New Releases

This edition of The Edges of Dreaming focuses exclusively on new releases. We’ll be hearing brand new, hot-off-the-press tracks from Forrest Fang, Michael Meara, Off Land, Bing Satellites, Piers Adams and Larry Lush, Another Neglected Hobby, and Robert Scott Thompson — who just published a gorgeous series of four related albums.

Great stuff!

  • “The Celestial Diver (I. Winds of Betelgeuse)”
  • “The Celestial Diver (II. Shooting Star)”
  • “The Celestial Diver (III. Traceries)” – Forrest Fang – Ancient Machines (2019)

  • Service Drift” – Another Neglected Hobby & Millicow – (2019)

  • “The Promise of Neptune’s Wink” – Robert Scott Thompson – Pluviophilia – Cartographies of Time (2019)

The Pluviophilia Project (2019) – Aatma Recordings – Robert Scott Thompson 

As a young kid, I was enthralled by the seasonal rain, like so many others in the L.A. area. It did not come all that often, but when it did, it brought of a bit of magic to the streets with little rivers running down the curbside affording an imaginal world in which to explore – building dams, bridges, and floating objects down the currents. Perhaps it was then that I became a pluviophile. 

Pluviophilia means “love of rain.” For the composer, rain is often an inspiration not only of mood and image but also of sound itself. Take, for example, the “raindrop” prelude of Chopin, Debussy’’s Jardins sous la Pluie and John Luther Adams’ In the rain as examples. Alternatively, in genres closer to the one these recordings occupy, songs about rain are truly abundant. 

What began as a goal to compose a single ambient recording for the innovative label Aatma, this project blossomed to encompass a total of four recordings – three of which are the ambient discs – Pallaethesia, Pluviophilia, and Cartographies of Time. The fourth related project, at a bit of a tangent sonically, is Green Flash and the Dryline Chaser. All of these were composed and recorded in 2019. 

The original idea for the project was inspired by field recordings of rain that I made over the past year. Using these recordings as the source, I processed the sounds of rain with banks of resonators to imbue them with wispy melodies, elusive chord progressions, and delicate sonic textures. Treating the raindrops as impulse responses to drive the resonators, shimmering and complex sounds became possible that expressed interesting interior evolutions and transformations. Using these processed sound materials as a basis, a kind of meteorological dronescape, I composed the works heard on these recordings. Thus, the sound of rain knits together the musical time-flow. Occasionally, the sound of rain is heard untreated. While this project proposes rain sounds as musical material, it is also the case that rain itself is not the only, or perhaps central subject. Rather, climate change, and the implications that it holds for all life here is at the back of my mind. Rain is, therefore, a sonic vehicle and a metaphor rather than merely a subject. Rain can soothe, but it can also terrify – precipitation has many faces. 

All three of the recordings feature soundspace as a primary element of compositional intention. My current approach to soundspace focuses on ambisonic spatialization techniques, and for this approach to sound design, I use some tools that are quite fascinating in their application. However, while I have been using ambisonics in my electroacoustic (avant-garde) music for some years, it is a recent development to apply these techniques to the elaboration of soundspace in the ambient context. 

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