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Tom Relleen Of Tomaga Has Died
Patrick Clarke , August 25th, 2020 17:19

As well as forming one-half of Tomaga, he was part of projects such as The Oscillation and Autotelia

Photo: Hannah Carvalho

Tom Relleen, one-half of Tomaga and a musician with projects such as The Oscillation and Autotelia, has died aged 42 of stomach cancer.

The news was confirmed to tQ today (August 25) by Tomaga's booking agency, while his Tomaga bandmate Valentina Magaletti further confirmed that Relleen died in St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London in the evening of August 23, surrounded by loved ones. He had been diagnosed with cancer at the end of March this year, and his partner, Marta Salogni, cared for him during his illness.

"Tomaga had a new album scheduled for next year and a few dates confirmed in September," Magaletti said. "We rushed to master the album in his final days because the release was important to him."

A memorial service will be held for Relleen, with full details to be arranged soon.

As part of Tomaga, a duo he formed with Magaletti in 2013, Relleen released six albums, as well as collaborative records with artists such as Pierre Bastien and Neil Tolliday. The last of those releases, Bandiera Di Carta with Pierre Bastien, came out via Nicolás Jaar's Other People label last September.

Alongside his work as part of Tomaga, Relleen also released a number of records with frequent collaborator Demian Castellanos in two different projects: The Oscillation and Autotelia. The latest of those, a debut Autotelia album titled I, came out last month on Rocket Recordings.

Castellanos said of Relleen's passing: "Right now I am completely emotionally overwhelmed, as are all his many friends and family who loved him very much.

"Tom was a beautiful, inspiring friend who helped, encouraged and motivated many people. I am extremely grateful that we managed to complete the Autotelia album together before his passing and I will never forget the 15 years we spent playing music together.

"Without Tom's enthusiasm and input The Oscillation would most probably not have become a live entity. We have lost a truly dear friend and an incredibly talented musician who never stopped pushing himself and exploring musical worlds. He will be hugely missed and remembered with love and many happy memories."

Marie-Pierre Bonniol, founder of the Julie Tippex agency for whom Relleen signed with The Oscillation and later worked as an agent, said in a statement: "We met in 2008 at Corsica Studios. For more than 10 years he was more than a collaborator for all of us at Julie Tippex, but also a friend, an incredibly nice, charming and intelligent man with a natural kindness, a calm and genial attitude to life and an openness to people and situations which was very comforting for everyone around him.

"All his years of activities as label manager, agent, musician, have not only shaped the London scene but also the European one, by organising many tours of bands which have had an impact on many other musicians, such as Silver Apples, Acid Mother's Temple and Orchestra of Spheres, but also by building bridges in all directions, connecting people, organising collaborations.

"He was a driven man, always respectful of others and excellent at collective dynamics. His home was always a welcoming place for all of us, and many musicians and activists from the scene. His passing, at such a young age and within such a short period of time, is devastating to us. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones."