Richard Lainhart
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

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Richard Lainhart, a minimalist composer focusing on slowly-changing sounds, debuted with The Sun-Dog Trail (1971). His fat drones fell somewhere between the futuristic soundscapes of Alvin Lucier and the ambient transcendence of Harold Budd.

The double-disc anthology Ten Thousand Shades Of Blue (XI, 2001) collects works from 1975-1989. The older pieces are colossal undertakings that focus on trancey drones in slow motion. The 32-minute Bronze Cloud Disk (1975) is a study of the sustained, metallic overtones produced by a bowed tam-tam, a sort of extension of the meditative aspect of the Indian ragas, a very physical and environmental experience. The 40-minute Two Mirrors Face Another (1976) uses bowed temple bells to generate a different class of timbres, haunting alien resonances that conjure images of psychiatric nightmares. The 36-minute Cities Of Light (1980) uses the voice to create a dark, dense, menacing, claustrophobic cloud of shapeless Gordon Mumma-esque drones.
Two pieces use the computer: the 11-minute Ten Thousand Shades Of Blue (1985) is purely composed at the computer, and, surprisingly, it is a more traditional effort in the "ambient" style of gently soothing melodic drones. while the 8-minute Staring at the Moon (1987) produces elongated percussive patterns by manipulating the sound of a bowed vibraphone.
Finally, the seven-minute Walking Slowly Backwards (1989) is scored for solo vibes, one of his least electronic pieces, is a more delicate analysis of timbre and time.

Polychromatic Integers (2012) contains unreleased digital compositions from 1986-89 (notably the 17-minute Staring at the Moon).

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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