Tomas Phillips

On Dit

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On Dit is French for "it is said." In common language, these words introduce an undetermined third party (individual or collective) who is made responsible or accountable for the information about to be given. The speaker transfers the responsibility of the message to this third party to present himself only as the medium through which it was channeled. Tomas Phillips' music is created on computer through the assembly of treated sound samples. One could see the computer (or the software used) as such a medium -- one link in a bush telegraph. The music probably holds only a misguiding resemblance to what was originally said (the samples, their nature left undisclosed), leaving only its transformed trace. On Dit consists of a single 41-minute piece. Sounds of acoustic and electronic origins are carefully arranged in sparse but elegant architectures. Nothing will erupt to startle you; each sound calmly takes its place, establishing a complex network of relations with the others that came before it or are ringing simultaneously. The piece is born out of glitch-peppered silence and goes back to that same silence in the end, but in the meantime it has gone through a slow, subtle cycle of expansion and compression. The piece irradiates aestheticism, yet it remains warm enough to conjure up more than just abstract images, which puts it right into Bernhard Günter's playground. After all, it did came out on his Trente Oiseaux label.