly regarded for his manipulation of multi-channel Surround Sound technology. In addition to subsequent albums including Encounter and Desert Solitaire (the latter a collaboration with Steve Roach and Kevin Braheny) as well as IMAX scores like Ring of Fire and Tropical Rain Forest, Stearns also designed the soundtracks for several rides at the Universal Studios theme park. After another collaboration with Fricke resulted in 1991's much-celebrated Baraka, he relocated to Santa Fe, NM, to build a new recording facility, Earth Turtle Studio. Singing Stones, a joint work with Ron Sunsinger, followed in 1994, and a year later Stearns released The Lost World. The Light in the Trees followed in 1996 and Sorcerer was issued four years later. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

leomclaughli n
damn these female vocals sound good
SPACE is not nothingness. It is the viewpoint of dimension. It is how far we look to a dimension point from a viewpoint and is we didn't look there would be no space. You are a viewpoint of dimension points. And that is what space is.
New music for my deep MEDITIONS. FRANK VOLPE,f.r.c.
I first hear Michael Stearns on Hearts of Space in the late 80's and bought Encounter in 88 and I'm now Hooked He is one of the Best Groundbreake r of Ambient Music, next to Eno,
Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze, Steve Roach, Tangerine Dream, Chris Franke and then there is Moby!, they all make music-magic!
My kids get scared listening to "encounter" especially at the end when it sounds like an alien sneaking through the woods, leaves and sticks eerily cracking beneath its green feet. This is great music and puts me into a trance before I fall into a deep sleep. Usually before the second song ends.
I've been a huge fan since Chronos was released on video! No one does it better than Michael!
Yeah, I heard of him from HOS myself..
I hadn't hear of him b4 this CRAFTon the ENCOUNTER LP, he is fantastic! After reading his bio, I'm looking forward to purchasing more music of his, don't know which one to get first!! From reading your comments, they all sound great! -Brady3
This is the first time I listen to his music (Stearns). I like it. In a way, it sounds like is coming from my own inner self. It`s very, very relaxing...
savage_land_ p i c t u r e s
I am a big fan of Stearns; I think of him an equal part sound designer and composer. His work on Chronos and Baraka were largely influential for me in pursuing sound design as a career. Wonderful soundscapes and melodies.
Don't listen to dave8799, he obviously has bad taste in electronic music.
retropat
Hey! The guy likes turtles. Cool. Stearns came to me on HOS as well. Never gave him up. Had an album with some mean guitar, circa 1982ish. What a morph.
dave8799
delete michael stearns from this station profile
briweav
I like turtles!!!
First heard Stearns on the Hearts of Space radio show. Good music.
I'm a new fan of his.
I love Michael Stearns...Th i s selection, the elevator is from the IMAX movie Chronos, which I have seen. It is all great!! Chronos can be rented from Netflix.
I entered a sacred space while listening to this music. Lovely soundspaces; quite peaceful and deep.
This guy's compositions are outstanding, deep and compelling.

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