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Mote (A Foundry Project)

by eM/M. Bentley, Rhomb, Susan Worland

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eM - Mote 00:45
eM - Reverie 06:56


The album Mote was definitely intended as a Foundry fusion, a melding of the styles of eM, The Apiary, and Rhomb, as well as bringing in contributions from others Susan Worland (on violin) and Charles Browning (paintings). The goal was to create a collection of atmospheric pieces, varying in locale between deep space and deep waters, between waking and sleeping dreams, and I think we succeeded quite well, showing off a diverse palette of sonic textures and approaches. - M. Bentley

From the press release:
Mote progresses along an arc from sonic sculpture to song-like structure. eM opens the disc with the miniature Mote, blips and bleeps from a lost transmission. The Bridge follows, drones and violin exchanging sympathetic words in a lingering dialogue. Subaqua emerges from The Bridge's foundations, bubbling to the surface with news of what lies below. Reverie closes this first section of Mote, an ambient recollection with a lyric bass countering childlike melodic fragments.

Occluded Forms, opening the next section, provides a moment of calm, a glimpse of the contours of space. Dark Passage follows, its crying sonics introducing the deep space journey of Shoals of Stars. The immensity of Shoals of Stars is contrasted by the compactness of Rods and Cones, a small tableau of hard and soft sounds. In the Drift follows, its wash of humming noise a canvas for a distressed melody.

The final third of Mote opens with Filaments, circling motifs stretching off into clouds of chords, dispersing in a particle shower. The next piece, Twinkling, paints a simple picture of diamond-like stars shining against the slow ebb and flow of darkness, and introduces the penultimate track, Islands of Sleep, which adds percussion to the mix, yet still provides a soothing somnolent meditation. Mote closes with Epilogue (for those who came before), a piece inspired by, and dedicated to, the electronic music pioneers of the late 1970's who provided the impetus for Rhomb and so many other artists to start making their own music.

The cover of Mote continues the spirit of collaboration by featuring a series of paintings by Foundry associate Charles Browning (see the cover above). These images echo the textures and colours of the music, conceptually complementing the album. The simple figure of the ring, while containing a finite space, suggests the infinity beyond its boundaries, and also echoes the perfection of the circle.

Mote distills the resources and skills of The Foundry into an album of rich, ambient pieces, presenting a vision at once integrated and diverse. This is music for dreaming of the very small and the very large.


released January 1, 1999

All tracks composed by eM/Michael Bentley with Nathan Kreisberg (3, 5-6, 8-9, 11-13 and Susan Worland (2). ©1999 M. Bentley.


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The Foundry Berkeley, California

The Foundry was begun, originally, as an outlet for Michael Bentley's chapbooks in the mid-80s. It grew to include audio releases in the mid-90s, and now serves as an umbrella for artistic ventures from Bentley and his collaborators.

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