July 30, 2015

Pauline Anna Strom - Trans-Millenia Consort, 1982

Self-taught Bay Area new age composer and synthesist Pauline Anna Strom sends us on a journey to other worlds on her debut album. Little is known about Ms. Strom apart from that she's a blind musician living in the Bay Area, who released all her later works under the moniker Trans-Millenia Consort. Strom explained the name change in the liner notes for Trans-Millenia Consort:
I consider myself the 'Trans-Millenia Consort,' by which title I wish to be known. This to me is a personal declaration that I have been in previous lives, that I am in this life, and that I shall in future lives be a musical consort to time.
 Oddly enough, the most information available about Strom is in the comments section of the Waxidermy page devoted to this album. It features an interview she did with Eurock in 1986, in which she discussed her musical/mystical philosophy, how her blindness is an advantage in musical creativity, and her opinion on "New Age" as a genre. There's also a rant about the music industry in which she evidences that little has changed: 
The hypocrisy, greed, jealousy, and spiteful intrigue that permeates the music business is disgusting, and in my opinion, anyone who sees it otherwise is naive or deluded. Also, don’t leave out the financial factor: money opens a lot of doors. Try being an artist living on the fringes, tying to hold onto your individualism in creativity, with just enough dollars to pay for rent and food, not to mention being a woman, blind, and divorced.
Strom is obviously a hero, conquering the odds to go forth and create, which becomes even clearer upon listening to this work. Apparently she just picked up these instruments, started playing, and with her blindness and lack of experience as an electronic musician, created an album which is full of feeling, and stunningly beautiful. This album isn't available for purchase anywhere but you can purchase her other releases here.

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