Environments 11 , the final disc in the series, makes perhaps the grandest claim of any record in the series. Conceived during the energy crisis of 1979, Side A was designed to “lower the temperature of any room” through the power of suggestion as embodied by the sounds of a Swiss skiing chateau. After a serious publicity push, the recording received a slew of media attention and a valedictory series of interviews for Syntonic founder Irv Teibel. From the liner notes: “In over ten years of testing psychologically-based sound, never has SR received such glowing, enthusiastic responses to a listening test. Our prime objective was to create a feeling of coldness which would be useful in hot weather and reduce the need for air conditioning… Thus our electricity-saving experiment has turned into a superb year-round celebration of the joys of winter.” Does it work? You be the judge.
“Country Thunderstorm,” Side B of Environments 11, is the counterpoint to “Ultimate Thunderstorm.” Irv Teibel captured these storm sounds near a farmhouse in the bucolic countryside, as can probably be gathered from the noisy farm animals. From the liner notes: “It's all here. The quiet before the storm. The rolling, intense thunder. The first few random drops… The colossal downpour eventually subsiding leaving you in awe of the power & majesty of nature.” The last three environments albums stoked some degree of controversy due to the nude female silhouettes on the jackets. In a 1979 press release, Teibel claims that representatives from the women’s liberation movement contacted him to protest the imagery, and two mail order companies apparently cancelled their orders following the kerfuffle, making these perhaps the most controversial nature recordings ever released to the record buying public.
Tintinnabulation (Contemplative Sound)