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An Aural Exploration of the Seasons with Acclaimed Performance Duo McLean Mix

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Combining electronic music, soundscapes, and video imagery into a multi-sensory performance, McLean Mix will perform a concert of original works at SUNY New Paltz on Tuesday, March 1 at 8pm in McKenna Theatre.

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Husband-wife composer/performer duo Priscilla and Barton McLean form the McLean Mix. Through the use of electronic technology, the duo creates an unusual combination of audience interactive installations, virtuosic and evocative concerts that balance original music composition and visual media, and specific thematic content drawn from intriguing experimental techniques, world music, and sounds of nature.

In discussing their work, Priscilla McLean says, "I don't believe in separating the acoustic instrument from the electronic instrument. I try to get the same kind of gestural quality out of one as out of the other." Barton McLean adds, "My compositional ideas also revolve very much around the idea of gesture ... But in electronic music we have the luxury of not having to filter it down to the level of notes. We can keep the primordial idea intact."

They have presented performances throughout the United States and around the world. They have been featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," and received 5 National Endowment for the Arts Composer Fellowships.

Response to their work has been effusive. The Village Voice said, "The evening was filled with...gasps of insight and moments of frightening, uncontrolled beauty." The New York Times calls their work, "... a strange but intriguing aural and visual experience."

Their performance at SUNY New Paltz is a series of works that explore the sounds and images of the seasons.

MILLing in the ENNIUM, is an excerpt from a work that was commissioned by and premiered at MASS MoCA. Using a collage technique that layers music from many centuries and cultures paired with a video that mixes dance, drama, singers and instrumentalists, the work is a celebration of the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.

Jewels of January - the first of a set of four video and music pieces by Priscilla McLean entitled Symphony of Seasons. Piano, clarinet, ringing glacial rocks, and wind chimes are used extensively in combination with video images from ice in an ever-changing brook.

July Dance - is a brief frolic with summer, from jiving birch trees to children playing with balloons. The percussion that surrounds the work was created by recording the sound of wind blowing across skinned firewood logs and croquet posts strewn upon resonators in a 200-acre field.

Autumn Remembrance - this "requiem" theme was originally inspired by the tragic yet renewing nature of the fall season in the Northeast, with all its beauty, starkness, death and eventual rebirth. The visual images are taken in Maine and New York State. Various texts are used, including one describing the requiem of autumn by Henry David Thoreau from his Journal. The familiar Dias Irae melody is also performed, along with other identifiable references to autumn.

The McLean Mix concert at SUNY New Paltz is sponsored by the Department of Music with additional Special Event Funding from the Office of the Provost. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors and SUNY Staff, $3 students, available at the theatre 30 minutes prior to the performance. For further information call (845) 257-3872 or visit

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