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[Mind of the Universe]

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The first live album, recorded at the 1984 Ars Electronica festival in Austria. Ars Electronica is an annual event in Linz, where leading figures in electronic music gather to discuss their art and to perform.

The performances (apart from the acoustic instruments) were already recorded on tape, and Tomita mixed them live from his pyramid control room.

The latest release of 'Mind of the Universe' in Japan has the CD track listing as shown below and is subtitled 'The History of the Universe with Music, Lights, Laser and Fire Above the Danube'. More information on the concert can be obtained from the Mind of the Universe page.

A few years ago, RCA said that Tomita was working on 'The Rite of Spring' as an album, an excerpt from which ('Dance of the Young Girls') was featured on 'Mind of the Universe'. Apparently, this project was never completed.

Album Details

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Catalogue Number
RL 85461 / ARL1-5461 (LP)
RCD1-5461 / BVCC-2512 / BMG-887783 (CD)


Date Released
December, 1985

Total Playing Time
70.14 (LP)
66:44 (CD)

  1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: Opening <R. Strauss> (2:10)
  2. The Planets: Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age <Holst> (3:50)
  3. The Rite of Spring: Dance of the Young Girls <Stravinsky> (3:15)
  4. Cranes in Their Nest [Goro Yamaguchi, Shakuhachi] <Japanese Traditional> (4:35)
  5. Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2: General Dance <Ravel> (3:50)
  6. The Lark Ascending [Mariko Senju, Violinist] <Vaughan Williams> (7:05)
  7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind <Williams> (3:15)
  8. Violin Concerto No. 1: Moderato; Allegro Moderato [Mariko Senju, Violinist] <Prokofiev> (7:43)
  9. Tristan und Isolde: Leibestod <Wagner> (7:37)
  10. The Planets: Mars, the Bringer of War/Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity <Holst> (7:08)
  11. Symphony No. 9: "Ode to Joy" (18:27) [Linda Roark-Strummer, Soprano; Birgit Greiner, Alto; William Ingle, Tenor; Riccardo Lombardi, Baritone; Linz State Theater Chorus with Ernst Dunshirn, Conductor] <Beethoven>
  12. Firebird: Finale <Stravinsky> (1:19)

  1. The Unanswered Question <Ives> (2:46)
  2. Also Sprach Zarathustra <R. Strauss> (2:20)
  3. Dawn Chorus [Based on "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4-1: Preludio"] <Villa-Lobos> (1:43)
  4. Dance of the Young Girls from "The Rite of Spring" <Stravinsky> (3:01)
  5. Cranes in Their Nest [Goro Yamaguchi, Shakuhachi] <Japanese Traditional> (4:45)
  6. Lever du Jour from "Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2" <Ravel> (3:52)
  7. The Lark Ascending [Mariko Senju, Violinist] <Vaughan Williams> (7:07)
  8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind [Mariko Senju, Violinist] <Williams> (3:18)
  9. Violin Concerto No. 1: Moderato; Allegro Moderato [Mariko Senju, Violinist] <Prokofiev> (7:44)
  10. Liebestod from "Tristan und Isolde" <Wagner> (7:42)
  11. Blast Off <Tomita> (2:31)
  12. "An die Freude" from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 [Goro Yamaguchi, Shakuhachi; Mariko Senju, Violinist; Linda Roark-Strummer, Soprano; Birgit Greiner, Alto; William Ingle, Tenor; Riccardo Lombardi, Baritone; Chorus of Linz Landestheaters] <Beethoven> (18:32)
  13. Finale from "Firebird" <Stravinsky> (1:21)


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[Mind of the Universe]
[Front View]
[Mind of the Universe]
[Back View]
[Mind of the Universe]
[Inside View]
[Mind of the Universe]
[Front View]
[Mind of the Universe]
[Back View]

Sleeve Notes

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The Plasma Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Isao Tomita
Arrangements by Isao Tomita
Art Director: Neal Pozner
Cover Art Construction: Marty Luko
Photography: Toshimasa Miura, Nick Sangiamo
"The Mind of the Universe" was the First in a Series of Concerts Called "Ars Electronica"
Recorded Live in Linz, Austria, September 8, 1984

On September 8, 1994, Isao Tomita presented a live, outdoor concert on the shore of the Danube River in Linz, Austria, for an audience of 80,000 people. The concert was called "The Mind of the Universe", and through his interpretations of classical music, Mr. Tomita was attempting to describe the 15 billion year history of the universe. He employed 13 channels of sound, including one from a helicopter 1,500 feet above the river, multi-channels on either side of the river and on a ship that also carried the violinist, shakuhachi player and a chorus of 100 Austrian singers. Special lighting, lasers, fireworks and other visual effects enhanced the sound presentation. Tomita's "stage", where he controlled the sound, was a specially constructed pyramid suspended from a crane near the river.

Since this recording was made from the sound performed by the audience at this live concert, various extraneous noises and varying sonic perspectives will be evident. These are normally encountered at outdoor concerts. The selections on this record are among those presented at the concert.

Sound Performer
Isao Tomita

Sakyo Komatsu
Dr. Frederick L. Scarf, TRW Space and Technology Group, California
Dr. Masaki Morimoto, Radio Observatory, Nobeyama
Dr. Jun Jugaku, Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo
Dr. Tatsuzo Ohbayashi, Institute for Space Flight and Astronomical Sciences

Executive Producer Yozo Hikita
Coordinator Taki Katoh
Collaboration on Music Producing of "Beethoven" Hideki Matsutake, Tsugutoshi Goto
Loudspeaker Equipment Dynacord, Straubing, Josef Galneder, Onken
Show Director Kohei Katsura
Stage Director Tetsuya Oguri
Lighting Director Jiro Katsushiba
Light Effects Art and Light Team, Vienna
Laser Cinetics Performance, F.R. Germany
Helicopter Haas Comp, Bad Vöslau, Helmut Haas
Ships DDSG, Vienna, SBL, Linz
Fireworks Josef Scheutz, Bad Ischl
ORF (The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) Dr. Hannes Leopoldseder, Dr. Christine Schopf, Wolfgang Winkler, Walter Marterer, Katharina Varjai
LIVA (The Linz Special Events Planning Corporation) Gottfried Hattinger, Gerhard Krajatsch, Wolfgang Lehner
Live Recordings ORF
Remixer Isao Tomita

Casio Computer Co., Ltd., ORF, LIVA, Linz City, Austria

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