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the years certain artists have emerged as icons of the Echoes
soundscape. These are musicians who shifted the direction of
music, whose work influenced a generation and usually , musicians
who also tend to be articulate thinkers about their art. In this
series, you'll hear features Echoes has produced on these artists,
often encompassing their entire careers.
RICH: An Icon of Echoes
Rich is a master of the global soundscape, mixing technology
nd traditional instruments, acoustic playing and studio manipulation,
he weaves a deep, organic and seductive sound. Robert has been
a major part of the Echoes sound, beginning with his Rainforest"
album and continuing through "Gaudi," "Propagation"
and Bestiary." That's why he was picked
as one of TEN ARTISTS FOR TEN YEARS OF ECHOES, on our tenth anniversary.
One of the most sophisticated and cerebral composers heard on
Echoes, we look back at the breadth of his work, from sleep concerts
to tribal trances.
In this special Icons of Echoes collection, you'll hear five
sound portraits of Robert Rich and his music and five living
room concerts of glurpy electronics, lap steel guitar, PVC pipe
flutes, and even a rare solo piano performance, that track his
prolific career from 1990 to the present.
Space Organics (1994)
Ever since his late 1980s album, Numena, Robert Rich has established himself as among the more organic of electronic artists. In fact, in 2003, he released an all acoustic album, Temple of the Invisible. In 1994, Rich released Propagation, an album that would become one of the blueprints he'd continue modifying for the next decade. We visited Roach in his Silicon Valley home where he took for a walk through his garden and then another walk through his gardens of sound on Propagation.
RICH'S TRANCES, DRONES & DREAMS (1996)
Rich started out in the early 1980s giving sleep concerts, overnight
performances in which the audience was encouraged to tuck themselves
in and drift away. Over the last few years, Rich has revived
his sleep concert experiences, touring the country and dropping
in for electronic ooze and a snooze. Robert came by the Echoes
studios during on of these tours in 1996 and talked about sleeping
of the Seven Veils (1998)
Rich is a master of the global soundscape. Mixing technology
and traditional instruments, acoustic playing and studio manipulation,
he weaves a deep, organic and seductive sound on his 1998 album
Seven Veils. Robert Rich talked about the sensual melodies and
erotic, Middle Eastern grooves of Seven Veils.
Notes From the Bestiary (2001)
Robert Rich has never followed a predictable course. From one
album to the next, he changes process and form. One album mixes
mixing high technology with ancient instruments in throbbing
percussive trances. Then he'll release a DVD called Somnium,
7 hours of sleep inducing electronic drones. In 2001 we recorded
Robert in a solo piano living room concert, but a few months
later, he released the purely electronic album called Bestiary.
Kimberly Haas opens the cage and let's out some of Robert Rich's
AN ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH ROBERT RICH (1990)
This was the first of Robert Rich's many living room concerts.
At the time, his recent albums included Rainforest and his first
collaboration with Steve Roach, Strata. On a rainy day in Mountainside,
California, Robert gathered a bunch of his friends in his garage,
which he'd converted into a studio. At the time, it had two rooms,
a sound booth, where the audience sat, and the control room.
There Robert is surrounded by synthesizers, flutes, percussion
and a lap steel guitar. For an hour, he wove these instruments
together with environments that might sound like they came from
a field next door or a rainforest jungle, but for the most part,
they were actually synthesized by Robert.
Two tracks from this performance appeared on A Door in the Air,
the first Echoes Living Room Concert CD.
LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH ROBERT RICH (1994)
We returned to Robert Rich's garage studio in California in 1994.
At that time, his latest album was Propagation. Robert played
themes from that recording, forging an extended work for synthesizers,
lap steel guitar, ceramic and PVC pipe flutes that he made himself,
as well as lots of percussion, udu drums and samples.
ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH ROBERT RICH (1996)
Take synthesizers, ceramic and bamboo flutes, and lap steel guitar
tuned in just intonation and you've got the sonic contours of
Robert Rich's music. With albums like Rainforest, Propagation
and Strata, Robert has emerged as one of the most skillful, tuneful
and intelligent modern music composers. In the fall of 1996,
Robert Rich came to the Echoes Living Room and turned it into
an electronic jungle.
SOLO PIANO LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH ROBERT RICH (2001)
We know Robert Rich for his lush synthesizer trance works, full
of organic textures, wood flutes, and glissandos of lap steel
guitar. But unlike most synthesists, Robert is also a gifted
pianist. He's never recorded any solo piano, but in early 2001
he spontaneously created two solo excursions in his home studio,
exclusively for Echoes.
ROOM CONCERT WITH ROBERT RICH
Early last year, Robert Rich plugged into the Echoes Living Room
and performed live. The San Francisco Bay area synthesist is
one of the leading exponents of techno-tribal music, mixing throbbing
percussive rhythms with swirling textures and melodies that may
undulate on bamboo flutes, lap steel guitar or synthesizer. In
the Echoes Living Room, he conjures up the darkly shifting textures
of his latest CD, BESTIARY (Release) as well as his more organic,
techno-tribal works like PROPAGATION (Hearts of Space). A track
from this performance appears on The
Echoes Living Room Concerts Volume 8.