These sites are run by some of Thomas's fans and colleagues, and on occasion Thomas himself, who now resides in Virginia and works for the State Department in Washington D.C.
A MUSICAL HISTORY OF THOMAS RONKIN:
Thomas began his musical training during young life in his home town of Geneva, Switzerland. Later, in the late 1970's, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he soon met up with Steve Roach and began a string of joint performances and jam sessions throughout the early 1980's. After finishing his degree at UCLA film school in 1987, Ronkin put his music aside for 7 years, never having released anything officially. In 1996, Thomas Ronkin began his musical work again, compiling ideas and releasing his first official CD in 1997 entitled Within; Distance. It was at that time that Thomas met up with Dean De Benedictis of alias Surface 10 and Pat Murphy of Alien Air Music - KXLU in Los Angeles, both founders of the outdoor electronic music festival Cyberstock. In the few years that followed, Thomas performed at both Cyberstock 9 and 10 (years 98 and 99), which he then compiled to make up the second half of what would be his next and final release, Symmetric. Thomas also released individual tracks on compilation CDs for Lektronic Soundscapes and Hypnos Records, just after Within; Distance, and collaborated with the likes of A Produce, Loren Nerell and Dean De Benedictis.
In 2006, Steve Roach re-released his influential album Empetus, in which he included previously unreleased material from the Empetus time period (mid '80's), as well as a track called Harmonia Mundi, which he created with Thomas Ronkin during that same time.
Ronkin hung up his musical hat again just after the time of Symmetric in 2001. He has been working for the State Department in Washington D.C., but he contemplates returning to music again.
The Thomas Ronkin CD Symmetric was an evolved work, taking the concept of sequencer-driven, two-tonic music to a whole new level. What constitutes this, primarily, is how many of the sequenced repetitions on Symmetric were programmed to swell and subside in shifting, elongated tides, as opposed to just lingering as an unwavering, percussive undercurrent throughout the entirety of the piece as so many Berlin School recording artists have practiced doing before him.
The music of Thomas Ronkin will soon be available for purchase at CDBaby.com and ITunes once again. In the meantime, check: http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/thomas_ronkin/within__distance/
Review at the time of "Symmetric":
THOMAS RONKIN: Symmetric (double CD on Tristissima Records)
This 2001 double CD delivers 133 minutes of edgy ambience. With this release, Ronkin's style evolves into a lusher fusion of reflective minimalism and dynamic electronics. The delicate sequencer-driven passages are enhanced with E-perc and dramatic modulations that capture the imagination with their uplifting soundscapes and emotionally-rich passages. Complex riffs of crystalline quality produce lively variations on each theme, plunging the ambience into more accessible tune-age. Some pieces retain Ronkin's atmospheric predilections. These conventional drone tactics are invigorated by his ability to enhance the openness of such soundscapes with otherworldliness. Such airs attribute these nebulous structures with a thought-provoking quality. One track (“The Gates of Sleep”) is a remastered version of a track by Ronkin that was originally featured on the Hypnos label's “The Other World” compilation release from 1998. Disc two features 58 minutes that were recorded live at a pair of concerts performed high above the Malibu coastline at Cyberstock, an annual outdoor festival organized by Dean DeBenedictus (aka Surface 10) and Pat Murphy. The music from this pair of concerts (from 1998 and 1999) are mixed together into a seamless sonic excursion that reaches heavenly heights with their cosmic soundscapes. On one track (“Undercurrents”), Ronkin is joined by dark ambient composer A Produce, whose bass pulsations and guitar loops give Ronkin's floating chords an earthier nature. Ronkin also enlisted the expertise of internationally renowned ambient maestro Robert Rich to handle the final mastering of the music on this superb double CD. ---Matt Howarth (Sonic Curiosity 2001) http://www.soniccuriosity.com/sc025.htm
FOR MORE REVIEWS AND INFORMATION ON THOMAS RONKIN, CONTINUE ON TO THE OTHER PAGES OF THIS SITE (upper left-hand links).
Below are three Thomas Ronkin film pieces from the 1980's. To see more, visit the Thomas Ronkin YouTube site by clicking on the YouTube link:
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