For this show, you kind of had to know someone or be connected to the
Rich's career in electronic music ran parallel in many ways with that of his friend and sometime collaborator Steve Roach. Both had their debut albums out the same year, and both were important contributors to the Hearts of Space program. While Brian Eno is rightly credited with coining the term “ambient” relating to music, Rich and Roach had musical roots that reached even further back to such pioneering artists as Kluster, Klaus
With thirty solo albums under his belt and fourteen collaborative releases, Rich is about as much of a veteran of ambient music as you're likely to find and an influence on the host of this show, Jesse Sola. The latter has rarely performed live but has become a known quantity in the
The show itself was a fairly casual affair, with Rich set up in front of what looked like a fireplace, his bank of synths to one side, his mixer, array of flutes and laptop for Ableton on the other. The crowd couldn't have totaled more than thirty people, but everyone was a synth- and
It was the kind of show that usually happens at some academic venue or a club with a high-end sound system, but getting to be right there, mere feet from Rich and the sound system he brought with him, was entrancing, as the music ably soothed our minds. Apparently this is to be the last of Robert Rich's tours, and for the experience of it to be something as relaxed as the music is relaxing was perfect.
Bias: I used to listen to Hearts of Space all the time in the early '90s and had no idea about any of the artists except for maybe Constance Demby, whose 1986 album Novus Magnificat I picked up around that time because it was on the Hearts of Space record label. But I liked all that music, and undoubtedly there was some Robert Rich and Steve Roach in there somewhere.
Random Detail: Ran into experimental electronic artist Mingo, former Seraphim Stitch singer Charity Mudd and musician Dave Preston at the show. The latter has played with multiple artists in Denver, but also out of Denver including a stint playing for Justin Timberlake.
By the Way: Jesse Sola's latest Numina album, Through the Gate to Nowhere, came out two weeks ago on Relaxed Machinery. Jim
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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.