12 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With her sixth studio LP in 1969, Buffy Sainte-Marie effectively released an album so ahead of its time that it was a commercial failure. Producer Maynard Soloman took an experimental approach to Illuminations where electric analog synthesizers provided much of the accompaniment and her voice was manipulated with a modular Buchla synthesizer which gave her singing an otherworldly underwater sound as heard at the end of the epic opener, “God is Alive Magic Is Afoot.” Of course all these artful risks are what has made the album sound so compelling over three decades later. Richie Havens’ “Adam” gets put through the space-folk filter as Sainte-Marie’s hypnotic trill quivers over an astral soundscape on par with Joseph Byrd’s creations. A live recording of “Poppies” ends with all psychedelic mania coming to a big beautiful head.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With her sixth studio LP in 1969, Buffy Sainte-Marie effectively released an album so ahead of its time that it was a commercial failure. Producer Maynard Soloman took an experimental approach to Illuminations where electric analog synthesizers provided much of the accompaniment and her voice was manipulated with a modular Buchla synthesizer which gave her singing an otherworldly underwater sound as heard at the end of the epic opener, “God is Alive Magic Is Afoot.” Of course all these artful risks are what has made the album sound so compelling over three decades later. Richie Havens’ “Adam” gets put through the space-folk filter as Sainte-Marie’s hypnotic trill quivers over an astral soundscape on par with Joseph Byrd’s creations. A live recording of “Poppies” ends with all psychedelic mania coming to a big beautiful head.

TITLE TIME

More By Buffy Sainte-Marie

You May Also Like