Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The beguiling pleasures of theft

Tim Risher plans to release an album of collaborations early next year, and a couple of these will be with me - Still Morning is one we've completed, and we're working on another right now.

So he recently sent me a WAV - we usually start by tossing back and forth raw material for a while - and asked me if I could recognize the source:

"Dreaming" - Tim Risher & Tom DePlonty (fragment)

I didn't, and I think he enjoyed telling me it was a warped fragment from my own piece "Corridor".

It's appropriate that Tim should be recycling it, because "Corridor" is itself based on a musical idea I stole from him:

Tim has used similar figures - along with a variety of tricks based on expanding, contracting, or abruptly changing the figure length, which I also cheerfully appropriated - in the piano parts of a number of his pieces.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hypnagogue podcast

"The cup of wands", from Corridor, is one of the tracks featured on Hypnagogue Podcast #43.

If you're interested in ambient and electronic music, the podcast, and the companion site Hypnagogue Reviews, are well worth checking out.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A brief excursus on addition

"A brief excursus on addition" (sample) (December, 2010).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still Morning

"Still Morning" Tim Risher & Tom DePlonty (December, 2010).

The opening track of Stillness in the Mirror, and one of my favorite collaborations with Tim.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Corridor released

The music on Corridor, which was written between 2009 and 2010, combines material composed using musical processes and games - different ways of building up, breaking down, transforming and juxtaposing patterns - with improvised passages. Sometimes improvisation is used for raw material. For example, "In rain and light" is composed by looping and juxtaposing fragments drawn from one short passage in a piano improvisation. Other pieces are wholly or partially improvised, using a musical process or game for guidance, or as a foil.

These pieces are connected to a breadth of minimal and ambient music that I love, and sometimes also to the canons and melodies of children's music. Since I am a pianist, pianos (more or less warped) often appear as characters. And the music is generally very quiet. In fact, two of the tracks ("Sleeping monsters lie" and "Zen baby") are lullabies - and those are the ones with the drums.

This album is dedicated to the memory of my friend, the composer Marc Gaspard.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Zen baby

"Zen baby" (sample) (November, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gnosis reviewed on Hypnagogue

I’m always intrigued by the chemistry between artists, particularly in this sub-genre where solo acts are the norm. Gnosis stands as a tribute to the enduring shared passions of Mssrs. Risher, DePlonty, Baker and Stanley, and offers a lot of good listening.

A very nice review of Paragaté's Gnosis on the blog Hypnagogue.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cold spot

"Cold spot" (sample) (October, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


"Corridor" (September, 2010).

I'm fond of the musical device augmentation: stretching out a sequence of rhythmic values, or harmonies, or a melody, over increasingly long periods of time. For "Corridor", I stole a figure, especially well-suited to this treatment, from Tim Risher. (It's the basis of the quick electric piano line that starts about twenty seconds in.) Tim has used similar figures, along with a repertoire of tricks that involve expanding and contracting them, slowly or abruptly - which I also appropriated - in the keyboard parts of a number of his pieces. In the last section, these figures are combined with fragments of the shape-note hymn "Idumea": Tim introduced me the hymn, too (and shape-note music in general). It's only fitting that "Corridor" is dedicated to him.

This is the title track of the album Corridor.
Saturday, September 4, 2010

The cup of wands

"The cup of wands" (sample) (September, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paragaté: Gnosis

Paragaté is a project started in the late 80s by the composer Tim Risher, to make music in collaboration with other composers and musicians. Gnosis, a selection of tracks by Paragaté spanning more than twenty years, includes contributions from Tim, Ted Stanley, Charles Baker, and me. Check it out!
Monday, August 9, 2010

The beguiling charms of pleasure

"The beguiling charms of pleasure" (sample) (August, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Many rooms

"Many rooms" (sample) (July, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


"Halo" (sample) (July, 2010).

This piece is dedicated to Meg Boone. On the album Corridor.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleeping monsters lie

"Sleeping monsters lie" (sample) (June, 2010).

On the album Corridor. This piece borrows a couple of licks from the melody of the song "Monsters Slapen Nooit" ("Monsters never sleep"), by the Dutch pop group Bløf.

The picture is of an arch at the entrance to Max Euweplein (Max Euwe Square) in Amsterdam. (Euwe was a Dutch grandmaster, the fifth World Champion of chess). The inscription reads "HOMO SAPIENS NON URINAT IN VENTUM".
Sunday, May 23, 2010


"Glare" (sample) (May, 2010).

On the album Corridor.

In rain and light

"In rain and light" (May, 2010).

One afternoon I was working on music, which wasn't going well, and to loosen up, I recorded a few minutes of piano improvisation. Cleaning up files a few months later, I stumbled on the improvisation again, and started to play with it. I found that parts of it sounded good in loops, and that some of those loops worked well overlaid on one another, in canon; this piece was written quickly after that.

They come and go

"They come and go" (sample) (December, 2009).

On the album Corridor.

I hid her in soft gardens

"I hid her in soft gardens" (July 2009) (PDF score)

A short piano piece I wrote as a coming-home gift for my wife, Diane.

Copyright 2009, Tom DePlonty, some rights reserved.
Powered by Blogger.

Links (pic)

Links (pic)

Labels (pic)

Labels (pic)

About Me

My photo
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
I live near Boston, and compose mostly postminimal and ambient electronic music. I often collaborate with Tim Risher, as part of Tim's project Paragaté.

Music by me, Tim, and Paragaté can be found on the Camerata Music page.


All music and images are copyrighted. All rights reserved, except where otherwise indicated.