Thomas William Hill - Grains Of Space
Nottingham-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Thomas William Hill returns to Village Green with Grains Of Space, his second album for the label following 2017’s multi-textured Asylum For Eve.
Grains Of Space started life as a series of minimal loops, recorded using a viola da gamba - a stringed instrument most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque eras - and a loop pedal. Using the negative space within each loop as the primary drive for composing, Thomas began a process of ‘joining the dots’, allowing the silence to dictate the next layer, informing the length, pitch and timbre of notes.
Using those recordings as the foundation, Thomas began incorporating a wide variety of other instruments into his palette, including bowed metallophones, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, African kalimbas and metal tongue drums, as well as drum machines and analogue synthesisers.
From the tense, opening drones of Carriages to sparser, more lyrical works such as Curvature and Refract, Thomas again demonstrates profound compositional insight, crafting highly poignant moments rich with harmony and texture. Complementing this, a more developed sense of pulse and rhythm characterises much of the album, such as the propulsive undertow of Willow and the tactile, modernist polyrhythms of Furnace and Tongue.
Grains Of Space also sees Tom collaborating and cowriting with a number of other musicians, bringing trumpet, violin, double bass and harp together to provide a broad and varied form to each piece.