from DEMBY, CONSTANCE Release Sheets Hearts of Space / P.O. Box 31321 * San Francisco * CA 94131 / firstname.lastname@example.org
N O V U S M A G N I F I C A T / C O N S T A N C E D E M B Y
"Sets a standard for the use of electronics against which future new age albums should be judged." --John Schaefer, WNYC-FM New Sounds (Harper & Row, 1987)
N O V U S M A G N I F I C A T Composed in 1986, Novus Magnificat was greeted with immediate critical and popular acclaim. As it approaches sales of 100,000 units, it has come to be considered one of the benchmark examples of the finest the new age music genre has to offer.
Billed by Ms. Demby as "a contemporary Magnificat and Exaltate for digital orchestra and choral voices," Novus is an inspired fusion of influences from traditional sacred and classical music set in a contemporary electronic ambience.
Ms. Demby composed and performed all the musical elements in her own 16 track studio using a combination of digital samplers and conventional synthesizers; additional electronic images and effects were contributed by Los Angeles synthesist, film composer and Hearts of Space labelmate Michael Stearns. The work was produced by Constance Demby and Anna Turner, with additional engineering by Warren Dennis, and mixed by Stephen Hill and Warren Dennis.
Subtitled Through the Stargate, the music charts a lengthy but resolute course toward a powerful emotional/spatial release at the apotheosis of Part 2, then recedes gently to the subtlest of contemplative sounds. Rather than taking us away from ourselves, the music leads inward, in an atmosphere of awe, reverence, aspiration, and joy.
C O N S T A N C E D E M B Y
Born in Oakland, California, Constance Demby moved to New York at age twelve. She studied painting, sculpture, and classical piano, later adding organ and synthesizer. During the '60s she exhibited her paintings and sculptures in group and one-woman shows in New York and Boston.
Throughout the 1970s she gave concerts, workshops, and visual/musical presentations all over the eastern seaboard. During this period she began formal meditation practice and used the experience to develop new forms of contemplative classical music.
Demby has been a pioneer in the new age genre, insisting on defining and expressing her individual voice in a new kind of music. In 1978 she established her own record label, Sound Currents, and published her own first albums of meditative and sacred music (Skies Above Skies  and Sunbourne ).
When she returned permanently to northern California in 1980, her music blossomed. In 1982 she created and released Sacred Space Music Vol. 1, an enduring electroacoustic album featuring sparkling hammer dulcimer, elegant acoustic piano, and shimmering synthesizer.
As a personality, Ms. Demby is hardy, determined, and impassioned -- also extravagant, experimental, thoroughly engaged, and engaging. She says what's on her mind and, most importantly, what's in her heart. Constance Demby has led the way in new age contemporary classical music, developing spacious contexts, meditative innerspace moods, and heartfelt, uplifting emotions that continue to enchant listeners and break through generational, demographic, and dimensional boundaries.
A I R P L A Y G U I D E
While each of the two major parts of Novus Magnificat forms an uninterrupted whole, we recommend the following segments for airplay:
Ascent: Beginning of Part 1, ending at 11:43 (fade between 11:30 and 11:43). The cello speaks for the human and the bassoon represents the divine. Their dialogue leads to the first of several ascending choral passages.
Flying Bach: Beginning of Part 2, ending at 5:37 (fade between 5:25 and 5:37). Intertwining synthesizers pay homage to the soaring spirit of Bach in cascading flights of joy.
A landmark recording in the new age genre. --Digital Audio's CD REVIEW
A delight to the senses...There is no other recording in the electronic genre that is so heartfelt, so devout...You will be moved. --USA TODAY
#3 of Pulse! Magazine's Top Ten New Age albums of the Decade!
S A C R E D S P A C E M U S I C / C O N S T A N C E D E M B Y
A B O U T T H E M U S I C
Sacred Space Music is the predecessor to Constance Demby's much acclaimed masterwork Novus Magnificat,
"An enduring New Age jewel -- sparkling hammer dulcimer, heart-tugging viola melodies, tasteful acoustic piano, shimmering synth." --Lee Underwood Reviewer, Tower Pulse!, Body, Mind, Spirit; Downbeat
"A major contribution to the field of new age music." --Magical Blend
A I R P L A Y G U I D E
Sacred Space Music features two extended pieces:
1. "The Longing" is a moving chamber concerto for hammered dulcimer, viola, piano, and synthesizer, which explores the elusive emotions of spiritual yearning.
2. "Radiance" begins with solo hammered dulcimer, then evolves into a vast, inspiring, continuously ascending chorale for wordless voices, synthesizer, and chimes.
S E T F R E E / C O N S T A N C E D E M B Y
S E T F R E E
is the work of an artist in her prime, reaching out to new rhythmic and multicultural influences from Balinese and African music, while journeying even deeper into the intensely moving electronic spaces charted by her 1986 masterpiece Novus Magnificat. Set Free presents a musical panorama that is unabashedly celebratory, ritualistic, meditative, and sacred.
Ms Demby composed the album using an array of digital keyboards from Korg, Roland, and Emu. Almost everything was played -- direct to tape. Some of the instruments were linked together via MIDI, but only two songs use any sequencer programming; Warren Dennis served as engineering consultant for the project and recorded all the live percussion overdubs by symphonic percussionist Garth Powell and ethnic rhythm specialist Kim Atlkinson. The versatile Mr. Dennis also contributed additional percussion tracks, worked on arrangements, and did most of the final mixes. Hearts of Space engineer/producer Stephen Hill mixed three of the complex orchestral pieces.
Geoffrey Chandler's illustration displays the musical spectrum of the album, moving from deep space to the banners, parasols, and fabrics of the Balinese mother temple at Besakih.
C O N S T A N C E D E M B Y / B I O G R A P H Y
Constance Demby has established herself as one of the leading artists in new age music.
Building on a background in piano, hammer dulcimer, and acoustic sound sculptures, she was a member of an east coast experimental group called the Central Maine Power and Light Company during the early 70's. She began releasing her own music on cassette in 1978, shortly after moving to California. Skies Above Skies, Sunborne, Live at Alaron, Light of this World, and Sacred Space Music (rereleased in 1988 on CD by Hearts of Space) served as building blocks for increasingly complex and ambitious productions.
She integrated symphonic instruments into her music soon after the arrival of digital sampling synthesizers, and began recording in her own 16 track Gandarva studio. The first result, her 1986 Hearts of Space album Novus Magnificat (HS11003), has been acknowledged by critics and listeners alike as a "landmark recording" of symphonic spacemusic and one of the few real classics of the new age genre.
A I R P L A Y S U G G E S T I O N S
1. Waltz of Joy [4:45] a soaring flight across the electronic cosmos.
2. Tribal Gregorian [4:20] choral voices introduce steel pans and African rhythms in a joyous multicultural dance.
4. I Set Myself Free [4:32] a new age anthem reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra, culminating in a powerful spacemarch.
New Age Programmers: Above plus:
5. Moving On [4:48] gorgeous orchestral movement with tympani in the grand tradition of Vangelisian romanticism.
6. Mother of the World [5:32] deep and heartfelt song for piano, strings, and chorus.
8. Lotus Opening [5:55] 9. Into the Center [11:08] 10. The Galactic Chalice [7:33] 11. Celestial Communion [9:17] These pieces taken together create a powerfully moving innerspace journey in the style of Novus Magnificat.