Constance Demby

Constance Demby

Constance Mary[1] Demby is an American multi-instrument musician and composer. Demby is identified with the New Age movement (as both her personal belief and the New Age music style),[2] while some of her output is also classified as ambient or space music.[2] She is also a singer, instrument designer, painter, sculptor, and multi-media producer. She is best known for her 1986 album Novus Magnificat.



Original cover of Novus Magnificat (1986 cassette)

Constance Mary[1] Demby was born in Oakland, California. She learned to play classical piano in her childhood and went on to become a multi-instrumentalist (including hammered dulcimer, vocals, synthesizers, and originally-designed custom acoustic instruments).

She studied sculpture and painting at the University of Michigan.[2] It was both as musician and sculptor that her Sonic Steel Instruments, the space bass and the whale sail were created. An original design, her Sonic Steel Instruments have been recorded by Lucas Skywalker Studios for use in their filmscores, and also filmed by Discovery Channel at Gaudi's Park Güell. The Space Bass is featured on Michael Stearns' soundtrack for Chronos.

In 1986, her album Novus Magnificat was released, self-defined as "Spacemusic" from its liner notes to its subtitle "Through the Stargate", with a space-themed cover (pictured at right) reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey (whose novel version featured a "Star Gate"). Inspired by Western classical and sacred music, it was recorded with samples from real instruments played on the Emulator II digital sampler, and features sound textures by Michael Stearns. Though it wasn't nominated at the Grammy Awards,[3] the album sold over 200,000 copies worldwide,[4] making her one of the most successful New Age artists of the time[4] and helped Stephen Hill to build his Hearts of Space Records' reputation.[4]

Demby was the co-founder of The Central Maine Power Sound and Light Company,[2] an experimental multi-media group that toured the east coast from 1971 to 1976[2] with programs such as Space Mass, a multimedia production launched in NYC combining painting, film, massive environmental sculptures, music, dance, and ritual. In 1978, Demby also founded her own record company, Sound Currents[5] (also known as Gandarva,[6] her recording studio) that released or re-issued half of her albums.[2]

In 2000, Demby moved from Southern California to Spain[2] in Sitges (outside Barcelona), and returned to the U.S. in July 2003.


Studio albums
  • 1978: Skies Above Skies (CS, Sound Currents/Gandarva)
  • 1980: Sunborne (CS, Sound Currents/Gandarva)
  • 1982: Sacred Space Music (CS, Sound Currents/Gandarva; 1988 CD, Hearts of Space Records)
  • 1986: Novus Magnificat: Through the Stargate (Hearts of Space Records)
  • 1989: Set Free (Hearts of Space Records)
  • 1995: Aeterna (Hearts of Space Records)
  • 1998: The Beloved (Living Essence Foundation)
  • 1998: The Heart Meditation (Living Essence Foundation)
  • 2000: Faces of the Christ (Sound Currents)
  • 2001: Sanctum Sanctuorum (Hearts of Space Records)
  • 2004: Spirit Trance (Hearts of Space Records)
  • 2004: Sonic Immersion (Sound Currents)
Live albums
  • 1984: Constance Demby at Alaron (live, 1983)(CS, Sound Currents/Gandarva)
  • 2000: Attunement: Live in Concert (live, 1999)(First Light Music; Sound Currents)
  • 2008: Live in Tokyo (live, 2002, CD-DVD)(Sound Currents)
  • 1987: Light of This World (compilation, 1978–1986 best-of, plus 2 original tracks)(CS/CD, Sound Currents)
  • 1991: Polar Shift (various-artists compilation, 1 original Demby track)(Private Music)


  1. ^ a b ASCAP (2009). "Works written by: Demby Constance Mary, CAE/IPI No.", database of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Wright, Carol. Constance Demby biography at Allmusic
  3. ^ Novus Magnificat was released in 1986 and eligible for the 1987 Grammy Awards (alias "Grammy Awards for 1986"), where a "New Age" category appeared that year for the first time. Neither the album nor Demby appears on the MetroLyrics list of 1987 Grammy nominations, including the two compilations from Germany's Windham Hill Records, "various artists - Windham Hill Records Sampler '86"[1] and "various artists - A Winter's Solstice"[2]. (Same for 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989.) No other source checked in June 2009 (including Google News Archive[3] and Google Book Search[4]) could list the album among Grammy nominations. The "Grammy nominated" claim found on Demby's website since at least 2001[5] (and in some interviews) may have been a confusion between the album being "nominated" by its record label to the Grammy academy (as is the regular process) and the actual official list of five Grammy nominees (the one called "Grammy nominated").
  4. ^ a b c Phoenix, Robert (2007). "Constance Demby: Heavy Metal Thunder", January 23, 2007 at
  5. ^
  6. ^

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Demby — may refer to: Constance Demby (born 1939), U.S. New Age composer and musician Albert Joe Demby (born 1934), Sierra Leonean politician and Vice President William Demby (born 1922), African American writer, known for his 1950 novel Beetlecreek,… …   Wikipedia

  • Constance (name) — Constance Pronunciation /ˈkɒnstəns/ Gender Female Origin Word/Name Latin Meaning Constant …   Wikipedia

  • Novus Magnificat — CD reissue cover since 1987 Studio album by Constance Demby Relea …   Wikipedia

  • Space music — Space music, also spelled spacemusic, is an umbrella term used to describe music that evokes a feeling of contemplative spaciousness. In fact, almost any music with a slow pace and space creating sound images could be called spacemusic. Stephen… …   Wikipedia

  • New Age — This article is about the New Age movement and its spirituality. For the astrological age in western astrology, see Age of Aquarius. For other uses with the term New Age, see New Age (disambiguation). New Age spirituality often makes references… …   Wikipedia

  • Ambient music — Stylistic origins Electronic art music Minimalist music Drone music[1] Psychedelic rock Krautrock Space rock Frippertronics Cultural origins …   Wikipedia

  • List of ambient artists — This is a list of ambient music artists. This includes artists who have either been very important to the genre or have had a considerable amount of exposure (such as in the case of one that has been on a major label, but not limited to such).… …   Wikipedia

  • New Age music — Stylistic origins Classical music Electronic music Folk music Ambient music Musique concrète Progressive rock Psychedelic rock Krautrock Traditional folk music World music Celtic music Minimalism Avant garde music Free …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Stearns — (born 1948) is a United States musician and composer of ambient music. He is also known as a film composer, sound designer and soundtrack producer for large format films, theatrical films, documentaries, commercials, and themed attractions.… …   Wikipedia

  • Suzanne Doucet — is an award winning composer and producer from Germany. She was born in Tuebingen (Germany) in 1944. She went to school in Meersburg/Bodensee, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Hamburg and Munich (college). Her mother and her grandmother both named Helen… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.