BILL THOMPSON – Mouthful Of Air

Burning Harpsichord

You may remember my review of Bill Thompson’s Mouthful Of Silence a few months ago. If you don’t, a milestone of contemporary droning is sadly missing from your collection.

But fear not: there’s always time to learn something. In this case, a variation on that “something” that gets close to surpassing the previous offer (just kidding, they’re both superb). In fact, the first cassette ever released by Burning Harpsichord is a partial reworking of the aforementioned album; the two “shorter” pieces – 28 minutes each – are remixes by Thompson, whereas the longest (“Blank Sky”, only available on tape) is credited to Ian Stonehouse, who merged the tracks with his own improvisations on modular electronics. A visual artist, Stonehouse also created the hand-painted cover that graces fifteen copies of a special collector’s edition.

I have often narrated Thompson’s qualities as a supplier of remarkably ringing substances. Since repetita iuvant, let me stress that – technical matters aside – this music achieves several fundamental aims, such as the complete separation of a listener’s psychophysical configuration from the surrounding occurrences while still keeping him/her entirely focused. There’s nothing better than a gloriole of concomitant harmonics to assuage anxiety, sorrow, or the plain fatigue caused by a crass human presence. Those reverberant partials suggest deeper perspectives, elicit genuine emotional development, push the core of existence away from a loud-mouthed mediocrity. Thompson provides layers upon layers of those luminescent materials, the lone useful advice being “get comfortable and float inside the drones”.

By doing that, the consequences of an infinity of bowed/jangling strings fused with the effects of electronics will orientate the willpower towards significant issues related to an otherwise purposeless physical dailiness. Strength is subtracted from the rebellious characteristics of the mind, those which cause serious frustration; think for example of someone you pretend to respect out of compassion, even in the awareness of their lack of intelligence. Through this kind of music there is a good chance to realize, once and for all, that the energies employed for “explanations” are practically wasted. Especially to people who ignore the vibrational nucleus of terms like resonance, consciousness or love, but keep filling their filthy mouths with them.

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