Tom Lopez
design by nadya primak // brushes by linda rae // code by tom lopez © 2013-2024 fwmp

Immaculata Erotica Anthony Aibel, New York Concert Review

Tom Lopez's Immaculata Erotica is one of a kind. It is astounding and riveting throughout. The mysterious opening had the players cloak their instruments and disguise heavily amplified, discreet physical activity (rubbing, scraping), which produced sounds that were raw, earthy and profane. When instruments are unveiled and eventually played somewhat traditionally, a harmonic language is born, one of sparkling, almost celestial beauty. The well balanced surround sound speakers brought power and depth to the rapturous climax.

Confetti Variations Tom Dempster, SEAMUS News

Tom Lopez's Confetti Variations is the reason to pay full price for the CD. A fantastic (in every musicological and paranormal sense) work, Confetti Variations toys with the sense of acousmatic dramaturgy, giving us a structural puzzle as a an old phonograph moves from static to fire, to fireworks and water, and beyond, with Lopez painting worlds en plein air. Juxtaposed to this sonic partner is a series of evocative portraits reminiscent of luxuriant Victorian parlors with Victrolas spouting Liszt's Ballades and Witmark and Sons songs. The lively, rambunctious, and often humorous work crosses musical eras and acoustic spaces on a dime, and Astolfi handles these jumps and time-slips with aplomb. Lopez pushes the performer to deal with the material with a steely resolve, particularly long passages that evoke a skipping record that no one in the piece's created velour-filled smoking parlour notices. Confetti Variations, and Astolfi's performance, are vigorous and make surprising turns from warmth and plushness to coldness and brittle absence with brilliant ease.

Confetti Variations Inactuelles Musiques Singulières

Tom Lopez wrote Confetti Variations when the pianist told him that of the composers for the piano, she was particularly fond of Johannes Brahms and Morton Feldman. The result is the entanglement between Brahmsian and Feldmanian fragments and various recorded sounds. Spectacular moments sometimes torpedoing with glee the romanticism of Brahms, or rather by igniting almost minimalist rewrites, strumming and panting in a stormy atmosphere with ostentation. And then everything falls apart from the middle, bubbles in liquid environments, the piano becomes scarce, one hears the croaking of frogs, Brahms returns somewhat abused, resolves in a Feldman dream dotted with buzzing flies, barely audible. It was then music suspended in great beauty. Everything seems to hold its breath in this symbiosis between music and the environment.

They Hearken to Echoes David Abrams, The Post-Standard

The most artistically satisfying work on the program was Tom Lopez's They Hearken to Echoes, an incredibly effective, lightly staged work for two flutists that draws its inspiration from architect Louis Sullivan, whose objects appear to transform objects at a distance to a point of closeness.

Using great imagination and a keen sense for the dramatic, Lopez invokes a slow but relentless sequence of canonic, imitative and echo-driven effects that achieves the coming together of the two flutists from afar—musically and spatially. The performers begin at opposite ends of the hall and gradually approach each other, as the echoes eventually turn into a two-part invention until the flutes ultimately meld into a unison synchronization of pitch and timbre. Flutists Kelly Covert and Kristin Bacchiocchi achieved an impressive, symbiotic blend of tone and color.

Lament for Réjà Vu Marina Kifferstein, I Care if You Listen

Tom Lopez's Lament for Réjà Vu was another mesmerizing composition. This piece was accompanied by video art projected on a large screen that reached almost to the high ceiling of the DiMenna Center, with images of nature such as the shadow of a leaf curling up in water, insects moving along the surface of a pond, a field of squash. The idea of the piece was to express the opposite of déjà vu; rather than the feeling of something having happened before, réjà vu is the feeling that something will happen again. Both the video and the slowly undulating music worked towards expressing this idea. Mezzo-soprano Nicole Levesque did an admirable job of blending with the instrumentalists behind her, creating subtle timbral differences that slowly shifted to match the imagery behind them.

Curvatures John Bilotta, The Society of Composers, Inc.

A rich and sensuous piece for amplified string quartet, Mr. Lopez' work in one movement is extremely well-written for strings taking advantage of a wide range of playing styles as well as a wide emotional range. The work begins with the quartet alone introducing well-crafted and distinctive musical ideas. The development of the ideas begins quickly and at this point some of the amplification and processing effects begin to become apparent. Within a minute, the sound of the quartet coming from the stage is enveloped in a sphere of reprocessed sounds, as if the air inside the theater itself were a resonant shell surrounding the live quartet. The quartet members played with tremendous skill and great delicacy. The performance styles demanded by the composer ranged broadly but all parts were built into a well-defined and architecturally sound whole. The combination of live strings and processed string sounds gave the work a visceral quality, allowing the audience to feel as well as hear the sensuousness of the sounds.

Dancing on the Atlantic Catherine Thomas, The Oregonian

Tom Lopez's rousing orchestral score delivers a resonant rush of adrenaline, and violist Caroline Buchalter will accompany the dancers onstage.

again again Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice

The provocative 55-minute piece is structured in modules, only some of which recur, and Tom Lopez's atmospheric soundscore registers the beginnings and endings of these sequences with its own kind of climate changes.

Currents and Streams Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, The Austin American Statesman

… all danced to an electronic score by Tom Lopez that veered from the symphonic to the world beat to Philip Glass-like charging minimalism.

Computer Musicianship Randall Davidson, Sounding Board

The chapter on computer musicianship, by Tom Lopez, is one of the clearest teaching texts I know of.