Ron Thomas | Cycles

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Ron Thomas official website John Swana official website Joe Mullen's MySpaceMusic Page VectorDisc Records official website Richard Burton official website Glenn Ferracone Music Centre link

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Jazz: Free Jazz Electronic: Soundscapes Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Cycles

by Ron Thomas

Improvisational electric-acoustic Music, freely based on jazz, electronic and experimental classical.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Cavatina
10:55 $0.99
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2. Temple of Artemis
15:28 $0.99
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3. Is It Ulysses?
7:53 $0.99
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4. Ancient Boundries
9:01 $0.99
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5. Electric Sheep (dream of the Android)
9:01 $0.99
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6. Desert Music For the Inner Ear
9:08 $0.99
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7. Hannibal
12:12 $0.99
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8. Miles Beyond
8:34 $0.99
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9. Hour of the Wolf
12:44 $0.99
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10. Damascus
13:05 $0.99
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11. Apollo's Taxi
19:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Cycles"
Ron Thomas - Keyboard Synthesizer
John Swana - EVI Synthesizer
Joe Mullen - Percussion
Vectordisc 006 & 007

2 CD Set
Recorded by Glenn Ferracone
at The Music Centre, Exton, PA
June 17, 2003 and October 12, 2004

Mastered by Paul G. Kohler
Produced by Richard Burton

Cycles is a collection of 11 feature
length tone poems, cinematic landscapes
and quasi-mystical soundscapes. John Swana
and Ron Thomas (synthesizer sounds) and
Joe Mullen (percussion)create everything
from tiny microscopic events to swirling
masses of raging mountainous ostinatos.
The resulting music is more like drama
and cinema(characters, psychologies,
plots, narratives) than just "listening
to" music. Essential to the presentation
of course is the excellent soundscape
recording techniques of recording engineer
Glenn Ferracone. Several trial sessions
preceded the pieces released here and
other projects are ahead for this group
including performances and future recordings.

Ron Thomas

John Cage was always a great source of joy
and refreshment for me. I visited him once or
twice a year. We drank strong Japanese tea
together, and I would just let him talk about
whatever he was into at the moment: Satie,
Thoreau, Nanotechnology. We had some great
discussions.
I think it is helpful to remember that John
was a Buddhist and also was very interested
in technology. He really was trying to change
the way both artists and the public thought
about art. And him succeeded.

Ron Thomas

I discovered the music of Karlheinz
Stockhausen around 1958 or 1959 through the
Robert Craft recording of Zeitmasse wind
quintet. After I graduated from the Manhattan
School of Music, I learned that Stockhausen
was going to be in Philadelphia in the spring
of 1964. I appeared in his class at the
University of Pennsylvania. He was substituting
for George Rochberg for the semester. I latched
myself onto him, told him, I sold everything I
had to come here! Ah, a true artist, he said.
He was a young man still - 36, and I was 24.
He gave me a direct insight into post-World
War II musical thinking in Europe. I absolutely
adored him. But he was also way too much of a
blinding light in a way. I needed to recover
from him-a bit too charismatic.
He gave music new forms of expression, new
feelings. Miles Davis called it bettering the
forms of music. Berlioz called it endowing the
music with new actions.

Ron Thomas

REVIEW FROM ALL ABOUT JAZZ
By DAN MCCLENAGHAN, Published: April 30, 2007
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=25419

Many jazz pianists have a grounding in the classical side of music. Ron Thomas's anchoring may be deeper there than most. His back-to-back piano trio outings, Doloroso (Art of Life Records, 2006) and Music in Three Parts (Art of Life Records, 2006), explored some very alluring, loose sound shapes shaded by his classical side in a quite accessible way—gorgeous recordings, both.

A trip to the pianist/composer's website and an exploration of his eloquent and extensive ramblings is quite a strange trip. Thomas reveals that when he saw the romantic comedy The Seven Year Itch in 1957, he was "mysteriously prompted" by the soundtrack's inclusion of Rachmananoff's "Second Piano Concerto" to become a musician. This was a movie that starred Marilyn Monroe. I remember the movie well; but Rachmananoff—sadly, in retrospect—didn't make an impression on me; which may explain, in part, why Ron Thomas is making great sounds and most of the rest of us aren't.

With Cycles, though, a first impression was: "What the hell is this?" After experiencing the organic beauty of the two 2006 piano trio sets, Thomas makes a departure, with his keyboard synthesizer in place of the piano, teaming with trumpeter John Swana, who plays an electric valve instrument here, and Joe Mullins on percussion.

This is strange stuff: electric washes and trilling neon noises, cries that sound like whale songs mixed with soundscapes and indecipherable messages from outer space. Atmospheric to the max, this feels like a science fiction movie soundtrack a good deal of the time; speaking of which, one of his compositions here is "Electric Sheep (Dream of the Android)," borrowed from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that became the movie Blade Runner.

Mullin's drumming keeps thing from soaring out of the galaxy, nailing down the glowing and diaphanous electricity. Or at least trying to. Without him this might have been an unlistenable experience; with him things get tied—albeit loosely—together. With him, amorphous atmospheres gain shape and become weirdly compelling.

Record Label: Vector Disc | Style: Beyond Jazz

Ron Thomas can be heard on other Vectordisc
recordings as a leader (Scenes from a Voyage
to Arcturus, The House of Counted Days with
John Swana, Tony Marino and Joe Mullen, 17 Solo
Piano Improvisations, Elysium and Wings of the
Morning). Ron also appears as on the following
Vectordisc recordings The Mike Falcone Quartet's
"Playing Live", Richard Burton's "Simple Major
Simple Minor" and Kristin Garson's "Music Under
the Influence".
Ron has other CDs as a leader (Music in
Three Parts, Blues for Zarathustra and Doloroso)
on Art of Life Records. He also appears on Pat
Martino's "Live" and Eric Kloss's "One, Two, Free".

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