A Troubled Resting Place

by Robert Rich

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about

A Troubled Resting Place, a collection of pieces composed for experimental compilations by ROBERT RICH.

A seamless fusion of digital and acoustic sound environments, navigating strange domains. A Troubled Resting Place is an arresting document of the recent solo work of experimental electronic composer ROBERT RICH. Collecting previously published tracks from a number of small-run labels on the international scene, the album presents Rich's contemporary vision with stunning clarity, exhibiting the seamless fusion of digital and acoustical environments that has proven central to the composer's more than decade-long span of recorded work.

"The title originally came out as a description of the music," Rich explains. "I was going for this quality of a sort of static slow-burn; music that contained an atmosphere, not dissonant or dark, but a little troubled." Composed during a time of transition in Rich's own life, the album explores the sort of extended, contemplative droning characteristic of his earliest work, but is here fleshed out with organic arrangements of shape, hue, and texture that expand the individual tracks into vast, immersive environments that suggest much to the active listener.

With the material originating on projects for labels like TimeBase, Side Effects, Projekt, and Amplexus, A Troubled Resting Place also offers a probing, more outbound side to Rich's solo guise. "I like compilations because they reach a different audience and they allow me to be more experimental," Rich says. Though reminiscent of his recent solo work with B. LUSTMORD, much of the material was actually completed before their 1995 HOS collaboration, Stalker, and finds Rich foregrounding elements of composition and sound design previously more foundational to his solo work.

Employing instruments in terms of mutational possibility instead of harmonic or melodic ends in themselves, these compositions breathe a foreignness accentuated by their titles ("The Simorgh Sleeps On Velvet Tongues," "Bioelectric Plasma"). As the composer explains, "a lot of the sounds I use come about through a sort of careful mangling." Synths, steel guitar, flutes, and clay pots, but also field recordings, incidental noise, and the internal artifacts of digital processing all become points of origin in a continual process of musical regeneration, an entropic play of texture and tone that invites exploration.

"In my music I aim for a certain beauty," Rich explains, "but a beauty which is informed by a kind of questioning, aspects of doubt. Beauty has to contain shadows, contrast, and element of death. If you're dealing with human experience you have to deal with death."

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released July 16, 1996

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Hearts of Space Records New York, New York

Hearts of Space Records | A Valley Entertainment Label

Launched in 1984, this record label was created as an extension of the weekly syndicated radio show Hearts of Space. Centered around contemplative music, the label features music from the ambient, new age, electronic, world, Celtic, classical, and experimental genres. ... more

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