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Bill Thompson - Ocean Into Light [Burning Harpsichord - 2021]

American-British sound artist Bill Thompson hits Burning Harpsichord with his latest composition, Ocean Into Light. One, long form track, Ocean displays the interplay of synthesized layers, their birth, rise, fall, and decay. The oscillations here echo the waves in both oceans and light, and work as a semi-tangible way to bridge the gap between the two.

The horizon is an interesting thing. Outer space and the Earth collide, and the ocean can drift off into a sea of lights. Waves make up the basis of everything, big and small, oceans and light. Bill Thompson's Oceans Into Light manages to be both at once as well, sweeping and aquatic, but also flitting and airy. Varied layers collide at many different angles like myriad lights off of the ocean, refractions of sound bend at unexpected angles, and interference patterns create psychoacoustic sounds. Much like a horizon, this is all done evenly and effortlessly, Thompson assembles his layers and allows their interaction to tell their own tales. It's this subtle approach that adds so much expression to the piece: what is art and what is the artist? Allowing his tones and drones to work and interact with each other, their collision and dance becoming the spectacle, shows the difference between someone making sound for sound's sake, and someone composing a piece of art. It's often a fine line, but it's all in the way it's presented. Thompson makes this whole piece feel effortless, even though there's no doubt that a lot of thought and energy went into it. That's the beauty - making something that can be enjoyed from any angle without considering the artist. Ocean Into Light feels like it just exists.

Wonderfully simple and at the same time deftly complex, Ocean Into Light is a contemplative piece built on oscillating layers, collisions, and textured synthesis. Bill Thompson's latest is a definite treat for those looking for fascinating sound art that is also highly relaxing. Full of effort while feeling effortless, Thompson's art is a real sonic treat.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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