Sunday, February 28, 2010

Richard Skelton - Landings

Read this entire review on The Silent Ballet. It's one of my best.

The ethereal breath and blurry edges of Landings is kindred with the music of Skelton's other pseudonyms, but what makes this album so good is its scope. At seventy minutes, it has the transmutational quality of changing size or shape to couple with the listener's mood. This is music of grieving and focus, but it is also ritualistic and gracious. It isn't going to make the listener cry and wish for something better; this is a tribute to the land in which it was recorded, and it behaves as an attentive listener, not an edict of expression. It offers itself to be explored, and what we find in listening is that the human heart, no matter the damage done to it, perseveres. Richard Skelton was truly compelled to play in this place. He would wake up at 5 A.M., drive to the moor and play guitar, violin, or concertina for hours in an old ruin or by a stream, in hopes that the environment would bestow itself into the recordings. He pressed individual CDs for himself, dressed them in little boxes, and stowed them in secret places where they were recorded, not wanting anyone to discover them. These private relics are still hidden in the landscape, and only he knows their locations!

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