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Ned Lagin Seastones
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Author Ned Lagin Seastones
ScubaGeek
IN case anyone hasn't heard, Ned Lagin has just a cuople months ago finally issued the new double CD version of his classic album Seastones. Originally released in 1975 on the Grateful Dead's Round Records label, and featuring contributions from Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Grace Slick, David Freiberg, Spencer Dryden and David Crosby, Seastones is a great sort of semi-ambient avant garde piece. I know what looks like on paper, but believe me, this is not a San Francisco rock summit meeting/jam session. To a large degree, you can't even tell where the various musicians contributed (save for some vocals that very obviously sound like Jerry and Grace).

Lagin makes use of a variety of synths on this record, including a 2500, 2600, an Odyssey, Buchla, an ElectroComp, and an Emu modular synth. He also made use of computers (stone age gear by today's standards, but cutting edge stuff back in '75) to control the synths as well as generating some of the sounds. He also plays prepared piano, a Fender Rhodes, and a clavichord.

Back around 1990 or 1991, the album was reissued on Rykodisc, but that's been out of print for over 20 years now, I think (and the original LP edition was only in print for a year or two, before Round Records sunk without a trace). The new double CD edition includes a heavy dose of bonus tracks (the original album was around 40 minutes long, but this version expands that out to 110 minutes). I'm not sure Lagin included all of the material from the original album, as he's also remixed the album, so the tracks that do sound familiar sound a bit different. Also, the material is indexed with each "moment" being a separate track. I recall he complained in one of the very few interviews that he's done that when Rykodisc mastered their edition, they just programmed the entire thing as two big tracks (one being the original album, the other being a 30 minute bonus track), whereas he had wished for the listener to be able to program which tracks he/she wanted to listen to at any given time, or put the player in shuffle mode, etc. So he's finally gotten that aspect taken care of.

Anyway, you can buy the CD at spirtcats.com There's a Youtube video of the original album, in case you want to "try before you buy", also at least a couple of the recordings of Lagin playing in concert with the Grateful Dead are up on Youtube too, so you might check those out as well.
crawling wind
That record was very influential for me back when it came out. I Have a couple copies of the LP (one unopened) and have the Ryko reissue as well. I'll probably pick up a copy at some point. Am interested in what the extra material is.
ScubaGeek
crawling wind wrote:
Am interested in what the extra material is.


It's more of the piece. The piece is composed in so called "moment form", ie you have a bunch of short vignettes that make up the full piece. Only 9 of them, I appear, on the original album (and the bonus version on the Rykodisc only has six). This double CD edition has I believe 83 moments, which range from around 8 seconds long to over 10 minutes. The new credits list "1970-1977" as the years of recording, so I gather some actually post date the original 1975 album.

I believe Ned says int he liner notes this constitutes most (but not quite all) of the full piece Seastones piece.
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