11/07/2005

Ambient Music:


Robert Scott Thompson "At The Still Point Of The Turning World"


Many listeners have been eagerly looking forward to Robert Scott Thompson's new album on the Hypnos label and it certainly fulfills those high expectations. Thompson is a music professor with an extensive background in computer and electronic music, and has an extensive back catalog of high quality releases. This work is made up of twelve tracks, varying in length from just under two minutes to nearly eleven minutes, with most in the three to seven minute range.

There are no beats here, just shifting sculptures of evocative atmospheric beauty. Each piece is an exquisitely crafted miniature world of it's own that blends with the greater whole. There are many outstanding moments in this creation, and each track has it's highlights. Here are some high points: The suspenseful orchestral swells in "Of Mirrored Air" begin the disc. Discordant background melodies swirl behind melancholy piano and string sounds in "Airports For Shadow And Dust". The subtle menacing layers of "A Theory Of Place " give way to the wordless vocal spirit world of "Presences". Crackling, thawing sounds fuse with long drones and chimes in "Water Out Of Sunlight". Flute-like melodies and drones ebb and flow with a distant choir in "When Dreams Collide". A lonely piano recalls the past through revolving electronic mists in "Tinted In Temporal Hue". "Melting Through Inches Of Mercury" has piano melody wrapped in synth layers melting into the serene conclusion of "Figured In The Drift Of Stars".

This is a moving work crafted with the skill of a veteran artist. Listening at different volume levels reveals new textures and signatures within the excellent production. Thompson has created a work that effortlessly blends classical and modern influences into something that is uniquely his own. Highly recommended, this deserves a large and appreciative audience. Sound samples and ordering at www.hypnos.com .

-Dodds Wiley

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