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11/1*, Vol.8: Michael Stearns

Michael Stearns is a composer and ambient music pioneer from the USA.


#1. Twelve hours of the perfect day or twelve hours of the perfect night?

A mix of both. I’’m not a day or night person continually.

#2. What is always worth the price?

Spending time with my kids.

#3. You have unlimited space and unlimited resources. What will you make?

A system for painting sacred mandalas on the face of the ‘black moon’ with high powered lasers, or new types of overunity devices.

#4. It’s not working: try something new or persist?

A methodology of back and forth between the two; a new exploration and returning to whatever’s not working often does the trick. The exploration of the new direction frees me to engage with the stuck place from a different facet. Although, sometimes I just wipe the tape and start from scratch.

#5. In general; start from chaos and reduce or start from silence and add?

Usually the space of silence. But it’’s not really adding anything – more like carving from the silence or discovering the whisper of what’’s already there.  There’’s also a component of resonance and a component of ‘guidance’: hearing or playing something in a dream first, hearing within the resonance of nature, musical relationships as water moves over the rocks of a stream, or the buffer swirling wax over the floor above you.

#7. Pasta or sushi?


#10. What is your favourite machine?

Bedini’’s “schoolgirl” motor.

#12. You own a store that only sells one type of object. What is it?

Musical over unity devices.

#14. What work of yours is the favourite?

Morning Jewel.

#20. You can spend an hour any place and at any time. Where and when?

A place in the bedrock up above Chiva Falls in Reddington Pass between the Catalina and Rincon mountains outside of Tucson, Arizona (where I grew up and woke up). It’s technically in the foothills of the Rincons’. Spring or Fall.

#21. What is your favourite plant?

Right now, Aloe.

#22. What is your favourite type of bread?

Is it, “eating the bread of this world, while doing the work of that world”? Any good ‘old world’ bread eaten with a savory soup or stew.

*I’m sending 23 questions to artists, designers and musicians and asking them to answer 11. I think these questions give revealing answers, especially regarding creative work. Here are their responses. As these are interviews I’m publishing their answers as they are, fully appreciating that English may not be their first or preferred written language. Thanks to all the participants.

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