Michael Stearns is one of the originators of the ambient electronic genre of music that emerged in the 1970’s. Stearns weaves into his music instruments and sounds from other cultures, newly developed instruments, the human voice, and the sounds of nature. Known for his commercial work in television, video games, IMAX and theatrical film, Stearns has also produced some of the world’s most compelling ethereal music soundscapes with nearly 30 albums, collaborations and anthologies.
Stearns realizes music that is cerebral yet emotional. His meticulous sound designs are breathtaking, cinematic, state of the art productions portraying humanity’s contemplation of life’s eternal mysteries. The product of entirely electronic procedures, his sound manages to come across as organic and acoustic. Using a variety of enigmatic synth timbres, Stearns realizes complex harmonies and chord progressions that draw the listener through his sonic atmospheres. Listening to this music calls forth a sense of grandeur and wonder at the universe.
His work lends itself well to cinema, as demonstrated in such films as Baraka, Chronos, Ring Of Fire and most recently Samsara. His multi-layered soundtracks complement, empower and at times rivals the stunning imagery of these films. Stearns has become quite a world traveler and a first-rate field recording engineer in the quest for distinctive sound sources for his film soundtracks and studio albums. His original location and indigenous music recordings have added authenticity to his works. Stearns’ albums have been known to incorporate such diverse sources as the musical sounds of sacred “ringing rocks”, Native American ceremonial songs, The Beam (a 12 foot long instrument strung with 24 piano strings), the Lyra Sound Constellation (156 strings tuned micro tonally and stretching up to 20 feet in length from ceiling to floor) and an array of synthesizers including the legendary Serge modular.