Personnel: Michael Stearns (vocals, whistling, flute, bamboo flute, synthesizer, percussion); Keri Rusthoi (vocals); Mitchell May (flute); David Korup (dumbek); Miguel Rivera (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Michael Stearns.
Recording information: Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica (1995); Earth Turtle Studio, Santa Fe, NM (1995).
Space music composer Michael Stearns also composes for large-screen IMAX movie documentaries. The Lost World is so massive it could easily fill the theater, even without the movie. The lost world of the title refers to the towering rock pillar and cliffs and the thick tropical rain forest of Mount Roraima in Venezuela. The area was so mysterious and so full of adventure that in 1912 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote an adventure novel, a book that captivated Stearns as a boy. Stearns traveled by jeep, river, and foot to explore the region, returning with spectacular images and sound samples for this Cinemascope movie for the mind. The music is vast, immense, with drums as loud as dinosaur footsteps, organ drones as thick as impenetrable cliffs, and gongs as tall as the mountain's thousand-foot waterfall. Of course, the little band of explorers is overwhelmed and outnumbered by the territory and its legends. A local porter tells a scary tale while taking shelter in a cave, and the legend springs to life right from the speakers. Nothing -- exploding volcanoes, fields of crystals, natives peeking around every tree, man-eating insects -- stops the band of intrepid adventurers from marching onward into the unknown. Stearns' music is so descriptive that dinos will pound through your speakers. Like a good summer blockbuster, this album's a winner. The operative voice of Keri Rushtoi adds considerable drama to the adventure. Liner notes rate a "thumbs up" for spectacular photography and setting the scene. ~ Carol Wright
Down Beat (9/95, p.48) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good/Excellent - "...[THE LOST WORLD is a] mysterious, often ominous, evocation of a world where dinosaurs and volcanos can exist alongside remote tribal cultures."