1. The Unanswered Question [2:46]
  2. Also Sprach Zarathustra [2:20]
    R. Strauss
  3. Dawn Chorus [1:43]
    Based on Bachianas Brasileiras No.4-1 "Preludio" (Villa-Lobos)
  4. Dances Of The Young Girls from "The Rite Of Spring" [3:01]
    From "The Rite Of Spring" (Stravinsky)
  5. Cranes In Their Nest [4:45]
    Japanese Traditional
  6. Lever Du Jour from "Daphnis et Chloé Suite no. 2" [3:52]
  7. The Lark Ascending [7:07]
    Vaughan Williams
  8. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind [3:18]
  9. Violin Concerto no. 1 in D:Moderato; Allegro Moderato [7:44]
  10. Liebestod from "Tristian und Isolde" [7:42]
  11. Blast Off [2:31]
  12. An die Freunde [18:32]
    From Symphonie no. 9 in D Minor Op. 125 by Beethoven
  13. Finale from "Firebird" [1:21]
The Plasma Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Isao Tomita
Arrangements by Isao Tomita
Art Director: Neal Pozner
Cover Art Construction: Marty Luko
Photography: Toshimasa Miura, Nick Sangiamo
"The Mind of the Universe" was the first in a series of concerts called "Ars Electronica"
Recorded Live in Linz, Austria, September 8, 1984

On September 8, 1984, Isao Tomita presented a live, outdoor concert on the shore of the Danube River in Linz, Austria, for an audience of 80,000 people. The concert was called "The Mind of the Universe", and through his interpretations of classical music, Mr. Tomita was attempting to describe the 15 billion year history of the universe. He employed 13 channels of sound, including one from a helicopter 1,500 feet above the river, multi-channels on either side of the river and on a ship that also carried the violinist, shakuhachi player and a chorus of 100 Austrian singers. Special lighting, lasers, fireworks and other visual effects enhanced the sound presentation. Tomita's "stage", where he controlled the sound, was a specially constructed pyramid suspended from a crane near the river.
Since this recording was made from the sound performed by the audience at this live concert, various extraneous noises and varying sonic perspectives will be evident. These are normally encountered at outdoor concerts. The selections on this record are among those presented at the concert.

Press Information it arrived this morning.

15 years of waiting, and looking, and hoping, and now it rests in my hands (makes typing difficult, but hey, i learned the art of one-handed typing long before "the web" existed, back when "the 'net" was just geeks and gurus, and "commercial Spam" only came in a can from the supermarket...)

"The Mind of the Universe", Isao Tomita's 1984 Live at Linz performance, is an acoustic tour-de-force of classical music that caused me to wear out several copies of the cassette, and at least one copy of the vinyl (remember when vinyl was more than just a fetish?).

disco had died, rock was suffering a Hair-Care Products-induced setback, and most people my age were listening to the newest incarnation of New Wave when this disc first came to my attention. (in fact, i think i first heard this CD about a month after Images in Vogue played my high school... if that doesn't date me, i can't think of much else that will, short of an attempt at dendochrinology...)

this recording *deserves* to be on CD. it was recorded live, a performance for 80,000 people on the banks for the Danube in Linz, Austria. the clarity of CD recording brings out every nuance and small incidental sound (including boats on the river, occasional crowd noise, the helicopter which carried one of the audio channels used during the performance, shifts in audio channel perspective). oddly enough, these incidentals don't detract from the calibre of the performance, but add depth to it.

the bulk of the performance is classical music rendered electronically for the most part, plus a violin soloist, a traditional japanese stringed instrument called a sakuhachi, and a 100-voice choir (all based on a boat in the middle of the river). there are performances of Holst, Wagner, Ravel (not "Bolero", sorry), Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Strauss, and Beethoven, as well as a traditional japanese piece and the ever-familiar passage from John Williams' "Close Encounters" - which doesn't seem at all out of place here.

if you want something a little out-of-the-ordinary to soundtrack your dungeon, this is probably *THE* best thing i can suggest - and for a person with a music collection the size of mine, that's gotta be saying something :). of course, this recommendation presupposes a willingness to tolerate classical music, and some quirky renderings of said classics, at that.

the downside of this disc is, as you may have surmised, it's rarity. if you have a prefered means of tracking down used CDs, on the web or otherwise, you can always put the word out that you're looking for a copy. but don't expect to find it in a hurry. but if you can find one, it's worth the wait. it may not seem worth 15 years' of waiting, but hey - i'm something of a freak when it comes to music.

unknown I am a avid Tomita fan! I was fortunate to acquire a new cd! of the mind of the universe! live at Linz! 1984. I have other favorites such as canon of the three stars, pictures at an exhibition,spacewalk: impressions of an astronaut! mind of the universe on cd, new lp! and cassette!

2005. Darren Campbell / USA