Persuaded I am to BE the Sound,
Persuaded to BE the Sound unbound,
Persuaded to offer to those who can hear
The Tonal Persuasion beyond the limited ear!
Persuaded by Tone I respond in Heart,
Tonal Persuasions: The offering
embraces My Heart.
Will you BE persuaded?
- Kenneth G. Mills
- September 4, 1993
Kenneth G. Mills
director, composer, poet
Born in New Brunswick, Maestro Kenneth Mills made his Canadian debut as a pianist in Toronto in 1952. He subsequently studied with Victor Babin in Aspen, Colorado, and with Nadia Reisenberg in New York City. While well recognized for his pianistic artistry and teaching, he has played upon a different keyboard since founding The Star-Scape Singers in 1976. "My greatest interest in tonal palettes was an impetus to exploring the sphere of voices set free." He has since served as their conductor and artistic director, producer, and sponsor, as well as the co-composer of their repertoire, which is primarily based on the lyric texts of his own published poetry included in the volumes Surprises, Anticipations, Embellishments, and his latest collection of poems on prayer, Words of Adjustment.
In the largest-ever gathering of medical doctors and artists at the 1992 MedArt International World Congress in New York City, Mr. Mills was presented with the MedArt Special Recognition Award "for the outstanding Healing Power of his Art." In his acknowledgment, Dr. William Riley stated: "Kenneth Mills is a remarkable man, gifted in the ability to communicate to people verbally, musically, vocally and spiritually. He has brought joy to millions of people worldwide, and his use of communication through song and the ability to teach song to people across language barriers is truly unique in today's world."
The New Star-Scape Singers
The Star-Scape Singers under the direction of Kenneth G. Mills have distinguished themselves in Russia, the Baltic Republics, Europe, and North America for their unique sound, repertoire and presence. Four extensive European concert tours have included performances at celebrated halls in Paris, Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, as well as at major international festivals in Switzerland, Ireland, France, Yugoslavia, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The ensemble performed in Geneva at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations and inaugurated the 1986 World Year of Music with two full-length programs on Radio Vatican. In 1991, The Star-Scape Singers returned to Moscow to participate in the first non-militaristic Victory Day Parade and celebrations, and to Tallinn, Estonia, to perform as guest artists of the Bridges of Song Festival. The ensemble has performed seven times at Carnegie Hall, New York City, since its debut there in 1981.
The Star-Scape repertoire comprises over 150 original compositions and unique settings of traditional songs, many of which may be heard on their seventeen LP, cassette and CD recordings. Their major work, The Fire Mass, has been performed internationally and broadcast for television and radio across Russia, the United States, the Baltic Republics, and Western Europe, including a special Easter presentation on Radio Vatican, from Rome.
America the Beautiful
Considered by many to be the anthem which so eloquently honors the beauty of the land and provides a key to happiness for people everywhere. The lyrics offer a prayer for protection and a plea for brotherhood, as the music sweeps majestically "from sea to shining sea."
Take A Chance
A jubilant call to experience life anew in spite of the challenge confronting man and his world today.
The Sulphured Cloud
This dramatic presentation calls out to all who would perceive in depth the contaminating influences surrounding man's experience and consider the solution.
A musical impression -- experience the stillness of a forest, broken only by the sounds of the wind in the trees, the songs of the birds, and the murmur of forest creatures accompanying the majestic poetry of one who walked, listened, and appreciated so deeply.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Tradition is presented in a new and powerful setting in Star-Scape's daring arrangement of the "Battle Hymn." Impelling rhythmic figures and sweeping phrases express the drama of this great anthem of praise and prophecy.
Originally written as a Christmas hymn in the Huron language by St. Jean de Brebeuf, the Huron Carol, as presented by Star-Scape, transcends the bounds of season and choral tradition in a stunning vocal tapestry of sounds and rhythms which evoke the very presence of the native spirit.
This evening Vespers Hymn from the Russian Orthodox liturgy is set in a frame of ethereal reverence and thanksgiving for the evening light, unfolding its tonal palette in majestic waves of color. Mr. Mills said, "We hope this piece will reach the Soul of those who are trying to lift the stone lid from their (mental) sarcophagus."
Star-Scape originally learned this festive song for a visit to Czechoslovakia during their 1986 European tour. A masterpiece in miniature, this sprinkling of "pizzicato" is deceiving in its brevity, delightful in its whimsicality, and dazzling in its virtuosity!
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
An irresistible spontaneity and freshness mark this arrangement of one of America's most popular spirituals. Taut, jazz-like rhythms, unusual vocal timbre, and soaring solos lift this work out of the ordinary into the realm of inspired performance.
All sounds on this recording are vocally produced.
Digitally recorded at Holy Trinity Church, Thornhill, Canada, and mastered by Hazen Projects, Toronto, September, 1993.
Engineer: John Hazen
Assistant Engineers: Benjamin Gilchrist, John Arciuch
Graphic Design: Robert Withstandley