Published Oct 28, 2016With the dissolution of the Toronto-based mixed media performance troupe Intersystems in the late 1960s, founding member and composer John Mills-Cockell ventured to the west coast to focus on his synth-based compositions. His solo Moog excursions were fleshed out by the flourishes of saxophonist Doug Pringle and the understated patterns provided by percussionist Alan Wells.
Thus, in 1970, Syrinx was born, culminating in a pair of LPs, many sessions held in Pringle's Toronto loft and several commissions for film, TV, dance and orchestra. The entirety of the trio's recorded output, including "Tillicum," their most popular composition and the theme of TV show Here Come the Seventies, and "Stringspace," which began as a commission from the Toronto Repertory Ensemble's Milton Barnes, has been lovingly presented by the adventurous RVNG imprint across three slabs of vinyl.
At times effervescent and whimsical, at others more emotionally grounded, Syrinx's oeuvre defies categorization. Space-age chamber music, mutated soft pop, alien funk: at its heart, this is an organic type of music, founded on technology but warm with human emotion. Perhaps the trio were ahead of their time, as their sweet sounds appear as relevant now as they must have over 40 years ago. (RVNG Intl.)