Fearlessly individualistic and fiercely independent, Pauline Anna Strom understands how often we must go way out if we hope to understand what’s within. Long regarded in hushed, reverent tones as one of the finest yet most obscure composers to spring out of the West Coast home-produced cosmic synthesizer music or the 80s, Pauline self-released a vibrantly diverse series of LPs and cassettes over a six year period – 1982-1988. One wouldn’t be off base in comparing the Trans-Millenia Consort alter-ego total world building she undertook to the Drexciyan world and worldview outlined over the course of that group’s exacting and self-contained eight year run.
However, whereas Drexciya’s preoccupation was aquatic, Strom strove to create a sensationally heightened world or alternate reality pulling from a past and future that isn’t quite ours. “…the metals of the earth, the easy flow of the human voice, hypnotically stretched out states of consciousness, the welding of mysterious vampire legends, modern violence and desolateness…” Strom’s internal vision is likely so vivid, in part, because she was robbed of any view of the outside world by a premature birth complication. She views her blindness as a strength, however. “I feel it has helped rather than hindered my musical abilities. My hearing and inner visualization have, I feel, developed to a higher level than perhaps they would have, otherwise. And it doesn’t affect my abilities from a technical standpoint, either. It’s quite possible to program synthesizers, effects units, accurately record one’s work and handle a mixer. I do this all by sound. In fact, I rather like working in the dark.”
With the release of our Trans-Millenia Music compendium, we’re quite sure that a new generation of listeners will find Strom’s consortium irresistible and eternally ripe to explore. As of press time, she can be found in San Francisco sharing a home with Little Solstice, her Cyclura.
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