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Thollem / Rivera

I'll Meet You Halfway Out In The Middle Of It All

Thollem  / Rivera: I'll Meet You Halfway Out In The Middle Of It All (Thollem)

Distinctly far-ranging work from technical/conceptual phenomenon pianist McDonas and drummer Rivera, a mix of composed & spontaneous works, eclectic and amazing.

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product information:

UPC: 691045813924

Label: Thollem
Catalog ID: 2004
Squidco Product Code: 9221

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2005
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live in AC Studios, San Francisco, 2004.


Thollem McDonas-piano, vocals

Rick Rivera-trap set

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Artist Biographies:

"Thollem is a pianist, keyboardist, organist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Though Thollem's widely known as an acoustic piano player, he's also the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and has recently branched out significantly into the world of electronics through a multitude of projects.

Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 15 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 22 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. "Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument" (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Rob Mazurek, Martha Colburn and ACVilla. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. Presently Thollem is developing an audio/visual experience about America through an 8 month, 48 state odyssey with his partner the videographer ACVilla. He's also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine."

-Thollem McDonas Website (

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track listing:

1. She Said To Me That

2. I'm So Different From You Now

3. I Know The Language

4. Trane

5. March 13th, 2004

6. If You Fall To Your Death

7. Penetrating Idea

8. I Know The Language That

9. Tritone + 1

10. Outlaws And Beggars

11. The Sun Don't Wait

12. War Is Terror, Terror Is War

13. Otra Chanza Para Ver
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Thollem/Rivera plays both fully composed pieces and organized improvisations, absorbing ideas from many different sources and mixing them up until they often no longer resemble their original state. This music is of the world, a result of, and as interaction in it. Nuclear bombs, modern classical music, free jazz, cave paintings, gamelan and West-African drumming ensembles, flowers, weather patterns, Chinese and Hindustani music, cracks, lies, enzymes, punk, wind, traffic, whispers, chants, and chance, among infinite others, all play some kind of a role in the development of this music. Each piece is derived from its own unique set of principles, partially with the goal of making every piece distinct in both concept and character. Sometimes this music is fast and intricate, other times it is expansive allowing the complete decay of sounds. It is heavily rehearsed and spontaneous acoustic music. Utilizing only piano, percussion, and sometimes voice, you will still hear a tremendous amount of variety, an incorporation of an eclectic grouping of sounds and ideas."-Thollem McDonas

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Percussion & Drums
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings

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