The recordings on In My Arms, Many Flowers date from 1978 – 1982, selected directly from Schmidt's personal cassette archive. It holds two studio tracks, along with two live performances. The first track, And the Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn (commissioned by composer John Adams), employs an early digital sampler provided by Pauline Oliveros. It holds the sound of a string quartet. The nature of this piece is breathtaking, an ocean of strings pulsing beneath the gliding bells of the gamelan – such a lovely interplay. Furthermore, the title track, In My Arms, Many Flowers, features the addition of a rebab, a traditional bowed instrument, which reels through the piece, netted and taught.
The final two works are strictly gamelan compositions. Ghosts is a a dynamic piece; rife with dexterous euphoria - it well displays the skillset of the percussionists heard on the LP. The closing work, Faint Impressions, is a somber elegy. Demonstrating the fragility and grace possible with the gamelan; sounding almost as an evening piano sonata.
This album is a unique document from an under-represented movement of American New Music. An account of the curious beauty and woven emotions hidden within resonating pieces of metal.
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