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Tom Heasley — Desert Tryptich
(Farfield FARCD012, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Desert Tryptich Cover art

On his previous recordings Where the Earth Meets the Sky and On the Sensations of Tone (reviewed in #23 and #26 respectively), Heasley’s floating ambient epics were created with the tuba as the sole sound source, albeit heavily processed via electronics. On this, his third release, he has opted to leave the tuba in the storage room and instead work with didgeridoo, voices, and electronics. The approach to composition is similar, however: vast floating ambient dronescapes of shimmering beauty, dreamy and meditative, tranquil and spacious, but full of densely layered sonic images that shift, bend and overlap in three dimensions. All sounds are heavily processed, but the sources (multiple voice tracks and didge) appear at or near the surface from time to time and provide the textures that make this work unique among others. For his inspiration, he’s taken the beauty and serenity of the high desert of Southern California – the three track titles are “Joshua Tree,” “29 Palms,” and “Solitude,” and those titles and the accompanying photos in the bi-fold booklet complement this music perfectly (please forget the rattlesnakes and scorpions, you won’t find any of them here!). This is night music of the highest order – an intense work of pure imagination, freeing the mind and spirit as the one travels down the eternal subconscious spiral.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Heasley

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