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ONYX

by Bill Thompson

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1.
Volume 0 29:49
2.
Volume 1 34:46
3.
Volume 2a 29:48
4.
Volume 2b 19:54
5.
Volume 2c 24:51
6.
Volume 2d 29:48
7.
Volume 3a 49:38
8.
Volume 3b 29:48
9.
Volume 3c 19:54
10.
Volume 3d 29:49
11.
Volume 3e 19:54
12.
Volume 3f 24:51
13.
Volume 4a 01:14:24
14.
Volume 4b 49:38
15.
Volume 4c 29:48
16.
Volume 4d 19:54
17.
Volume 5a 29:49
18.
Volume 5b 24:51
19.
Volume 5c 19:54
20.
Volume 5d 29:48
21.
Volume 6 34:46
22.
Volume 7 29:48

about

ONYX was composed during and shortly after the recent UK lockdown (February – April 2020). It reflects several preoccupations that I’ve had since first beginning composition, most notably the use of similar or identical material displaced over time to create different textures and emerging patterns. It also explores the use of a repeating pulse which has been mostly absent in my work prior to this. The aesthetic of the work is dark, brooding, claustrophobic and unrelenting. Although I hadn’t intended it to reflect my feelings about the current state of the world I have no doubt that it does in many ways.

ALSO, THE WORK IS LOUD - TAKE CARE OF YOUR VOLUME LEVEL!

A note about the composition and its titles:

ONYX is constructed by layering up to 8 identical repeating tracks (each slightly displaced in time) in every combination of ‘present/not present’. For example, Volume 0 includes all 8 tracks playing simultaneously but Track 2 enters one 16th note after Track 1, Track 3 two 16th notes later and so on. This is indicated by the following title: [11111111] where 1s indicates which tracks are included.

Volume 2c, on the other hand, excludes two tracks at different positions: [11011110], [11011101], [11011011], [11010111], and [11001111], where 1 indicates that a track is included and 0 that it is excluded.

When the tracks are sounded together but displaced over time, various frequencies are masked or emphasised. This allows additional bands of material to emerge and creates patterns that glide across the surface. The exclusion of a track (indicated by a 0), and where that exclusion occurs temporally, also effects the patterns that appear due to different masking and phase relationships.

ONYX explores every combination between ‘all tracks present’ as in Volume 0 [11111111], to ‘only one present’ as in Volume 7 [10000000].

Bill Thompson (November 2020)
www.billthompson.org

credits

released October 2, 2022

ONYX [BHR 005]

Bill Thompson - Live electronics

Volume 0 - 29:49
Volume 1 - 34:46
Volume 2a - 29:48
Volume 2b - 19:54
Volume 2c - 24:51
Volume 2d - 29:48
Volume 3a - 49:37
Volume 3b - 29:48
Volume 3c - 19:54
Volume 3d - 29:48
Volume 3e - 19:54
Volume 3f - 24:51
Volume 4a - 74:24
Volume 4b - 49:37
Volume 4c - 29:48
Volume 4d - 19:54
Volume 5a - 29:48
Volume 5b - 24:51
Volume 5c - 19:54
Volume 5d - 29:48
Volume 6 - 34:46
Volume 7 - 29:48

Recorded and Mastered at Rearview Studio, London
Album design by Bill Thompson

© 2020 Burning Harpsichord Records
www.burningharpsichordrecords.com
www.billthompson.org

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