Dr. Robert Scott Thompson created the
elements of "Acousma: Electroacoustic Music"
during the period from 1996 through 2001. Some of the elements
(pieces) have appeared on previous releases. "Acousma,"
as an entity in and of itself, was created in 2001.
An acousma is "a form of auditory hallucination, a sensation
of hearing imaginary sounds (also acouasm) or a nonverbal auditory
hallucination, such as a ringing, buzzing or hissing."
This double CD set comes with a booklet of detailed comprehensive
liner notes in which Robert describes his styles, techniques and/or
intents for each piece. There is also a very informative and
enlightening essay by Ronald Squibbs, Ph. D., presumably one
of Robert's colleagues.
The project was supported by a grant from Georgia State University
(Robert is an associate professor there) and commissioned by The
Electric Music Foundation.
If this is not the best CD of Robert's career, it is certainly one of
the most important CD's. This composition can be appreciated as
a long-form continuous play symphony or as a collection of related
pieces. It also works very well on random play with other
ambient, minimalist, classical and/or avant- discs.
So, where does the focused listener go with this set? The set
represents a veritable kaleidoscope of emotional, spiritual, physical
and intellectual responses. There are Celtic references,
accolades to Robert Moog, references to T. S. Eliot and
mathematical progressions and algorithms. So, deep listeners
will go in many different directions, some of them simultaneously.
The career of this genius is, essentially, the history of modern
computerized music. That Robert is able to translate that to
the ambient and minimalist genres is a tribute to his genius and to
This is an absolutely essential CD!
Reviewed by Jim Brenholts