|recordings - celestial fires|
"Either en masse or in antiphonal clusters, Ms. Leach's slow-paced and soothing music seemed intent on filling this high-ceilinged space with different densities of sound."
Bernard Holland, New York Times
"[Her pieces] have an underlying sense of magic and mystery. Unlike some of her more intellectual contemporaries, Leach is not merely messing around with the properties of sound; she's exploring (and connecting with) the aesthetic and even spiritual power of sound."
Bill Tilland, Option
DownTown Ensemble was formed in 1983 by co-directors, Daniel Goode and
William Hellermann. The Ensemble has several points of focus: music for
open (unspecified) instrumentation, emerging composers, commissions, graphic
scores, ritual/intermedia music, and large ensemble works. While the Ensemble
has a consistent core of players, performances always involve a variety
of other artists. There have been over fifty such collaborations since
the group’s inception. This Lovely Music CD presents four of them!
—from the CD liner notes by Robert Ashley MARY JANE LEACH is a composer/performer from Vermont who has lived in New York
since the mid-1970’s. Her work reveals a fascination with the physicality of sound, its acoustic
properties and how they interact with space. In many of her works Leach creates an other-
worldly sound environment using difference, combination, and interference tones; these are
tones not actually sounded by the performers, but acoustic phenomena arising from Leach’s
deft manipulation of intonation and timbral qualities. The result is striking music which has a
powerful effect on listeners. Critics have commented on her ability to "offer a spiritual
recharge without the banalities of the new mysticism" (Detroit Free Press), evoking "a
visionary quest for inner peace" (Vice Versa Magazine), and "an irridescent lingering sense of
suspended time." (Musicworks Magazine)