September 16, 2017
Pauline Anna Strom's initial outpouring of music came in 1982 under the name Trans-Millenial Consort. That first self-titled album, Trans-Millenial Consort, exhibited a true — and truly free — form of Paula’s creative capability. Blind by birth, Paula dabbled with music growing up in the south, but didn't find her true voice until moving to San Francisco in her early twenties and eventually discovering synthesizers.
Pauline Anna Strom’s Trans-Millenia Music is the end effort of seven years of discussion, deliberation, and patience. RVNG’s archival collection compiles eighty minutes of Strom’s most evocative work, composed and recorded between 1982 and 1988, for the first authorized overview of the enigmatic Bay Area composer.
Watch the video for the first interplanetary offering from the collection, “Energies,” directed by Georgia.
Pauline Anna Strom introduced her music to the world in 1982 with Trans-Millenia Consort, a collection of transportive synthesizer music providing listeners a vessel to break beyond temporal limits into a world of pulsing, mercurial tonalities and charged, embryonic waveforms. Strom’s solicitation into the unknown continued through a half dozen more stellar releases during the decade, which, despite their singularity and mastery, slipped into the more obscure annals of want lists and bootleg editions.
Though Strom’s work developed during the dawn of San Francisco’s influential new age and ambient scenes, her music remains non-programmatic, an adventurous tangent diverting from the era’s ideological tropes. The artist’s own path to creative maturation was atypical. Raised by her Catholic family in Louisiana and Kentucky, she was tragically deprived of sight due to complications from a premature birth. This impairment would sensitize her to listenable worlds with great acuity and creative engagement, the loss becoming a formative aspect of Strom’s spiritualist take on the power of music.
Recalling her youth, Strom says she was “a loner and heretic.” Seeking solace and solidarity, she moved to the mecca of California’s counter culture with her husband, a G.I., who was assigned duty in the Bay Area during the decline of the Vietnam War. Having dabbled with piano as a teen, Pauline’s passion for music reignited when synthesizers became central to the serene scene of San Fran FM radio in the mid-70s. Inspired by the electronic music of the instrument’s early ambassadors (Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream), Strom purchased a Tascam 4-track recorder and a small array of synths (Yamaha DX7, TX816, CS-10) to navigate her own universe of space music.
photo Credit: Photographer Unknown / Used With Permission From Archie Patterson’s Eurock Archives