Separate Self

Philip Thompson composer
Ionsound Project

Release Date: July 8, 2016
Catalog #: RR7936
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Pittsburgh-based composer Philip Thompson presents SEPARATE SELF, his debut release on Ravello Records. Thompson writes that the release is “a reflection of the creative energy that comes from being deeply rooted in a vibrant artistic community.” True to this communal spirit, several of the pieces were composed in collaboration with artists from different disciplines – from robotics and dance with Separate Self to visual art with Nocturnes to film with the score to Will Zavala’s documentary Virgil Cantini: The Artist in Public. In the more introspective pieces, Thompson retains a spirit of interaction with the world around him. He uses a medieval chant as the cantus firmus foundation of Trouble, and with Kecow hit tamen, explores his ancestral roots in the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina through its history and language.

At times, Thompson’s music is delicate and atmospheric, the distinct sounds of his instrumental palette shifting and rearranging across his musical canvas. In other moments, he captures a kinetic current, sending sounds rippling and tumbling into one another. The collaborative Pittsburgh ensemble IonSound Project, violist Marylène Gingras-Roy, and percussionist/producer Ryan Socrates perform Thompson’s colorful compositions, filling out the vibrant artistic community displayed in this release.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Philip Thompson

Philip Thompson


A classically trained composer with an ongoing fascination for popular culture, Philip  Thompson's music explores a wide array of styles, from his baroque-metal professional wrestling opera The Final Battle for Love to the intimate and introspective Nocturnes for string trio. His compositions have been performed by IonSound Project, Thompson Street Opera, Alia Musica Pittsburgh, violinist Roger Zahab, and bassist Andrew Kohn among others. Performances of his work have taken place in venues including the Virginia Arts Festival, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Centre for Intercultural Music at Churchill College (UK), Music on the Edge, The Listening Room (Grand Valley State University), and Concordia University’s EuCuE (Montreal).