INVISIBLE CHARIOTS  (1977) for Stereo Tape (Recorded Sounds)
Duration: 21:50
INVISIBLE CHARIOTS was the first electronic work of Priscilla McLean to combine musique concrete with synthesized sound. The first movement and part of the second was created at the Indiana University of South Bend’s Electronic Music Center, where McLean was the resident composer from 1975-76. After the McLeans’ move to Austin Texas, the second and third movements were completed at the McLean home electronic studio in 1977. Several analog synthesizers were used, along with specially made percussion, the harp of a piano stroked, tennis balls bounced on the strings, a violin’s strings bounced on with a steak knife, all altered by tape manipulation. The title refers to the intuitive creative inner force that shapes a work, inspired by the poem “Isle of Patmos” by Carl Sandburg (“The invisible chariots of the tall sky make archangels themselves invisible. I have seen these chariots. So have you, or you have missed something.” [Harvest Poems, Harcourt, Brace &World, Inc. NY]”). The movements’ titles are 1. Voices of the Invisible, 2. Archangels, 3. Chariots.

Premiere: Stereo version: March 1978 at the Interart Gallery, New York City: The First Festival of Women’s Music.  Quadraphonic version: October, 1978 at The University of Texas at Austin. INVISIBLE CHARIOTS was a staple of the McLean Mix tours during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, and was one of Priscilla McLean’s most widely heard works.
The stereo version was originally released on Folkways Records FTS 33450 (1979), and in 1997 on CRI: “The McLean Mix & the Golden Age of Electronic Music” CD 764.  The latest version is on EM Records 1060CD (2006), the album titled Barton and Priscilla McLean, ELECTRONIC LANDSCAPES, and the extensive booklet is printed in English and Japanese.  
Invisible Chariots is available for streaming on SPOTIFY