Music

elements

The 28 pieces collected in these four volumes are an outgrowth of a parallel compositional approach to my “structured music.”  I make textural sonic landscapes to be the backgrounds behind my piano pieces for two equally important reasons- firstly, the landscapes allow me to play less, and secondly the disconnection of the movement and timing of the background and the foreground make me feel like I am in some alternate natural setting where sonic randomness is just part of the experience. Over time making those backgrounds became a little addictive and as I explored ways to make them slightly more melodic they developed into things that no longer needed foregrounds. 

“A beautiful, shimmering, and colorful emotional experience, with strong melodic content morphing slowly like waves as each piece slowly progresses, no fast sequences, hard edges, or sharp corners to be found anywhere. Even though each piece exists as a succinct vignette of a singular idea, each is long enough at ten minutes to provide an immersive experience, and taken all together provides almost five hours of dreamy, ever-shifting atmospheres and textures.” Expose

elements: audio environments released may, 2020, riverwide records

how it happened

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and soundscape artist Tom Eaton makes his Spotted Peccary debut with HOW IT HAPPENED, a sensitive, emotional, and introspective new album of reflective ambient impressions which he evokes with tenderness and grace. With its heartfelt blend of piano, ambient guitar, and synth textures, the album offers an escape from the familiarity of daily life, inviting the listener to slow down and explore the spaces and openings in the world that are often ignored. 

“It’s lush, shadowed, emotional music that’s rich in harmonies and oceanic layers and it’s all so deliciously slow.”
Ambient Music Guide

“How It Happened will pull you in, finding memories to call forth, unlocking heartfelt responses that could only surface under the soft and certain touch of such masterfully crafted musical truth.”
Hypnagogue

how it happened released may 2019, spotted peccary records

indesterren

“Essentially ambient with subtle chill rhythms in parts, Indesterren is a profoundly gorgeous album that is surely destined to become one of my favorites. The wistfully haunting melodies herein seem to fully express without directly revealing a closely guarded emotional secret, often alluding to nights spent in solitude and pondering under the stars. As with Abendromen, Tom Eaton has created yet another masterpiece that is every bit as moving, mysterious and possibly even more stunning than its predecessor!” candice michelle / journeyscapes radio

“Tom Eaton has matched, if not bested, himself with Indesterren. From what was already a truly impressive start, his followup solidifies his place as an artist with crossover appeal. New Age and contemporary instrumental fans will love this, I guarantee. Ambient fans who don’t mind some solid touches in their drifts will likely fall under its spell as well. It’s absolutely relaxing, and a pleasure to deep-dive into with headphones. Sure to be a favorite, it’s a definite must-hear.” hypnagogue.net 

indesterren released november, 2016, riverwide records

abendromen

“from composition to execution, this is a breathtaking set of work, easy to enjoy but rich, complex and beautifully structured” hypnagogue.net 

“Tom Eaton’s restrained nocturnes attest to the power of simplicity – a piano sound to lust after, immersed in a suggestive, gauzy world of beautifully wrought electronics and guitar loops.”
Tim Story (Grammy nominee and legendary ambient/minimalist composer)

“abendromen is a very happy surprise for those (like me!) who only knew or know Tom Eaton for his wizardry at Imaginary Road Studios. This is a very beautiful album of mostly ambient and ethereal music and is very highly recommended!”
Kathy Parsons (mainlypiano.com)

abendromen released february, 2016, riverwide records

interviews

ambient visions

Interview by Michael Foster of Ambient Visions, discussing Tom’s music, his work in the studio with Will Ackerman, some personal history and impossible to pronounce album titles.  http://ambientvisions.com/tomeaton.htm

mwe3

Interview by Robert Silverstein of MWE3.com wherein Tom attempts to shed some light on why it took him 25 years to release a followup album to his 1991 cassette.  The short answer is “he was practicing.”  http://www.mwe3.com/reviews/ThomasEaton2016/

echoes

From John Diliberto, host of the syndicated Echoes program:

An Interview with ZoneMusicReporter “Best New Artist” award winner Tom Eaton. From Buddy Holly to Tangerine Dream to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road studios to ambient dreams. http://wp.me/p4ZE0X-8rA

Of the three longest running shows that feature the kind of music I do (Star’s End, Hearts of Space and Echoes), Echoes has the largest audience… currently going out over 130 terrestrial stations and, of course, the web.  All three of these shows have played cuts from Abendromen and Indesterren, but John at Echoes did me one better by asking me to sit down and talk about my history and process.  The podcast linked above is the result.

John did an amazing job of weaving just the right music in…choosing favorite moments of my songs and songs by influences like Tim Story and Tangerine Dream, and work of mine for other artists like Erik Scott and Fiona Joy.  Thrilled that this podcast is now available to everyone. 

tech

While the piano is typically central to the music, the textural world of each piece is made with synths, guitars, and basses. Instruments that speak with unique voices are particular favorites… the Access Virus, Roland JD800, Yamaha EX5, Waldorf Quantum, and the Fractal Audio AXE-Fx processor (through which all the guitars pass). Digital Performer’s POLAR looper is essential in creating the random and seamless background landscapes, and ProTools is the composing and mixing environment. Very little MIDI is used on the albums, nearly everything is played live and recorded as audio.

“Whatever separation there is between nature and the technologies used to assemble his material dissolves when the music floods the listening space.”

Ron Schepper, Textura review of “How it Happened”

Tom performing live at the 2019 ZMR Awards Show at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Abendromen and Indesterren, both released in 2016, earned him the “Best New Artist” ZMR award at the 2016 Awards Show. He also performed on bass and keyboards at ZMR in 2017 and 2018 with FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, and Will Ackerman), and on tour with FLOW at venues including the Grammy Museum in LA, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in NYC, the Jazz Museum in NOLA, the Royal Room in Seattle, and the Clef Club in Philadelphia.