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Welcome

Inspiration struck without warning and an ensemble was born. Tone Ghost Ether was realized through a natural interaction between three musicians searching for a common form of expression.

By means of a series of informal improvisational gatherings, recorded on Sunday afternoons in early 2001, Tone Ghost Ether produced what were to become their pioneering CD releases--elegant and tonally rich musical excursions into the future.

All of the music by Tone Ghost Ether was improvised and played in real-time without overdubs. The use of live looping devices contributed to the often densely textured sound. Minimal editing was sometimes performed after recording, but the nature of the immediacy of this music remains intact.

The style of Tone Ghost Ether falls naturally into a number of familiar pigeonholes: ambient, acid-jazz, world-fusion, electronic..... but then there are the hybrid genres where mind-trips and alien worlds might only exist within the imagination, later to materialize beyond the realm of possibility....

 

Compact Discs

Condor Sail Curve

Condor Sail Curve

The ambient CD from Tone Ghost Ether ~ haunting, mysterious, relaxing ~ simply beautiful.

Download CD -- FREE!

Hydrogen 2 Oxygen

Hydrogen 2 Oxygen

The acid-jazz CD from Tone Ghost Ether ~ fun, catchy, upbeat, trance-inducing, lush, and melodic.

Download CD -- FREE!

The White Space

The White Space

The mind-trips CD from Tone Ghost Ether ~ an acid-jazz-ambient-alien mix ~ music to get lost in.

Download CD -- FREE!

Guard Lock Skin

Guard Lock Skin

The world-fusion CD from
Tone Ghost Ether ~ eerily comforting,
hauntingly beautiful.

Download CD -- FREE!


The Reviews

Exposé

Tone Ghost Ether is an improvisational ensemble collaboration between Kit Watkins, John Tlusty, and Brad Allen. Their music is all performed in real time with no overdubs, capturing the magic of the moment, using keyboards, electronic and acoustic percussion, cymbals, gongs, flute, EWI, loops, and effects. Surprisingly, no guitars (a big part of Allen's contribution to several of Watkins' albums and However's Calling were guitars). Each of these releases present a different side of the TGE sound, yet all are 100% improvised in real time. The White Space is perhaps the most cerebral of the three, with three sidelong tracks and one shorter one offering a melodic floating ambient style with some percussive elements, tone bursts and loops working together to create subtle energy patterns; it's a satisfying and engaging listen both as conscious chill-out music and as accompaniment for slumber. Condor Sail Curve explores more floating perspective -- still very melodic, still using loops and bursts, but differing in that the percussive elements are mostly absent. Six tracks are presented here, with the opener "Gamelan Moon Landing" and closing title track being bookends for a one-hour program of shimmering, haunting music that is at once captivating and relaxing. A perfect companion for meditation or sleep (although people like myself can listen to this kind of stuff all day long!). Hydrogen 2 Oxygen presents an acid-jazz based style built on laid back complex rhythmic grooves and keyboard based embellishments, trance-y and lush, full of atmospherics and understated melodic drift. The seven tracks herein are a bit more challenging and energized than those on the other discs, and perhaps more experimental as well. With more of a subconscious hook, it tends to lure the listener back for repeated listens. This one is probably not sleep music... well, maybe it is, but it's definitely a different animal than the other two. The one thing they do have in common is that all three discs are excellent. The best thing is you don't have to take my word for any of this. Go to the website and take a listen for yourself. -- Peter Thelen, Exposé August 2002

 

Star's End

Lucky for us that Kit Watkins eventually becomes tired of each genre he conquers; because it is at this point he reaches for yet another sonic horizon, hoping to realize the promise of what comes when profound musicianship encounters new unexplored terrain (or even revisits an area with many footprints and monuments). It is this non-complacent quality which continues to bring us a diversity of works from this remarkable artist. Tone Ghost Ether is the latest project involving Kit Watkins and evolved out of jam sessions with John Tlusty and Brad Allen dating back to early 2001.

The basic idea behind Tone Ghost Ether is free-form musical expression. The nature of these experiments certainly involves many factors but mainly relies on the interconnectedness between those participating and their respective musical abilities - the shared vision guiding the individual virtuosity. This process can reveal unconscious patterns and hidden talents and when working well, this "meeting" results in music that is greater than the sum of its parts. Tone Ghost Ether accomplishes this quite nicely on their three debut releases: Condor Sail Curve, Hydrogen 2 Oxygen and The White Space.

Tone Ghost Ether regards each recording session as an opportunity to explore the many facets of their musicianship. At the outset, no one is quite sure where the music will be leading them. The sets were recorded exactly as it happened, the magic captured and arranged to fit on the three debut CDs. Each disc is a collection of edits exemplifying where the music "came together", where the piece became defined. The disc, Condor Sail Curve offers the more gentle and comforting side of this trio with pieces that float on a current of warm textures and carefree melodies. On The White Space, Tone Ghost Ether raises the energy level several degrees with a collection of more rhythmic, focused pieces that hint at influences from world music and contemporary instrumental. Hydrogen 2 Oxygen rises above pulse driven music as the group successfully adds percussion loops and drum patterns beneath blazing guitar and EWI leads lines, all from the perspective of the Ambient esthetic.

It is predicted that Tone Ghost Ether will be delving into this process for quite some time to come. With the ability to "make it new every night", along with the therapeutic effects of being consumed by each session (a requirement of its performers) - by being completely "in the moment", Tone Ghost Ether will no doubt find a great sense of both personal and artistic satisfaction with this work and continue on exploring the many permutations, brief emotions and sustaining moods that this style of music has to offer. -- Chuck van Zyl, Star's End Radio



The Players

John Tlusty

Since a child, John ('JT') has had difficulty with choosing just one instrument. Up through his college years, he played and studied: guitar (classical, jazz, prog. rock), keyboard, french horn, drums & percussion. Early influences from childhood were Beethoven, Big Band Jazz, and W. Carlos' album, "Switched-On Bach". In his teens (the later 70's), John got into all kinds of jazz (straight, latin, be-bop, fusion and jazz-rock) and (mostly English) progressive rock (Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis.) John then attended Virginia Commonwealth University, first majoring on classical guitar (studied with Jesus Silva, a protege of Andres Segovia.) After the first year, John then changed his major to Electronic Music, studying with Dr. Loran Carrier, a student of Morton Subotnik (an early electronic music pioneer.) In the decade following college, John worked in a variety of recording studios and played with many different-style bands. He currently has two new CDs in the works - a new-age album, and an ambient electronica album. Mr. Tlusty resides in Northern Virginia.

 

Kit Watkins

Born to classical music teachers in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1953, Kit studied piano at home between ages 5 and 13. During his teen years, he played in various local cover bands and by age 18 was discovering his own writing abilities. He soon joined up with the band Happy The Man (HTM) which was forming at the local university. It was with HTM that Kit honed his skills in composing, performing, arranging, and producing. During its six years, the band recorded five albums, including two produced by Ken Scott and released on Arista Records. In 1979, Kit then joined the British band Camel for an album produced by Rupert Hine and several tours of UK, Europe, and Japan from 1980 through 1982. Kit Watkins' solo career began in 1980 with the album "Labyrinth," which won him 5th place in Keyboard magazine's Annual Readers' Poll Awards for keyboard album. He has since produced over 2 dozen critically acclaimed releases, including two CDs recorded live at The Gathering in Philadelphia, March 2001. His music has been heard on such syndicated radio shows as Hearts of Space, Echoes, and National Public Radio. Mr. Watkins resides in Brattleboro, Vermont..

 

Brad Allen

Combining a broad range of influences and elements to produce the end resulting songs, Brad plays a wide variety of instruments and uses his recording and production skills to great effect. He has produced and recorded many fine artists, and has worked with Kit Watkins on several other projects including the CD Kit Watkins & Brad Allen "Frames of Mind" and the CD Kit Watkins "Rolling Curve."