Subtitled 'The Ravel Album', this album was also released in the USA
as 'Boléro' with different packaging and a different running
A 7" and 12" single of 'Bolero' (the tune) was released in the UK by
popular demand in the light of the success of the movie "10" starring
Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. It actually hit the Top 75!
Tomita says that this is his favourite album. It was presented to his
daughter on her marriage. His daughter's name and that of her
fianceé were written using grass in the picture of 'Daphnis et
Walter F. Grueninger, "Recorded Music in Review", Consumers Research
Magazine, vol. 63, p. 43, September, 1980
Synthesizer music has come a long way through the efforts of Tomita and a
few others. While the electronic instrument recorded here should not be
regarded as an approved substitute for instruments specified by Ravel, many
listeners will be fascinated by its varied, brilliant effects. Obviously
Tomita is a creative musician. Let the adventurer in sound hear for
P.S. Kids may like this record which suggests at times the sounds that
helped popularize the motion picture Star Wars.
Electronically Created by Isao Tomita
Produced by Plasma Music, Inc.
Art Director: J.J. Stelmach
Cover Art: Barron Storey
Tomita Has Come Back!
The creative music woven out of the synthesizer by the composer Isao
Tomita for the past five years has been a wonder of a glorious new
development in music. In Japan his name has almost become synonomous
with synthesizer music, and he has also become a hero to those young
people who wish to listen to a sound coming from over the horizon.
Even more vigorous attention has been given to Tomita's synthesizer
music in America, and every album he has released through RCA Records
has reached a top-ranking position on the charts.
During 1977-79 there was a worldwide space-fantasy boom. Synthesizer
music came to be identified as the space sound, and Tomita became one
of the champions of "the outer-space sound". While recognizing that
Mr. Tomita no doubt contributed to the creation of space sound, it is
questionable whether or not this trend was applaudable, because the
musical motivation of using the synthesizer is not to make a sound
that cannot be produced by people but to expand the sonic potential
of human beings over and beyond what has been accomplished heretofore.
With this album - Bolero - Mr. Tomita has returned to his
original stance in synthesizer music, to that of his first album,
Snowflakes are Dancing. This means that he has come back
to his favorite period of French music, that of Debussy and Ravel.
Not only has he returned to this period but he shows himself as a
dramatic musician and, furthermore, as a lyrical composer. His
drama and romanticism are clearly discernable in his performances
of Ravel's music. Mr. Tomita is not trying to analyze and arrange
it through an oscillator. On the contrary, he is revealing Ravel's
innocent mind and playing his orchestral pieces with the greatest
admiration through the use of his synthesizer.
In a synthesizer performance there cannot be a wrong manipulation
of fingering, but what fun would it be without the suspense of a
possible slip of the hand? Mr. Tomita recognizes this in performing
on his synthesizer - he portrays the music as if it were played by
Thanks to the extremely exquisite musical quality of these selections,
Mr. Tomita has the opportunity to exercise his sensitivity in extracting
their dramatic essence, even to the point of human "breathing". This
quality is very difficult to obtain from mechanical devices, but now his
synthesizer has begun to show the human element of breathing, and there
is a birth of new life in his music-making. According to Mr. Tomita,
he was inspired to insert this element while watching the dancing of
Tamasaburo, the famous Kabuki actor.
Ravel and Tomita go back to the innocence of childhood and bring
us colorful, beautiful, resonant sounds of nostalgia for that sweet
period of life.