Priscilla & Barton McLean:  Compact Discs p. 2 of 2 


Combining nature/cultural sound and visual media with technological innovation, international composer-performers Barton and Priscilla McLean energize their haunting, evocative images with virtuosic performance.

"... all fused into a profound and memorable impression, bringing to a fitting close the constant theme of the concert and of the McLean's work in general--how one can get close to the inner forces and rhythms of the earth through sound and sight, enhanced through technology."--San Francisco Chronicle

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The best of the McLeans' works for instrument and tape, including three award-winning (Bourges Prize, IMC-Rostrum-UNESCO in 1983, Keyboard Magazine's "Best Pieces of the 70's", etc.) works and featuring the monumental piano/tape set The Inner Universe. These five works span two decades (1974-1996) and include performers such as David Burge, Albert Regni, Gerald Farmer, and The McLean Mix, and garnering warm praise from such critics and publications as John Rockwell (NY Times), David Burge, Audio Magazine, Keyboard, Winds Quarterly, Musical America, Fanfare, The Manchester Guardian, American Record Guide, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, etc.

The Music:

  1. 1.Priscilla McLean: The Inner Universe for Piano & Tape (Priscilla McLean, piano)

    1. 1.Landscape of a Coleus

    2. 2.Sweet Alyssum/Victoria Spring

    3. 3.Mosquitoscape

    4. 4.Flower Power

    5. 5.Salt Canyons

  2. 2.Priscilla McLean: Where the Wild Geese Go (Gerald Farmer, clarinet, with stereo tape)

  3. 3.Barton McLean: Dimensions II for Piano and Tape (David Burge, piano)

  4. 4.Barton McLean: Dawn Chorus (Barton McLean, winds, with tape)

  5. 5.Barton McLean: Dimensions III for Saxophone and Tape (Albert Regni, Saxophone)


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Fantasies for Adults and Other Children: Vocal Music of Priscilla McLean  (Capstone Recordings, CPS-8663)

Price:  $8

Priscilla McLean is especially noted for her innovative, compelling music for voice and instruments/synthesizer. This album contains her most compelling vocal work, garnered from a lifetime of work with the voice.  

The Music

  1. 1.Fantasies for Adults and

  2. 2.Other Children (poetry by E. E. Cummings. Nancy Hill, Soprano. Mark Saya, piano. John Ferguson, assistant on piano harp).

    1. hist whist

    2. little tree

    3. the rose is dying

    4. the wisti-twisti barber pole

    5. Tumbling hair

    6. I was considering how

    7. the moon is hiding

    8. in just-spring

  3. 3.In the Beginning (excerpts from ancient Babylonian, Chaldean, Greek, Hindu, Arunta, Zuni, Occidental and original texts. Priscilla McLean, soprano and all taped voice, Barton McLean, live vocal processing. Many virtuosic vocal techniques and shades of emotional content.

  4. 4.Wilderness (from the poem "Wilderness" by Carl Sandburg. Priscilla McLean, soprano, with tape.  A wild, humorous, lively setting of this seminal poem.  

  5. 5.Sage Songs of Life and Thyme (poetry by Priscilla McLean, with some other texts. Priscilla McLean, soprano, Susan Aceto, piano.  A simple, direct, and haunting set of vocalisations.

    1. Life is Just a Bowl of...

    2. Dreams....Reality(?)

    3. Is Life Just One Big...

    4. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    5. Life is a Merry-go-Round

    6. Life is a Merry-go-Round


The McLean Mix and the Golden Age of Electronic Music  (CRI CD 764) Composers Recordings Inc  $8

5 - star rating from!                          *****

"The Golden Age" refers to the period of the 70's , with many fascinating works being created when analog synthesizers and related instruments were at their most powerful. The McLeans were at the forefront of this era, producing albums such as the two seminal Folkways releases "Electronic Music from the Outside In" and "Computer Music from the Outside In," which were (and still are) used extensively in college courses. This album gathers together on one CD the very best of this electroacoustic music from 1974-80 spanning eight McLean Mix LP albums (all now out of print) on Folkways and CRI, including works on the two "outside in" releases, all completely revised and brought up to contemporary digital standards. Synthesizers heard on this album include the Synthi 100, Serge, Electrocomp, Wavemaker and Arp. Most of these works have already become classics in the electronic music literature and have been cited repeatedly in textbooks and articles. If you want to hear the very best of what it was like before MIDI and the polyphonic keyboards, when it all came together, this is it! 

The Music:

  1. 1.Priscilla McLean:  Invisible Chariots   (21:52)

  2. 2.Barton McLean:  Song of the Nahuatl  (17:00)

  3. 3.Priscilla McLean:  Dance of Dawn  (21:33)

  4. 4.Priscilla McLean:  Night Images  (6:01)

  5. 5.Barton McLean:  Etunytude  (5:30)

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Forgotten Shadows:  "Celebrations, rituals, and ceremonies that bring people together." Music by Barton McLean. CRI CD 846

(CRI "Emergency Music" Series)              Price:  $8

From the haunting "Ritual of the Dawn" for six players to the hilarious "Happy Days" performed by the McLean Mix on music boxes, party instruments, happy apple, etc., to the title work "Forgotten Shadows," this album represents the  aspect of Barton McLean that most involves people, in their joys and sorrows, through celebration and ritual.  "Ritual of the Dawn" is the most - performed of the huge choral-instrumental tableax "Mysteriesfrom the Ancient nahuatl," and is ably performed by members of the Syracuse Society of new Music.  It is both evocative and dramatic in turn, and shows the virtuosity of this fine ensemble.  

The 39 - minute "Forgotten Shadows" is a symphonic work involving orchestral electronics, narration, "old time" performers on musical saw, fiddle, ragtime piano, church choirs, bell choirs, music boxes, along with sounds of children playing, old time Fourth of July celebrations, marching bands, etc.  It takes the listener back to an earlier era of the early 1900's, and in a collage technique blends songs of that era with very contemporary techniques.  It soars to a grand climax and subsides with the plaintive thought uttered by one of the elder narrators chosen for her memory of the old times and the authenticity of her voice -- "That's all gone now -- you can't hardly see where it is."

"Happy Days" concludes the album in a lighter manner, with music boxes, party instruments, flexatones, and some wild gestures toward the New year.  

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Ordering Information

Prices of all CDs include all shipping and handling.  We accept personal or institutional checks, made out to "Barton or Priscilla McLean." Please do not make out to "The McLean Mix." We also accept purchase orders and Paypal (including credit cards through Paypal). Personal checks must be received before the items can be sent out.  All payments must be made in US dollars.  All items are in stock and will be sent out immediately upon receipt of check or purchase order.  We also accept institutional email purchase orders or emails.  We do not accept fax orders.

Send purchase orders or a check (made out to Barton or Priscilla McLean) to: Barton & Priscilla McLean, 55 Coon Brook Road, Petersburg, NY, 12138. Phone: (518) 658 3595. Email orders with a PO number are acceptable.


Mix and match any 4 CDs (except the EM release) at a special price when purchased as a set of four, for $25 which includes mailing costs. Just specify "Special 4-CD offer" when you order and list your choices. For purchase orders, add $5.  


Comment from Canary Burton, Producer of The Latest Score on WOMR-FM, Provincetown, MA: "  ...When I pulled out all the music I'd gathered over 4 years of my show, your albun "Fantasies for Adults and Other Children" is in the BEST of the BEST group.