Pauline Anna Strom: Trans-Millennia Music

- RVNG Intl. have just put out a compilation called Trans​-​Millenia Music, a collection of compositions by Pauline Anna Strom. Strom, who was blind from birth, relocated from the South to the Bay Area in the 1970s. It was there she was exposed to ambient music through San Francisco’s New Age scene. Trans​-​Millenia Music compiles tracks recorded by Strom between 1982 and 1988.

Rvng Intl. have delivered a number of interesting reissues recently, Michele Mercure and Syrinx coming to mind. Strom’s music is disparate, but from the examples on offer you can hear the influence of Brian EnoTangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Some of it has the blissed out feel of Bay Area contemporary Iasos. Compositions like Freedom At The 45th Floor and Gossamer Silk are stunning examples of this: melodic synths cascading and unfolding masterfully.

Conversely, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Some of the tracks go off on stranger tangents. I love the weird 808-backed songs like Virgin IceEnergies and The Unveiling. The scattering, plodding drum machine is perfectly matched to her spectral noodling. I also enjoyed the almost entirely rhythmic Bonsai Terrace, with its unmistakably plucky DX7 developing throughout.

Additionally, there’s an interesting Brisbane connection to Trans-Millenia Music. A film clip was produce for the release by new media artist Michael Candy. Apparently upon hearing the song Emerald Pool he was enchanted by Strom (the album Trans-Millenia Consort consequently going on high rotation in his studio). The film follows a number of small robots as they move around Nepal and thematically exploreing the fusion of technology and religion. Candy’s choice to score Pauline Anna Strom was apt in this way. Her vision came from a spiritual approach to music facilitated by technology, producing some truly evocative and singular ambient music.

- Hillfolk.

Album Details

Album Title: Trans-Millennia Music
Artist: Pauline Anna Strom
Record Label: (RVNG Int'l.)