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Electronic Meditation

Electronic Meditation
Thursday May 21st, 2015 with Sean McFee
John Mills-Cockell

When is a door not a door? When it's John Mills-Coc... wait, that doesn't make sense.
Mills-Cockell was recruited for Toronto-based psychedelic group Kensington Market's second album in 1969. The road manager of Kensington Market was a fan of Intersystems, who couldn't sound more different, but we'll get to that. For now, enjoy some nice soft psychedelia enhanced by the contributions of a tastefully interspersed modular moog system.
Think About The Times
Kensington Market - Aardvark - Pacemaker Canadian
Cartoon
Kensington Market - Aardvark - Pacemaker Canadian
So, Intersystems. Wonderfully ahead of its time, featuring tape manipulation, spoken word, noise, and all that other good stuff! This album dates from 1967.

This segment features a bonus minute of "what the heck is going on in this studio??!!" but be patient, the music will come.
Lately
Intersystems - Number One - Cortical Foundation Canadian
Vox 3/13/67
Intersystems - Number One - Cortical Foundation Canadian
After Intersystems and Kensington Market, Mills-Cockell formed Syrinx along with Doug Pringle (electric saxophones) and Alan Wells (hand drums, gongs). They released two albums, 1970's "Syrinx" and 1971's "Long Lost Relatives".
Hollywood Dream Trip
Syrinx - Syrinx - True North Canadian
Father of Light
Syrinx - Syrinx - True North Canadian
Appalosa - Pegasus
Syrinx - Syrinx - True North Canadian
The track "Tillicum" from the second album became the theme for the program "Here come the seventies". They are also assisted by a string section on parts of the second album.
Ibistix
Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives - Windfall Canadian
Field Hymn (Epilogue)
Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives - Windfall Canadian
Tillicum
Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives - Windfall Canadian
Better Deaf and Dumb From the First
Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives - Windfall Canadian
Aurora Spinray
Syrinx - Long Lost Relatives - Windfall Canadian
John Mills-Cockell's first solo album was 1973's "Heartbeat". It is a mix of a number of different approaches, from synthesizer pieces (some reworked from Syrinx), pop songs, and soundtrack and other commissioned production work. Pringle and Wells from Syrinx appear.

In the selection below, Field Hymn and Melina's Torch previously appeared in other forms on the first Syrinx album.
The Spell
John Mills-Cockell - Heartbeat - True North Canadian
Truffaldino's Bird Song
John Mills-Cockell - Heartbeat - True North Canadian
Field Hymn
John Mills-Cockell - Heartbeat - True North Canadian
Melina's Torch
John Mills-Cockell - Heartbeat - True North Canadian
The second Mills-Cockell album, 1974's "A Third Testament", is music from the TV program of the same name. The series, narrated by Malcolm Muggeridge, studies the writings of several Christian apologetic thinkers throughout history. The idea, in typically understated 1970s fashion, is that these would comprise a "third testament". The music on this album is programmatic and does not include any of the narration from the series. The result is quite varied; Mills-Cockell remains on synthesizers but has access to a wide variety of tonal palettes from any number of musicians from track to track.
Berlin Cabaret
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
The Prisoner of Tegel
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
On the Heath
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
North African Gladiator
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
All Things That Have Breath
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
Sunset at Nurnberg
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
Winter Farewell (Dedication to Leo Tolstoy)
John Mills-Cockell - A Third Testament - True North Canadian
This takes us to Mills-Cockell's third solo album, Gateway (1977), much of which was also released as an EP called "Neon Accelerando". This album combines a number of instrumental tracks, some of which was previously commissioned work for theatre etc., into a conceptual soundtrack for a journey through time and space.

The second track features Timo Laine of Symphonic Slam on his polyphonic guitar synthesizer.
Maelstrom
John Mills-Cockell - Gateway - True North Canadian
Dreamstripper
John Mills-Cockell - Gateway - True North Canadian
Interactive CKCU