Cover painting by P. Craig Russell.
You’re standing in front of Vermeer’s painting, The Love Letter. Looking through a doorway, you see a woman holding a lute. She has just been handed a letter by another woman. Viewing the scene this way gives you the feeling of eavesdropping as you wrap your mind around the planet, building a story in which you contemplate the contents of the letter. Taking a similar position, Paul Lansky’s Things She Carried is a musical portrait of a woman, drawn in a series of eight movements. We learn a lot about her: what she carried in her purse, what she notices, remembered, read, knew, felt and liked. A large number of facts and ideas are provided with which to thread together an image of this woman, but little is explicitly stated.
Paul Lansky presents a dramatic scenario full of spectacularly beautiful sounds, created by using NeXt and Silicon Graphics computers. Writing about Lansky’s work, critic Hap Mansfield states: “It’s hard to imagine having more fun than opening a jewel box with Lansky compositions on it and treating your ears to the remarkable musical gifts he doles out so generously. Lansky’s music perches you, fully aware on the edges of the subconscious universe.”