As much as we may wish to leave 2020 behind, there is still much to process, and music provides a gentle approach to going deep and letting go. “Lamentations” was made for this purpose. It is a new album of ambient music by Thomas Peters, who performs a one-man-orchestra using cutting-edge computer electronics and synchronized electronic soundscapes, a bowed NS Design EU-6 bowed 6-string electric double bass designed by the legendary Ned Steinberger, and a laptop with Ableton Live.
Press release by Beth Hilton, The B Company
This album heralds a new direction for Peters, a sought-after composer renowned for creating multimedia works for classic silent films. He is an avid performer and collaborator, having contributed to the 2014 GRAMMY(R) Nominated Best Small Ensemble Performance for John Cage: The 10,000 Things on MicroFest Records; participated on the 2015 GRAMMY(R)-winning album in Best Small Ensemble Performance for PARTCH: Plectrum and Percussion Dances, on Bridge Records; and performed on the 2016 GRAMMY(R)-nominated Best Instrumental Album for flutist Wouter Kellerman’s Love Language.
With live performances on hold, the pandemic presented the opportunity for Peters to explore new musical directions and a growing interest in experimental classical and ambient music. Peters employed “process music” techniques such as phasing and aleatoric techniques to create slow, constantly shifting sonic tapestries. For example, the piece “Drifting” uses three strata of looped musical phrases of unequal length, played at the same time, and the result creates 30 different chord combinations. The bowed electric double bass provides the foreground that carries the musical narrative forward. Peter’s exploration of our collective emotions are laid bare in these nine heart-achingly honest and subtle new works.
The album is available on Bandcamp:
“Lamentations” was supported in part by the California Arts Council and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles. Long Beach, CA-based Peters is forthcoming about his diagnosis with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a subject upon which he also writes and gives lectures. As a person with ASD, Peters has frequently had to use coping strategies to keep himself from getting emotionally overwhelmed; he finds it helpful to listen to music that is quiet and still, yet aligns with the emotions he is trying to process.
“Lamentations” is a way for me to share one of my key coping strategies with those who are not on the spectrum, but who are suffering with similar feelings of sensory overload right now,” Peters says. During this pandemic, most of the world fits that description, and the universally-soothing compositions on Lamentations provide a natural remedy to help us feel, process, and release.
Peters’ first diversion from his usual silent film fare was “Sleep Music: Rain“, released in July 2020, an album of ambient music that is designed to help people to calm their minds and to fall asleep.
For more information and music samples, visit silentmovietom.com