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CATALOG > Sidereal (Continuous)

Robert Scott Thompson
Sidereal (Continuous)
Total Time: 69:00
Record Label: Aucourant Records
Catalog Number: AUREC 0704
UPC: 649783070420
Type: PRO CD-R
Released: 2002


The incomprehensibly vast distances of intergalactic space are continuously permeated by a subtle auditory ambience of shifting drones, elegantly gestured events and unique rhythms. Radio astronomy and SETI (among other scientific discoveries) have confirmed and given voice to this splendid background noise whose origin and meaning is impossible to fathom.

This recording does not use any sounds of extraterrestrial origin, yet it does allude to the ambience of the vast cosmos. The background sounds of the universe cannot be temporally framed due to their very nature. In this work, I have attempted to fashion a long-form ambient recording which takes its cue from the cosmological sounds which surround us.

is similar to a number of other works composed beginning with l'Objects d' Art (1976) and including important landmarks such as The Strong Eye (1991) and Manifold (2000). Some of my long-form electroacoustic works are thematic, some formed within the context of symphonic proportioning, and others are purely generative and self-evolving. Sidereal is unique within this collection of compositions. Firstly because is presents a collection of distinct compositions with a clearly defined framework - more like an album of largely unrelated works - and, secondly, the works are coerced into relatedness through their framing by a complex, evolutionary, drone texture which forms the basis of the work.

The background drone is positioned somewhere between cosmic radio static and pitched harmonic resonance, alluding to the drone flux of the distant starfields which were its inspiration.

, is presented on this recording in the original version of the work as one long, evolving composition. This version is ideal for deep, immersive, listening. 

Another version, Sidereal (Discrete), is also available here, presenting the music as a set of distinct tracks and including three bonus tracks.

Album cover art by Craig Dongoski.

Re-mastered in 2007.
Thompson has created a work that is truly sublime and exists in a constant yet subdued state of flux. However, even more of a testament is that Sidereal has moments so wonderful that you may want to “freeze frame” the CD and just bathe in the musical bliss you hear at any one moment. It’s also the rare ambient recording that rewards both direct and indirect listening. Sidereal (if there is any justice) should finally garner the praise and recognition that has eluded Robert Scott Thompson for far too long. It’s that good an album and comes highly recommended.

- Wind And Wire

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