Published in 1990, The Way In was Scottish electroacoustic music composer Steve Moore‘s last official release, comprising recordings made in 1990 – as opposed to his other 1990 cassette release, The Threshold of Liberty, collecting archive recordings from 1982–84. Both were published under his own Inner Ear Recordings imprint. Though mostly recorded with synthesizer – and not only the VCS3 Moore used on A Quiet Gathering, but more up-to-date gearing as well–, The Way In also includes acoustic sources like violin, trumpet and saxophone. The 7 tracks continue Moore’s usual trademark of electronic compositions with deep, psychoacoustic undercurrents. Wordless, ethereal female vocals (#5 & 7), animal sounds and field recordings enhance the peculiar psychological experience this music induces. A quote from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung and the Max Klinger symbolic engraving (“Frühlingsanfang”, or Early Spring, 1877) on the cassette’s cover both put the listener in the appropriate frame of mind. Moore graduated in psychology from Durham University and used the University’s Electronic Music Studio on earlier recordings.
♫ The Untitled track #3 is a sad elegy for soprano saxophone and synthesizer piano sounds, on top of which trumpet player Alistair McGhee adds a beautiful, nostalgic melody. The amazing #4 Chiaroscuro is build on a progressively evolving electronic drone, cymbals in the distance, screeching violin and layers of indistinct animal sounds, possibly birds, monkeys and howling wolves. The result is as disturbing as the Costin Miereanu LP I posted a while back. The sequencer and electronic loops of #5 Gyrodance reminds Roger Doyle and Olwen Fouéré’s duo Operating Theater from the early eighties. The awesome closing track, Logos, consists in an electronic drone slowly growing in density until, near the middle of the piece, it reaches an apex of transfixing intensity, even if the female vocals at the beginning of the piece might have lured the listener into a soothing lullaby. In a final analysis, the point of this kind of music is to listen to yourself listening, and to observe how you deal with the emotions raised by the psychoacoustic sounds.
01 A Solitary Voice (4:03)
02 The Way In (6:30)
03 Untitled (4:30)
04 Chiaroscuro (7:14)
05 Gyrodance (6:16)
06 A Finer Purity (3:06)
07 Logos (10:27)
Russel Cowieson, saxophone on #3
Alistair McGhee, trumpet on #3
Harriet Wilder, violin on #4
Emma Bishton & Louise Owen, voice on #5 & 7
Total time 42:06
Cassette released by Inner Ear Recordings, UK, 1990
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Steve Moore’s discography:
1984 Return Of The Poet, cassette, Mirage
1988 A Quiet Gathering, LP, ReR (England)
1990 The Threshold of Liberty, cassette, Inner Ear (Scotland)
1990 The Way In, cassette, Inner Ear (Scotland)
Various tracks on Recommended Records Quarterly samplers