I’m pleased to share this glowing review of Separate Self with you from the Italian Web zine Kathodik. Many thanks to Irene Monteverde for her help in translating. Here’s the original post with the translation below.
“On this new Ravello CD, composer Philip Thompson’s project engages in a dialogue with other arts (and artists): from sculpting to painting, from cinema to digital animation. As for the musical results of this collaboration, the ability of Thompson to thread together elusive and introspective musical dialogues is positively surprising, as if hitting the listener with candid words and immediate enjoyment, in both cases, wonderfully accompanied by the IonSound Project ensemble, composed of flute, clarinet, viola, cello, and piano, and occasionally joined by percussion. In the first style, there are Trouble and Nocturnes, the latter characterized by short movements playing with the idea of minimal deviation, with a small dose of harmonic ambiguity, on colors of the muted instruments and in slower tempos: expressive elusiveness and textual elegance are some of the more tangible consequences. This quality is also found in the written score for the film “Virgil Cantini: The Artist in Public”, in which plush chords and brief melodic sequences gradually repeat, with tasteful pauses. In the other style is the title track, in three movements, the first of which immediately captivates for its remarkable verve due to the syncopated rhythms of jazz and funk flavor. From there, a slower movement presents crystalline and pleasing melodic lines, a prelude to an ending that perfectly balances lyricism and pulsation.”
Translation, Irene Monteverde