Exploratorium – Gene Coleman

“Ideas about exploratory behavior, Neuro Music and Transcultural Music have been the basis for many of my works over the last 20 years. Exploratorium is an album of some of those works and a space of exploration. Indeed, all the works on this album are examples of Neuro Music, which is the fundamental connection point across these compositions.” 

— Gene Coleman, from the CD booklet

Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and video director, who has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Central to his work is the inventive use of sound, image and time, and the desire to create experiences that expand our understanding of the world. Since 2001 he has explored the global transformation of culture and music's relationship with video, science and architecture.

Gene has been developing a series of works around concepts of Neuro Music and Transcultural Music, some of which are collected for the first time on Exploratorium, which is also the first album exclusively dedicated to Gene’s compositions.

Gene defines Neuro Music as “an area of research and creation based on the study and application of models and concepts from Auditory Neuroscience, as a form of musical composition. … The Neuro compositional methods I have developed are modeled on the auditory pathway of the brain … including the three mechanical stages of hearing (outer, middle and inner ear functions), the auditory nerves and the various stages of auditory information processing, ending in the neocortex and so-called frontal networks.”

Neuro Music concepts are explored across various works on the album, including string quartet, and pieces which combine voice, electronics, shamisen and/or ensemble.

Gene defines Transcultural Music as “an area of research and composition based on the integration of music from different cultures and traditions”, and has been exploring how musical styles and traditions might meet and combine in new ways for over 20 years. Models of Neuro and Transcultural Musics have been combined in the longest piece on the album, Across Time (Transonic Symphony #1), which explores new possibilities for what a symphony can be in the 21st century and features musicians from many different places and traditions.
The musicians featured on the album:

-- RITORNO: The Hemmi Quartet.
-- Kokhlos I: Nicholas Isherwood, Adam Vidiksis.
-- Kokhlos IV: CumTempora Ensemble (coordinated by Virginia Guidi), Adam Vidiksis.
-- Vidrone: Sansuzu Tsuruzawa, Toshimaru Nakamura.
-- Across Time (Transonic Symphony #1): Transonic Orchestra, Directed by Gene Coleman: Shinjoo Cho, Ko Ishikawa, Sansuzu Tsuruzawa, Thomas Kraines, Naoko Kikuchi, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M., Jonah Rosenberg, Yasutaka Hemmi, Marino Nagira, Yuta Tsubonouchi, Yasunori Onishi, Marcus Weiss, Jean-Michel Goury, Pierre-Stephane Meuge, Serge Bertocchi, Aya Motohashi, Sasamoto Takeshi.

The album also foregrounds Gene’s integration of material from the writer Lance Olsen’s novel Dreamlives of Debris.

This is Gene’s second album on the False Walls label: Storobo Imp., a set of improvisations with Uchihashi Kazuhisa, was released in 2004.


Mastering by Stephan Mathieu
Produced by CJ Mitchell and Gene Coleman
Design by David Caines
6-panel gatefold sleeve, with 24 page booklet and CD sleeve
Booklet includes sleeve notes by Gene Coleman

All Compositions, 2023 Gene Coleman / Lontano Music (ASCAP)