Pauline Anna Strom – Trans-Millenia Consort


Wow, here’s a new discovery for me. Pauline released this album in 1982. Every track on here is nice and mellow and spacy. Despite being blind, Pauline manages to channel Eno in every track making this one of my favorite new age albums. My favorite track on here is “gossamer silk”, sublime stuff.

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29 Comments

  • I got her tape in 1982 and yes it is a favorite. I wonder if she has anything else out.

  • To the best of my knowledge, the listing below comprises Pauline Anna Strom’s complete “Trans-Millenia Consort” releases. The first three LPs were professionally produced and sold in specialty music shops. In 1988, she self-released four additional cassettes that appear to have been available only directly from her agent. My observation has been that her “Trans-Millenia Consort” and “Spectre” LPs are the easiest to come buy used. Only rarely have I seen her “Plot Zero” LP or any of her cassettes for sale on-line. I have all of her recordings and am hoping to have them professionaly converted to digital format in the near future.

    Information about Pauline is scarce. She was interviewed in the June 1985 issue of Electronic Musician magazine. I have not yet seen it and am trying to locate a copy. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has current contact information for Pauline, additional information about her music, or even just has a general interest in her music.

    James Pontolillo (jpontoli@yahoo.com)

    Pauline Anna Strom “Trans-Millenia Consort” (LP, © 1982, Ether Ship Productions, AR3289)
    Side 1: Emerald Pool, The Unveiling, Cult of Isis, Phantom Dancer
    Side 2: Energies, Century C, Morning Splendor, Gossamer Silk

    Trans-Millenia Consort “Plot Zero” (LP, © 1983, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing, TMCR 2002)
    Side 1: Mushroom Trip (8:09), Freebasing (9:50)
    Side 2: Symphonic Industry (6:31), Organized Confusion (5:58), Plot Zero (4:34)

    Trans-Millenia Consort “Spectre” (LP, © 1984, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing, TMCR 2003)
    Side 1: Tenement Stairwell (5:21), Spacial Spectre (6:57), Blood Thirst (7:22)
    Side 2: Virgin Ice (4:39), Blood Celebrants (7:18), Freedom at the 45th Floor (4:33), Alpine Flight(7:22)

    Trans-Millenia Consort “Aquatic Realms” (cassette, © 1988, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing)
    Side A: Sea Creatures of the Bottomless Depths (15:59), Marine Zoology (6:31), Sea Play (6:55)
    Side B: Amber Shadows (7:39), Sun Wash (7:45), Aqua Lullaby (5:07), Rain on Ancient Quays(7:13)

    Trans-Millenia Consort “Japanese Impressions” (cassette, ©1988, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing)
    Side A: Tea Garden (2:30), Jasmine and White Ginger (4:22), Teak Carvings (5:13), Bonsai Terrace (3:36), Coral Shores (6:48), Ancestral Shrines (7:18)
    Side B: Ice Chips (5:16), As the Silk Unfolds (5:32), Procession of the Sun Children (5:30), Blue Black Tresses (5:45), Warriors of the Sun (7:45)

    Trans-Millenia Consort “Mach 3.04” (cassette, ©1988, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing)
    Side A: Airport Visions (7:00), Main Frame (5:01), Quartz Readout (3:56), Cruising Altitude 36,000 Feet (6:20)
    Side B: Orbital Inboard Computation (10:25), Uncharted Space (6:25), In Flight Suspension (7:37)

    Trans-Millenia Consort “The Moorish Project” (cassette, ©1988, Trans-Millenia Consort Publishing)
    Side A: The Master’s Gifts – [Parts I-IV; Astronomy, Geometry, Architecture, Metallurgy] (8:57), Sculptured Fountains (4:18), The Melding of the Spanish/Arabian Soul (5:41), Frenzied Passion and Liquid Fire (5:29), Power and Mystery (4:05)
    Side B: Mirrored Courtyards of Intrigue (7:31), Teachers of Knowledge through Time (3:36), The Moorish Project (4:09), Glass Perfection of Unfinished Palaces (6:31), Philosophy and Symmetry (6:06)

  • wow – thanks!

  • Wow indeed! Check your inbox James when you get a moment. I sent you an e-mail.

    A place on Ebay called The Last Record Store, has Spectre on sale, for those interested.

  • I now have all 7 Trans-Millenia Consort albums in digital (CD not mp3) format. Anyone interested in getting copies should contact me at jpontoli@yahoo.com

  • Interview with Pauline Anna Strom in EUROCK #31 (11/86), pp. 7-9:
    —————————————————————–

    WOMEN SYNTHESISTS:
    INTERVIEWS WITH PAULINE STROM – MICHELLE MUSSER – LAURI PAISLEY

    PAULINE STROM

    Q: For someone who has 3 LPS released in the last 6 years (TRANS-MILLENIA
    CONSORT, PLOT ZERO & SPECTRE), you are for all intents and purposes a
    complete unknown on the US synthe scene today. So let’s start with
    some history of how you first got into electronic music.

    A: As so many, I have been strongly influenced by the works of Schulze,
    T. Dream Eno, etc. I could go into the usual general reasoning of
    musical interest since childhood, but I view that as a minute part of
    my musical development. As I am a completely self-taught musician,
    composer, synthesist, and sound designer of multi-dimensional sonic
    technology, I feel my intuition and philosophy as well as my ability
    to mesh myself into the soul of the language of sound are of far more
    value here. Music and sound are of one language. I have always been
    lured by the depths of the ancient past and the far-flung reaches of
    an untapped universal future. I sometimes feel I have been placed in
    this chaotic, confused present to draw into it the elements from these
    opposite realms in order that my interpretations of them through sound
    and music may in some sense benefit our as yet largely imcompetent and
    immature population. We seem to be living in a world where to create
    uniquely, to challenge, to dare to be adventuresome and
    individualistic are discouraged.

    Q: One of the more interesting aspects of your work is that all 3 records
    sound very different. Perhaps you could explain a little about how
    you conceptualized your different ideas?

    A: I strive to be as versatile from project to project as possible. The
    first album, TRANS-MILLENIA CONSORT, was designed as a hauntingly
    blended sculpture of past and present energies. My ideas for this
    project sprang from the metals of the earth, the easy flow of the
    human voice and much that it poetically emotional and spiritual in our
    world. PLOT ZERO, the spacy mind trip without chemicals, is powerfully
    and simplistically just that. Frequency vibration and pulsing sounds
    can go extremely far in subjecting the mind to hypnotically stretched
    out states of consciousness. As for SPECTRE, the welding of mysterious
    vampire legends, modern violence and desolateness of which produces a
    cobalt mix of subtle gothic chills, fulfilled its purpose with a
    whispered gloss of steel, from cold arctic temperatures and elusive
    spacious voices.

    Q: Your music seems very much dominated by the imagination as opposed to
    the equipment. Do you record at a professional studio or at home?

    A: Yes, I would say my music is virtually dominated by my imagination. I
    program all of my sounds. The music and sound is literally one. My
    compositions grow as if on canvas. I never previsualize a piece. It
    grows layer by layer, track by track, sound by sound. I just know
    internally when it is complete. Yes, it is composed, programmed,
    processed, engineered and recorded by myself in my home studio, I am
    proud to say. For the final mix, I utilize the facilities of a
    professional studio basically to mix down to a good two track master,
    for pressing purposes. I hope someday to eliminate the need to do
    that, however, as being in sole control of my work is vitally important
    to me. I believe one should be his or her own highest master.

    Q: Being a woman in the predominantly male controlled music business
    could present obstacles. Have you found this to be true? Or perhaps
    it’s just the opposite; it opens doors?

    A: The business side of the music industry literally sucks. To be quite
    frank, it’s not how talented you are, or how tastefully crafted your
    art. In reality, it matters not a damn how beautifully chiseled your
    compositions are. No, what it comes down to is that if you’re not
    taking the right drug, holding the right guru’s hand, or sleeping on
    the right couch, you’re fucked. . . . Yeah, I would say that women
    have a harder time because of the macho, male ego bullshit that
    dominates the industry. However, looking at it honestly, I would say
    that most men are also falling all over each other, as well, trying
    to screw each other out of every opportunity imaginable. The
    hypocracy, 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. Now, I ask you, where is the justice in
    this mainstream American system? I’ll tell you, it’s in the hands of
    the rich, the bigots, the righteous hypocrites who shove it down down
    the throats of those who have been brainwashed into thinking that it’s
    a moral honor to be poor . . . screw that nonsense.

    Q: How does being blind in fact affect your music?

    A: I feel it has helped rather than hindered my musical abilities. My
    hearing and inner visualization have, I feel, developed to a higher
    level than perhaps they would have, otherwise. And it doesn’t affect
    my abilities from a technical standpoint, either. It’s quite possible
    to program synthesizers, effects units, accurately record one’s work
    and handle a mixer. I do this all by sound. In fact, I rather like
    working in the dark.

    Q: The electronic music genre seems to be exploding, these days, as the
    industry wants to push “New Age” music as the next big thing. Coming
    from the “New Age capital of the world,” S.F., what do you think of
    the music and all the hoopla, in general?

    A: Well, I have mixed feelings on this one. A good portion of the music
    covered under the “New Age” banner is simplistically beautiful. Let
    me say this: I will not critique anyone else’s work. What it comes
    down to, anyway, is personal taste. I don’t think anyone has the
    right to judge another’s work; I believe the creations of all artists
    have a right to existence and exposure EQUALLY. Now, as to the hype
    that surrounds the New Age genre, all of this is bullshit propaganda
    just like the other aspects of our hype-oriented culture. Have no
    delusions, the whole business structure surrounding the New Age field
    is just about as corrupt, political, and superficial as elsewhere.
    Talk about purity . . . better talk about pure hypocricy.

    Q: It’s been awhile since SPECTRE–are there any plans for a new release
    in the near future? Have you got an new material?

    A: Plans for another album, there are always plans. Music is the center
    of my life. I have a lot of unreleased work; there will always be
    more. I, frankly, do not have the finances to release my own records.
    Of course, one could say, there are always record companies. I
    believe I’ve made it clear that I want control of my work. And,
    unfortunately, this attitude is penalized in our society. The fact
    is that if severala people can’t have a piece of your work, then they
    stomp you into the ground. Yes, I do want to release something else,
    but until someone with the financial resources and necessary knowledge
    is capable of backing me, the reality as yet does not exist.

    -o-

  • I just wanted to let everyone know that I spoke with Pauline Anna Strom for over an hour tonight. She is definitely alive and kicking – despite some rumors to the opposite. She was amazed and grateful to hear that her music still has some fans after all these years. Pauline currently is a Reiki master, spiritual counselor, and healer living (still) in San Francisco. She shares her apartment with Little Solstice — her beloved Cyclura Iguana. She is a warm, thoughtful and positive person.

    Pauline confirmed for me that the 7 albums I detailed in a previous posting comprise all of her recordings. She had to suspend producing albums in the late 1980s due to financial constraints. She still has all of her old synthesizer and recording equipment, but it is in dubious shape. She would like to raise the funds to buy some new equipment and get back to creating music. I will be working with her friends to see about getting her albums re-released in CD format.

    A point of interest — Despite the titles of some tracks on Plot Zero (Mushroom Trip, Freebasing), Pauline has never done drugs.

    I expect to be staying in regular contact with Pauline and will keep everyone up-to-date on her activities through postings to this page.

  • Pauline also was profiled on the Totally Wired radio program–which was the predecessor of Echoes. (Somewhere I still have a cassette of that profile which also included Michael Garrison and someone else whom I now can’t recall.)
    I, too, have many of her releases but look forward to seeing them professionally released in digital form.
    Thanks to all, especially James, for keeping an interest in artists like Pauline, who put out great music despite obvious obstacles, be they personal, financial, commercial, etc.

  • I like this, very drifty and spacy. Is the whole album worth checking out?

  • Yeah, the whole record is cool.

  • Pauline and I are currently working to get these albums re-released. We are cleaning up the recordings we have and working on getting the masters; though we have found that many of the master recordings have been destroyed. We are planing on releasing at least one album for download by this fall. If you would like to know our progress or have any questions regarding these remarkable albums please feel free to contact me.

    Xander M. Brenan
    Xion Designs

  • I’d love to be able to get my hands on Plot Zero so hopefully that is the one you are working on! All I have is two tracks on an old cassette from some WDET broadcasts from several years ago (Judy Adams’ show ‘Music Gallery’ – maybe she can point you in the direction of some vinyl if needed?. Anyway, please let me know of your progress and where I can obtain some more of this wonderful music when you are done.
    Thanks for the good work!

  • Yes I’ve been a fan of Pauline’s music from ‘Trans-Millennia Consort’ days. I have her 3 lps and 4 cassettes which I obtained from Archie at Eurock many years ago.

    I converted the LPs and cassettes onto CDR years ago. I was concerned about the longevity of the tapes so converted these first. The cassette releases tended to be quite minimal. ‘Mach 3.04’ was my favourite of the cassettes.

    I’m very pleased to hear that Pauline still has an audience and there is interest in getting her music heard again. It’s stunning stuff!!

    I’d be interested in obtaining proper pressed CD versions of her music! If this goes ahead, please let Archie know at Eurock!

    Regards from Oz.

  • Can anyone help me find any of her works??..Thank You

  • Can anyone help me find any of her music?? Thank You. Kizmet2772@aol.com

  • To get her music, look up about to the post before the interview by James Pontolillo, he lists his e-mail address where he can be contacted.

  • HI,
    I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A DIRECT CONTACT TO MRS. PAULINE ANNA STROM FOR A BUSINESS PROPOSAL. ANYONE TO HELP ME?
    CHRISTOS TSANAKAS – MUSICBAZZ

  • I have contact with her, she remains very private. Can you tell me more about your proposal?

  • I have always loved Plot Zero, it’s a brilliant piece of electronic music. I emailed James above, but his post is 7 years old… I hope he responds – otherwise, does anyone know where I can get Plot Zero on CD? Thanks…

  • Here you can buy all of her albums except for TMC http://www.paulinestrom.com/shop/

  • I am interested in using trans-millenia consort in my thesis project (non commercial) does anyone have contact with Pauline Anna Strom???

  • I would die for TMC to be depressed on vinyl. We should make this happen somehow

  • Repressed not depressed haha

  • Hello Loretta (or anyone elso who is in touch with Pauline),

    Can you please get in touch with me? I’d love to re-issue Pauline’s work on vinyl and would love to send here a proposal.

    Please contact me at info AT aguirrecords DOT com

    Best regards,
    Pieter

  • Hi all.

    I am looking to get in touch with someone to discuss permission to use some tracks from Trans Millenia Consort in a video artwork I am producing. I contacted James Pontolillo as he seemed to be the last person in touch with her but apparently he is now out of touch. Also her website is down. If anyone could provide me with an official point of contact that would be most appreciated!

    Thanks, Michael
    michaelcandy [at] gmail.com
    michaelcandy.com

  • Does anyone one what kind of synths she used?

    can’t find anywhere that mentions any of the gear she used.

  • Spectre is very dark like music from an underworld. Some pieces written around the subject matter of vampires are particularly dark. There is nothing “New Age” about it. It creates a dark, mysterious vibe that remains with you, discovering that you keep going back to Spectre for that to reoccur. It is defined as dark ambient, however it does not sound like anyone else. It doesn’t sound like Brian Eno, Biosphere, Artemiy Artimeiv, or even some of the darkest soundtracks. Pauline Anna Strom was very unique

  • @kristi:

    It read about this album on the “Order of the Shadow Wolf” Cyberzine by Legowelt (http://www.legowelt.org/cyberzine.htm) and it says that it was “apparently played on a Sequential Prophet 10 synthesizer.” ;-)

  • ‘Trans-Millenia Music’, a double vinyl LP drawn from her 7 releases will is released in Britain today [7th November]

    Here’s the release blurb:

    ‘RVNG Intl parse Pauline Anna Strom’s golden catalogue of new age recordings for this bouquet of boundary-smudging synth journeys. Drawn from 7 obscure tape and vinyl releases made between 1982 and 1988, Trans-Millenia Music sweetly lives up to its mantle with a sense of ancient knowledge transposed into the contemporary future of the ’80s, realising a latent, transcendent sound that was perhaps simply awaiting technology to catch up so it could speak freely.

    Through the circuitry of pioneering synth tools, the blind composer and keyboardist from San Francisco feels out a spectrum of unfathomably celestial and synaesthetically-heightened sound colour along myriad, psychedelic vectors, haptically connecting diffuse spatial coordinates with a gossamer web of FX and morphing filter envelopes.

    It’s music for oceanic introspection, beckoning listeners to fall deep inside themselves and diffract her profound visions through their own lens, where you can interpret her descriptions of sonic flight in Crusing Altitude 36,000 Feet and In Flight Suspension, or decode the entheogenic synth voices of Mushroom Trip according to your own understanding of the cosmos and its play of energies, and draw your own meanings’

    I’d never heard of her before, but I love how much many of her tracks have similarities to mid 70’s Tangerine Dream [ie before they became mega-shite]

    Hope it sells well

    Someone should let her loose on some more up to date -in-good-nick kit………that’d be interesting

    Jean-Marc

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