1990 - 1999: MUSIC USING MYTH, RELIGION, NATURE, AND PHILOSOPHY
Priscilla McLean’s mother died in 1990, which began a soul-searching about death, afterlife, and religions. An aborted trip to Tibet in 1988 inspired a study of the Shiva Hindu religion, and creation myths. These brought forth several works, along with the continuing love of nature. The McLeans are inveterate hikers and adventurers, in-between and among performance tours. Their most successful collaborative installation has been RAINFOREST, created by Barton McLean, and the spinoffs RAINFOREST IMAGES 1 and 2 (see Compositional Collaborations).
The McLeans’ electronic studio was now computer-driven, with a Macintosh Plus computer and Mark of the Unicorn “Performer” software, plus many digital effects processors, synthesizers, and samplers. This software evolved into Vision and Studio Vision, the tape decks into Tascam Dat digital recorders, and later, compact disks for recording and playing back. A musical style that McLean developed beginning with Dance of Dawn involves “imago-abstract” concept, which blends abstract with highly imageric sounds. (See “Fire and Ice: A Query”, article by McLean in Perspectives of New Music (Fall-Winter, 1977), and in the book “On the Wires of our Nerves: The Art of Electroacoustic Music” by Robin Julian Heifetz, 1989.