Folio — Volume Two (2011) — Robert Scott Thompson — Avant-garde Classical limits to his curiosity and willingness to explore...

As an admirer of Robert Scott Thompson, it is always exciting to start listening to a new work by this composer, who seems to know no limits to his curiosity and willingness to explore the most outré soundscapes, alongside more, shall we say, “traditional” music, though never content to just sit on his past triumphs, always ready to tread upon new paths.

Folio, both CDs, are examples of the more daring excursions into musical textures. These pieces may take some time to get into, but after a couple of listenings one discovers an amazing structure to what at first may appear to be deliberate randomness, if such a thing isn’t a contradiction in terms, and a tremendous richness to these complex patterns appear. This is music that rewards patience and repeated listening. This is not your granny’s dance music. This is music that expands one’s appreciation of what music is capable of.

— Ulf Claesson

Program Note

The Folio series features various compositions that develop out of my general practice. These works are the result of explorations into the modeling of sounds and musical structures that typically result in more elaborated and concentrated works. In some ways, these works are sketches or compositional studies. Some of these experimental pieces turn out to be more than mere exercises and can stand on their own as separate compositions. The Folio series sheds light into my compositional process and also collects a number of the more interesting of these miscellaneous works.

Folio Volume Two features instrumental sounds by Jan Baker (saxophone), Ken Long (bass clarinet), and Stuart Gerber (percussion) all of which are processed and elaborated using a custom signal processing program. Included in this recording is The Musical Box, a work that features prepared piano sounds utilizing percussion instruments inside the piano (including the inner workings of a wind-up music box). Lunation Cycle explores the timbres and textures of the soprano saxophone. Liminality – Homage to Iannis Xenakis is based entirely in transformations of piano sounds. The final work on the disc, …of The Dreaming, is inspired by the didgeridoo and features the sounds of the bass clarinet. All works were composed in 2011.

~ rst


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