"Harrison’s glacially beautiful 2015 piece “Just Constellations” made the deepest connection to the place: as luminous chords accumulated, it was difficult to tell which pitches were coming from live singers and which were coming out of the walls." Alex Ross, The New Yorker
"Whereas The Ascendant involves rising from the earthly plane, Michael Harrison's dramatically resonant Just Constellations is already situated high overhead. It's different from Gunn's work in many ways, aside from its fundamental austerity and ethereality. Words are eschewed for syllables, and the material, written in just intonation for eight individual voices, is consistent with Harrison's background. The composer/pianist was brought to New York years ago by La Monte Young as his protégé and holds the distinction of being the exclusive tuner for Young's concert grand; Harrison also lived in Young's Tribeca loft and has performed his monumental The Well-Tuned Piano. In fact, Harrison himself traces the genesis of Just Constellations to the time when he learned to play and tune the piano for the six-hour opus and when he was concurrently studying classical Indian vocal music and exploring how sustained harmonies on the piano could be produced with voices. Building on his experiences with Young, Terry Riley, and Pandit Pran Nath, Harrison is also known for having created the ‘harmonic piano,' a grand piano that allows twenty-four notes per octave to be played.
Enhancing the vocal drones generated by ROT's members, the twenty-one-minute work's four parts were recorded at The Tank, a performance venue in Rangley, Colorado that adds incredible reverb to the vocal tones. Even with multiple singers involved, the result is luminescent; in “The Opening Constellation - Summer” their octaves-spanning voices become a glassy force field of opaque shimmer, the effect both unearthly and epic. Like starbursts occurring dispersedly throughout the night sky, tones of contrasting pitches emerge in staggered formation during “The Romantic Constellation - Autumn.” Harrison pays overt tribute to Young by basing “The Magic Constellation- Winter” on a theme by him, and one guesses he'd be as captivated as any sentient being by the stirring sound of the ensemble and the reverb trailing their intonations. Together, the EPs total fifty-plus minutes, ostensibly making them equivalent to a full-length. Both are available digitally, of course, but each has also been issued in a limited edition vinyl format, the latter obviously the more enticing option of the two"