The 90-minute lecture “The Fate of the Earth,” by Sister Miriam MacGillis, was originally recorded in 1986 and distributed widely through a grassroots network of environmental activists. I recorded two versions of this piece in the late nineties, after having heard an excerpt of it on the radio.
The original recordings are lost to the sands of time. The first version was recorded on an Akai MG1214 recording console, a strange beast with a built-in proprietary (possibly Beta-compatible?) cassette tape drive. The backing sequence was composed on an Akai ME20a Sequence Arpeggiator, and consists of a 64-note pattern that is mapped onto a cycle of four chords. The ME20a, in turn, drove a stack of Yamaha DX7 voices in the form of a TX816 rackmount – a true eighties-style synth stack.
The current version is stripped down a bit compared to the earlier incarnations, but I did tip my hat a bit to its FM origins with the introduction of Native Instruments’ FM8.
Sister Miriam’s mission is ongoing. You can learn more about her eco-activism and philosophy in this short interview.