Saturday, Aug 20 • 7 pm
The Ambient Church series presents events that strive “to bring new ecologies to architecturally unique spaces through transcendent audio and visual performance.” Hence this rare concert at First Baptist Church featuring Don Slepian, a Pennsylvania-based composer and synthesizer magus who has built a rich discography of blissful, mostly beat-free electronic music dating back to the early ’70s.
A former computer engineer, Slepian is one of those early-adopting, tech-savvy musicians who dominated the New Age and electronic-music worlds of the ’70s and ’80s. Under the direction of Max Matthews, Bell Labs hired Slepian as Artist in Residence in its Acoustics and Behavioral Research department, where he worked from 1979 to 1982 and cut the albumsSea Of Bliss and Rhythm Of Life. These works reflect his ability to create long-form keyboard tapestries threaded with tranquil drones and embellished with gorgeous, bejeweled melodies. This is cerebral, escapist music in the best sense of the words.
This Saturday, Slepian will perform Sea Of Bliss and other early pieces such as Awakening and New Dawn. Cool Maritime—Pacific Northwest musician and filmmaker Sean Hellfritsch—opens. An immersive light show will augment the sounds.