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Lagin, Ned

Seastones: Set 4 and Set 5 [BLUE VINYL RSD]

Lagin, Ned: Seastones: Set 4 and Set 5  [BLUE VINYL RSD] (Important Records)

A blue vinyl Record Store Day 2020 release from Ned Lagin in a pioneering electronic composition interweaving metaphors from nature, science, art and music and the origins of music, originally released by the Grateful Dead 's Round Records in 1975 and including musicians Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, David Crosby, Grace Slick, David Freiberg, Mickey Hart and Spencer Dryden.

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product information:

Audiophile edition of 2000 copies cut by Golden Mastering and pressed at RTI to insure excellence in reproducing Seastone's rich analog sound. Blue Vinyl.

UPC: 793447547916

Label: Important Records
Catalog ID: IMPREC 479LP
Squidco Product Code: 28734

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded in 1975.


Ned Lagin-processed piano, clavichord, organ, prepared piano, electric piano, synthesizers

Jerry Garcia-processed electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, voice

Phil Lesh-processed electric bass

David Crosby-processed electric guitar, vocals

Grace Slick-processed vocals

David Freiberg-processed vocals

and Mickey Hart-percussion

Spencer Dryden-percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Ned Lagin (born March 17, 1948) is an American artist, photographer, scientist, composer, and keyboardist.

Lagin is considered a pioneer in the development and use of minicomputers and personal computers in real-time stage and studio music composition and performance.

He is known for his electronic music composition Seastones, for performing with the Grateful Dead, and for his photography and art.

Ned Lagin was born in New York City and raised on Long Island in Roslyn Heights, New York. Growing up, Lagin was influenced by classical and jazz music, and the modern music and art cultures of New York City in the 1960s. He started photography with a Kodak Baby Brownie Special at the age of five, and piano lessons and science, natural history, and electronic projects at the age of six.

He attended the Wheatley School in Old Westbury, New York, was awarded two National Science Foundation Scholarships, and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the intention of becoming an astronaut. Lagin received a degree in molecular biology and humanities from MIT in 1971, where he studied with John Harbison, Gregory Tucker, David Epstein, Noam Chomsky, Gian-Carlo Rota, Salvador Luria, and Jerome Lettvin. Chomsky's generative grammar concepts inspired Lagin's thinking about creating generative music forms (1968), and Lettvin connected him to the writings of Norbert Wiener and Warren McCulloch, and more generally to cybernetics.

While at MIT, Lagin also completed jazz coursework at the Berklee School of Music. He was deeply influenced by the jazz world in New York City, particularly pianist Bill Evans, who he met in Boston and saw perform many times in New York and Boston in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this period, Evans wrote out some of his tunes for Lagin. His piano teachers included Dean Earl, a Charlie Parker sideman, and he studied jazz improvisation with Lee Konitz. He played piano in the MIT Concert Jazz Band and MIT Jazz Quintet led by Herb Pomeroy, a sideman with Duke Ellington and Stan Getz.

In the autumn of 1971, Lagin began graduate study in composition as an Irving Fine Fellow at Brandeis University, where he studied with Josh Rifkin and Seymour Shifrin. He completed a symphony, a string quartet, jazz big band pieces, and electronic pieces before dropping out and permanently relocating to the Bay Area.

In early 1970, Lagin initiated a correspondence with Jerry Garcia after seeing the Grateful Dead at the Boston Tea Party in 1969. In May 1970, he helped facilitate a concert and free live outdoor performance featuring the band at MIT that coincided with the Kent State shootings. That summer, Lagin, at Garcia's invitation, visited San Francisco and contributed piano to "Candyman" during the American Beauty album sessions, played in several jams, and started what would become close friendships with Garcia, bassist Phil Lesh, and David Crosby.

From 1970 to 1975, Lagin sat in on Hammond B3 organ, electric piano, and clavichord during long instrumental passages at several Grateful Dead concerts. His first performances with the Grateful Dead were on November 5 and November 8, 1970 at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York; his first complete concert was at Boston University's Sargent Gym on November 21, 1970.

During many 1974 Grateful Dead concerts over several tours, including Europe, he performed a middle set of electronic music, including parts of his composition Seastones, on computer-controlled analog synthesizers with Phil Lesh on electronically processed bass. Some sets included Jerry Garcia playing guitar filtered through effects processors and Bill Kreutzmann on drums; these sets occasionally segued into the final Grateful Dead set, with Lagin performing with the Dead, including an appearance in The Grateful Dead Movie.

During the 1974 tours, he played through the vocal system of the Wall of Sound PA, in quad, with 9600 watts going through over two hundred speakers.

The March 17, 1975 cancelled Grateful Dead studio session became a Seastones session with Crosby and included "Ned's Birthday Jam."

n 1975 Lagin released Seastones, a quadraphonic album of electronic music (composed between 1970–1974 and constituting a small part of the complete Seastones composition) on Round Records and then United Artists Records.

A new, two CD album of Seastones was released on March 8, 2018. This album, not a re-issue, presents most but not all of the composition as originally composed but never released or heard before. For this release, Seastones was re-mixed and re-mastered in stereo. It includes most of the original 1970–1974 studio forms, those parts of Lagin's concurrent but unfinished composition L that are shared with Seastones, as well as some of the moment forms generated and incorporated into the composition from live performances that took place from 1973 to 1975. This two CD album contains 83 tracks (54 tracks on CD One and 29 tracks on CD Two) and altogether is 111 minutes long.

During his professional career in science and engineering R&D (1976–2011) he worked on the earliest home computing technology with an Altair 8800; was a pre-release Apple Macintosh software seed developer; developed real time digital video and image processing systems; biotechnology and immunology instrumentation; DNA, RNA, and peptide synthesis and sequencing hardware and artificial intelligence software; early wireless network routing systems; and consulted in ecological planning, design and habitat restoration, including aerial and ecological photography for environmental studies. [...]"

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Seastones 01 (1:24)

2. Seastones 02 (0:51)

3. Seastones 03 (2:40)

4. Seastones 05 (4:13)

5. Seastones 06 (2:14)

6. Seastones 13 (0:49)

7. Seastones 63 (0:50)

8. Seastones 67 (0:51)

9. Seastones 70 (3:12)

10. Seastones 79 (1:52)

11. Seastones 81 (4:27)

12. Seastones 59 (1:52)

13. Seastones 54 (0:24)


1. Seastones 56 (3:26)

2. Seastones 58 (1:13)

3. Seastones 66 (5:46)

4. Seastones 26 (10:04)

5. Seastones 57 (5:17)
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Ned Lagin's Seastones is a pioneering electronic composition interweaving metaphors from nature, science, art and music and the origins of music. Reflecting the technology, science, modern art, new ecological awareness and optimism of the times and culture, Seastones embodies the history of electronic music by taking full advantage of tape music, analog synthesizers, and computer technology to create pieces that are dynamic, rich, and deep.

Originally released by the Grateful Dead 's Round Records in 1975, Seastones ' reputation as a gem of electronic music was further enhanced by the celebrity of the musicians who contributed to the source material. Seastones musicians include Ned Lagin (processed piano, clavichord, organ, prepared piano, electric piano, synthesizers), Jerry Garcia (processed electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, voice), Phil Lesh (processed electric bass), David Crosby (processed electric guitar and vocals), Grace Slick and David Freiberg (processed vocals), and Mickey Hart and Spencer Dryden (percussion). This new LP presents two crafted Seastones sets ( Sets 4 and 5 , 18 tracks) drawn from the entire Seastones composition and contains gorgeous extended processed vocals by Garcia, Crosby, Slick, and Freiberg, and beautiful abstract instrumental passages by Lagin and all.

Lagin is considered a pioneer in the development and use of minicomputers and personal computers in real-time stage and studio music composition and performance. He had classical music training in piano, counterpoint, harmony, orchestration, composition, and the history of music. Growing up in 1960s New York he was deeply influenced by modal and free jazz, and by modern art. Lagin studied jazz improvisation, arrangement, and piano and played in small jazz groups and a big band. Seastones was influenced not only by modern jazz and forms for improvisation, but also by Lagin's studies of early, Renaissance, and 20th century music. He was a touring, studio, and guest keyboard player with the Grateful Dead from 1970 to 1976.

Seastones composition began in 1970, while Lagin was attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1974, with a minicomputer and an E-mu modular analog synthesizer, Lagin was able to play a polyphonic keyboard and hybrid computer-controlled instrument, as well as create simple generative musical processes. The normal controls found on the analog synthesizer were customized to accept computer control and the system was large enough to input audio and control voltages from the other musicians' instruments. This means that the synthesizer controls which were processing the incoming audio from the musicians could be controlled by what the artists were playing. These control voltages and timing signals derived from the amplitude envelope shapes of what the musicians played, as Lagin puts it:

"... became the sources of modulation that are the imprints, the musical touch and articulation, personality and presence of each musician. interweaving multiple musical identities within an interconnected group. Ensemble interaction and improvisation through instrument and compositional interconnection."

Each track on Seastones is what Lagin refers to as a "moment form". Each track is self-contained, like a sea stone on the beach, a moment in time full of feelings and meaning, an entire world unto itself. Again, Lagin:

"Each stone on a fragment from another place and time. Some are just one mineral, some made of many; some are crystalline; some magnetic; some meteorites from the birth of this solar system or the universe; some contain fossils of ancient lives and little life form's, their stories are imprinted. Ephemeral existence." "Like real sea stones, the Seastones moment forms are each a placetime, a time island, a droplet of time. They are composed and synthesized and skeletal improvisational forms. Some moment forms are ideogrammatic; the communicate their own self-contained structure, each a sensuous object in and of itself. Some of the moment form compositions are individual, some are related." "Some are metaphoric abstracted forms derived from geology, and natural history and paleontology, electronics and electricity, organic and biochemical synthesis, physical processes, mathematics, physics and quantum mechanics, language and linguistic structure, and different forms and perspectives from pictorial (and abstract) visual art (paintings - cubism, pointillism, impressionism, expressionism and color field). And some from the sea with tonalities that are complex ocean surface and deep wave forms and currents, with the superposition of many waveforms from many sources. Some moment forms are just one waveform cycle."

Seastones: Sets 4 and 5 is available in this audiophile edition of 2000 copies. This audiophile quality LP was cut by Golden Mastering and pressed at RTI to insure excellence in reproducing Seastone 's rich analog sound."-Important Records

Audiophile edition of 2000 copies cut by Golden Mastering and pressed at RTI to insure excellence in reproducing Seastone's rich analog sound. Blue Vinyl.
Related Categories of Interest:

Record Store Day

Vinyl Recordings
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music

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