Index of Artists
Browse by Artist: HAMILTON, TOM
Pieces For Kohn/Formal & Informal Music
"Kvist Records presents this 2CD release, reissuing out-of-print works originally released on the artist's own Somnath label. Although Tom Hamilton's more recent CDs (
Off-Hour Wait State
) are well known to fans of electronic music and reviewers alike, his earlier LP recordings became known as underground classics to the collectors of independent music from that era. This 2CD set was made from the original master tapes, and brings to light some of the best work of Hamilton's highly prolific St. Louis years, starting decades before he became involved with musical life in downtown New York. In the 1970s, Hamilton was working in semi-isolation, though connected to a burgeoning arts scene in St. Louis, and developing his idiosyncratic techniques with the ARP and Serge modular analog synthesizers of that era. The first CD,
Pieces For Kohn
, is comprised of four multi-layered electronic pieces, musical responses to four paintings by artist Bill Kohn. The second CD,
Formal & Informal Music
, contains the title piece 'Formal & Informal Music' (1980), and 'Crimson Sterling' (1973) -- both featuring improvisations by JD Parran, woodwinds, Rich O'Donnell, percussion, and Hamilton on analog synthesizers. The music on these CDs establish some of Hamilton's most prominent style characteristics: clouds of fast pitches hinting at pointillistic and kinetic imagery; suggestions of tonality without real resolution; and highly-charged rhythms contributing to intricate textures -- sometimes existing on their own, sometimes offering accompaniment to improvising soloists." Includes a 20-page booklet with liner notes by Hamilton and historic photos.
"Composer Tom Hamiltonšs stunning new CD,
, explores some obscure notions about music theory and performance practice, leading to sound combinations that are at once unsettling and yet somehow familiar. One discovers that there is very little in
that follows from conventionally intentional music writing. It is perhaps better to regard it as a group of artifacts of little-known origins, modified through new transformations into something further unexplained. The foundation for the piece is an 'electronic harmony generator' that plays an endless sequence of chords exhibiting curious relationships with no purposeful direction. The musical lines for the ensemble - consisting of flute, clarinets, trombone, contrabass, percussion, and electronic harmony - accumulated from coding and decoding various readings, investigations, and experiences during a summer residency in Italy. Tom Hamilton has been composing and performing for over 40 years, and his work with electronic music originated in the late-60s era of analog synthesis. He often explores the interaction of many simultaneous layers of activity, prompting the use of 'present-time listening' on the part of both performer and listener. Hamilton appears on synthesizer in his own ensembles, and has participated in groups led by Peter Zummo, David Soldier, and Michael Schumacher. He has recently performed with Thomas Buckner, Lisle Ellis, Chris Mann, Al Margolis, and Jacqueline Martelle. His CD
received an award in the 2004 Prix Ars Electronica. He is a longtime member of composer Robert Ashley's touring opera ensemble, and his work can be found in over 60 CD releases of new and experimental music."
Index of Artists