Inter-Dimensional Music through IASOS C54 (Rotifer) –
I would qualify this as a visionary work of sophisticated, dreamy, ambient, experimental beauty. It was apparently one of the earliest examples of “new age” music, put out in 1975. It was also the first album that Iasos (pronounced ya’ sos) or his collaborator Steven Halpern had released.
From the biographical information at the IASOS site:
“In 1967, to his surprise, Iasos began spontaneously “hearing” a new type of music in his mind, which he then referred to as “paradise music”. After graduating from Cornell in anthropology in 1968, Iasos decided to move to California and to dedicate his life to manifesting this “heavenly music” he was experiencing internally, since he was convinced it would have an uplifting, healing, spiritually-invigorating and harmonizing effect on many potential listeners. And that in many cases, this music would help people to connect to heavenly realms of existence.”
The description of the music is pretty correct in my estimation. It’s comforting and imaginative. It flirts with a floweriness that is indicative of some of the cheesier elements of new age music. It seems that with later releases this flowery quality that some people (including myself) might not like too much hangs around more often. There are a number of YouTube videos available for viewing of Iasos’ video work and newer music. It’s pretty New-Agey. I did find that his instrumentation is often different that you might think, which was interesting. He seems like a very good-natured guy. I like him, even if I had to use up several packets of salt listening to some of his ideas about reality. Who knows what’s really going on, anyway? I guess I would rather listen to a person like Iasos talk about his conceptions of reality than a lot of other people. At least it’s interesting, colorful, and pretty positive.
From the video (from 1979) linked to below this article:
“…as the new age is now coming in, higher higher higher higher subtler subtler subtler frequencies of reality are coming in…”
My favorite piece on the album is the remarkable guitar (lap steel?) piece “rainbow canyon”, which uses alternate tunings, heavy doses of reverb, impeccable slide & hammer-on techniques, and highly sensitive & intelligent compositional discretion. It seems partially improvised and partially composed, but I can’t be sure because of course I wasn’t there, and I’ve never met the guy to ask him. To me, this is one of the most well done and unique pieces for guitar that I’ve ever heard. My opinion is arrived at largely, I’m sure, because of the mood; a dreamy, peaceful, transportive night-time feeling is evoked. With the aforementioned complexity of the composition showing itself in various swells, repeated miniature themes & phrases, it bears infinite re-listenings and supplies a humbling mystification each time, yet somehow the spirit of the music is very humble and genuine itself.
The whole album is like this, really. There is a lot of studied compositional maneuvers, with a modest variety of instruments played with great skill by Iasos & Steven Halpern, but the sentiments transmitted through the music are earnest and playful, not seeking recognition for flair of delivery. It’s obvious that Iasos and Mr. Halpern created this music with a pure joy of creation and with a good will. I’m really happy that Rotifer dug this up and did the work to make it known to a wider audience. They sold out their initial pressing of 200, and are in a second pressing of 200 if you’d like to get a copy for yourself.
I wasn’t there during the process of creation for any of Iasos’ projects, and I’ve not met him, but I did spend a bit of my time with him by proxy of this youtube video, which was revealing:
Iasos page for Inter-Dimensional Music (available on LP & CD w/extra tracks not available on tape):
Iasos bio page: