Exposé Online banner

Robert Scott Thompson — Messages from Maggie's Garden
(Bandcamp Aucourant, 2019, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-09-29

Messages from Maggie's Garden Cover art

With Messages from Maggie’s Garden, composer Robert Scott Thompson presents three electro-acoustic compositions for clarinet and electronics, with the clarinet part played by F. Gerard Errante and the composer himself doing the processing and whatever else is there. The pieces date from 1996 to 2010 and were commissioned by Errante. The mood is meditative and mostly quite serene, though some of the electronic sounds, taken individually, have an ominous edge to them. Errante’s clarinet provides mostly conventional playing, though there are some glissandos and several times when his parts seem inspired by bird songs. The electronics are occasionally recognizable as processed versions of the clarinet parts, but more often consist of ambient drones, fiddly skritching sounds, or even heavily modified voices. On “Canto (de los Sombras)” there are some percussive sounds like the striking of a large drum combined with something else. “Widening Gyre” features a sound a bit like a piano string being struck by a hard object, but who knows what it really is. “Passage” is very evocative of slow progress through changes, with drones that constantly shift color as the clarinet explores slow melodies. As a fourth track, Thompson takes the materials of the three original pieces and assembles them into a longer work that is an abstract ambient epic. The clarinet is mostly undetectable in the sparse soundscape, but it’s a fascinating series of textures, lacking melodies, rhythms, or harmonies, but quite enjoyable as a soundtrack to an inner journey.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Scott Thompson

More info

Latest news

New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

B.A.G. - Soudain, l'Éléphant – This French instrumental five piece of guitars, bass, keys, winds and drums plays music in a somewhat jazzy vein, yet with a rock flair and a multitude of influences ranging from world jazz and Arabic...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues