Originally released in 1991, Moondog's Elpmas is a landmark late-period work by the legendary composer.
Elpmas is the stunning result of a revitalized legend still at the peak of his vitality and innovation. Moondog uses a sampler for the very first time, complementing his compositions with field recordings. The percolating marimba patterns on opening track "Wind River Powow" recalls the type of pure, luscious tone-studies that once deemed Moondog "the founder of minimalism" by Philip Glass and Steve Reich, but Elpmas is a varied, thematic work, epic in scope and dedicated to the aboriginal peoples of the world. "Westward Ho!" is an 8-part canon depicting the western migration from Europe to the New World, and features guest musicians Götz Alsmann and Andi Toma (Mouse On Mars). "Suite Equestria" is the most energizing piece on the album, its intricate marimba pattern carried to epic heights by the incursion of a valiant male chorus. Elpmas also introduces Moondog's "Overtone Continuum," an ambitious compositional system in which a 4-part male chorus is overdubbed 12 times, resulting in the disorienting 144-voice experiment "The Message." The album ends with "Cosmic Meditation," a 24-minute expanse of hazy warmth and melancholic, Eno-esque ambience intended to suggest the rising and falling waves of the Siderial Sea.