We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Dear Future

by Thollem

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €7 EUR  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD Digisleeve with
    - 15 Tracks (49 min)
    - An Insert Card with 2 different covers
    - 4 pages booklet with liner notes written by Clifford Allen.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Dear Future via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 100 

      €13 EUR or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 19 Wild Silence (Label) releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Ô la lune, A la Tonalité préférable du ciel, 0 = 12, Lucky Names, Settlement, MAMI WATA, Powerdove live, 15 Dickinson Songs, and 11 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      €54.75 EUR or more (50% OFF)


War Expected 01:49
Bluresque 05:43
Thin Line 04:59


« Thollem’s keyboard flights unleash cascades of notes of seemingly impossible velocity and no matter where he goes tonally, it always seems right, fresh and satisfying. He should be on everyone’s listening list who appreciates great piano music. As an improviser, he inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally. A true original. » (Terry Riley)

« Both my mother and grandmother were piano teachers. I woke almost daily to piano lessons they were giving. Together they clocked about 150 years of teaching piano. I wonder how Thollem would have sounded to me then ? Maybe the answer is on the CD » (Pauline Oliveros)

These are recordings found in a shoe box in a garage on tape cassettes thought to be lost. The album contains both compositions and improvisations of Thollem's as well as performances of pieces by other composers including Skryabin, Prokofiev, Scarlatti, and Bach recorded while in high school and first years of college. The newest recording of this collection is from 1989, more than 15 years before Thollem's first official release on Edgetone Records and Pax Recordings in 2005. Though he never abandoned music entirely, the years between were spent primarily in grassroots political activism and urban farming. These are the best quality recordings of the collection but still retain a very 'archeological' sound to them.

Extracts of the liner notes by Clifford Allen :

« Dear Future, is a collection of recordings that look back to Thollem’s development as a musician and composer, focusing on his teenage and collegiate years (1982-1990). All of these pieces are archival and most were thought, until recently, to be long lost. Thollem’s experience is diverse and in constant motion; therefore, these pieces are programmed in such a way as to reflect the variety of the composer’s involvements and the breadth of his thought process. After all, life and art are not lived bit by bit “in order.” Therefore, the pieces aren’t presented chronologically and two were actually waxed in 2008.

An assertion of Thollem’s repertory expertise starts off the proceedings – a gorgeous, deft rendition of a Scarlatti sonata. From there, the proceedings move quickly into an “out” realm with the prepared piano and feedback of “War Expected,” with echoes of David Tudor and David Behrman. Thollem is at this formative stage quite adept with the prepared keyboard – “Intended Consequences of the Secret Action” is much more gamelan-like, true to the early investigations of Cage and Lou Harrison, while the gritty piano-guts improvisation “Thin Line” introduces a stark precariousness to his music. At various points across Dear Future, he also interprets Debussy, Prokofiev, Scriabin and Bach – all with precision, depth and an occasional foray into winking oddness.

Thollem embraces minimalism and wry humor as easily as he does classicism and extended techniques, volleying between chopped and warped electro-acoustic music and more traditional keyboard studies. The fact that most of these pieces were recorded with seemingly inexpensive and portable equipment lends them an in-process studiousness, not to mention lo-fi charm. What’s clear, too, is the fact that Thollem approaches the instrument romantically and with a feel/emotion separate from what normally befits classical music and modern composition – it’s no wonder that the tug of improvised music exerted such force on his subsequent life and work. »



released March 18, 2013

© 2013 Thollem McDonas all rights reserved


all rights reserved



Wild Silence (Label) France

contact / help

Contact Wild Silence (Label)

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Wild Silence (Label) recommends:

If you like Dear Future, you may also like: