recordings - celestial fires

available from:
Lovely Music
260 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

    For the liner notes to Bare Bones, click here (pdf) .


     "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

Click for complete Liner NotesThe 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!

   "After a recent concert of the DownTown Ensemble a person said to me, 'I like them, because they seem to be enjoying themselves. They make the music sound like it’s fun.' Nice observation. I always wish I could do that. Even more, I always wish that everybody could do that, so I would have more fun going to concerts. How did we get the idea that concert music should seem like a job to be done—that otherwise the musicians might be off somewhere else, having a good time?"
—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)