18-4-23 – Bill Thompson

An enthralling set from Texas-born sound artist and composer, Bill Thompson, recorded at OTO in April 2023 and utilising an oruroborosic setup of guitar and electronics.

From the start, Thompson sets the mood, a melancholy pulse establishing an inexorable momentum, around which he weaves a semi-organic machine chatter evoking Ovalcommers-era Markus Popp, or Jim O’Rourke and Peter Rehberg’s trailblazing laptop forays, in a heavy-lidded, crepuscular reverie.

As the atmosphere builds, splinters of guitar notes emerge from the gloaming, not so much piercing through the fog as expanding it. Gradually the dreamlike opening ambience is singed and scorched, restlessly growing into a searing conflagration; gnarled, charred tones blistering and contorting until they burn themselves out. 

Out of the smouldering embers Thompson leads us softly back full circle to the set’s moonstruck beginnings, but this is no longer the place we set out from.


Recorded by Billy Steiger
Mixed and mastered by Oli Barrett and Bill Thompson
Cover photo by Dawid Laskowski

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC


1. 18-4-23 - 27.58

Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer whose work has been performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad.

A native of Texas, he relocated to the UK in 2004 to pursue a PhD in Composition. Since then he has received numerous awards and commissions including the PRS for New Music ATOM award, the GAVAA visual arts award, a PRS for New Music Three Festival commission, the 2010 Aberdeen Visual Arts Award, and was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2012.

As an artist, he has a particular interest in perception and embodied presence. His installations and performances frequently utilize found objects, field recordings, repurposed live electronics, and digital media to create environments that encourage active attention to each moment. He applies this same strategy within his compositional work which often include long sustained tones, densely layered textures, and indeterminate or improvised structures. He has written for a range of instruments including voice, guitar, contrabass, bagpipe, percussion, organ, string quartet, mixed ensembles and live electronics. As a solo performer he works primarily with live electronics although originally trained as a guitarist.