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Abstractions I

by Thom Blum

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Cycle 07:22
nomen plaid 07:35
Squelch 09:04
Combustible 07:03
J-Wake 12:49


Collections: Music by Thom Blum
Abstractions 1 (2001 – 2008)

Unlike “Passages”, the “Abstractions” series contains compositions that are “pure” (or purer) music, meaning that the sounds used do not denote or refer to any world of sounds outside of their own. They do not attempt to render a location, or a person, or the composer's experience of those.

And while compositions in the "Abstractions" series do not describe places, they are always inspired by some extra-musical phenomena, an observation, a hypothesis, an experiment, or the pursuit of some sonic curiosity.

These pieces model the sources of their inspiration with various compositional devices. For example they may create sonic metaphors by mapping attributes from the inspirational sources into the composition's sound attributes. Take "Combustible" (2008) for example which is modeled after the reactive chemical process of combustion (or burning). Here the extra-musical concept is the inspiration for the categories of sounds desired, their morphologies and interactions. So while there are no recordings of actual explosions used in the making of "Combustible" the content and interactions of the sounds at all levels, from the microsound through the phrase level, attempt to convey to the listener numerous explosive events, transformations, and after-effects.

©+℗ 2020 Thom Blum (ASCAP)


released June 9, 2020

artwork: "baooooanh" © 2016 Tuyen Q. Nguyen |


all rights reserved



Thom Blum San Francisco, California

Thom Blum has been composing electroacoustic music since 1974.

Recent performances and installations include “Recital in the Library”, 2019 solo prepared and improvised music performed at The Prelinger Library, San Francisco, and "Epenthesis" at the San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2019.

Collections of his music have been organized by themes and periods and have been released on Bandcamp.
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