One element that allows many music albums work for me as a whole start-to-finish listening experience is the way they can take me on a journey. For a while I can escape the everyday and sonically travel someplace else, if I choose.
Charlie Cawood’s Blurring Into Motion contains mystical sounds, invoking the music of a long-forgotten time that honored the natural world. It is an aural travelogue and fits the bill perfectly for my voyaging needs.
Mr. Cawood’s last album, The Divine Abstract(my review is here)was a wonderful journey for me. I was looking forward to this new release and I am wowed by the artistry on display in this recording.
Mr. Cawood is known as an in-demand musician, a master of things with strings, working with groups such as Tonochrome, Knifeworld, Lost Crowns and My Tricksy Spirit.
This is an album of compositional works, mostly instrumental. Two tracks feature vocals by Marjana Semkina of Iamthemorning.
I would say the style of the performance here is modern classical, with hints of folk and progressive rock. There is a natural and organic feel to the compositions, even with the electronic instruments involved. Ms. Semkina’s voice thoroughly complements the instrumentation on the tracks she is featured on.
My favorite track on the album is the gentle album closer Voice of Space, where the instruments come together in a beautiful balance to help the listener imagine an excursion through the skies.
The songs on Blurring Into Motion flow in a delightful way, nothing seemed off or out of place. A perfect album for a sonic trip. I didn’t want to skip a track, and the album didn’t feel too short or too long.
It takes a brave human nowadays to release a work of art with a sole name attached. Reviewers and fans alike rise up with their “hot takes” and sling barbs at the artist when perhaps a few added listens would help the music be understood more.
I was taken in immediately with this music, and from this listener’s point of view there is nothing to criticize here. Perhaps if I were a musician, I could find fault, but I am not. I hear players joyfully performing the pieces they were given. The music contained herein engaged me and made me pay attention.
You may feel like this album is “not your thing”, but I hope you will give a listen (or two) and see if you, like me, are taken on a sonic journey to someplace else.
Also – my kudos to Mr. Cawood for including so many female performers on this recording. This is great to see. Thank you!
Dance Of Time
The Stars Turn
Falling Into Blue
Abyss Of Memory
The Dark Within
Blurring Into Motion
From Pure Air
A Severed Circle
The False Mirror
Flicker Out Of Being
Between Two Worlds
Voice Of Space
Charlie Cawood – acoustic, electric and classical guitars, acoustic bass, bass VI, handclaps
Marjana Semkina – vocals on Falling Into Blue and Flicker Out Of Being
Alice Barron – violin
Georgia Hannat – violin
Maddie Cutter – cello
Robyn Hemmings – double bass
Julie Groves – flute, piccolo
Emily Susanne Shapiro – clarinet
Ben Marshall – cor anglais
Robyn Hemmings – contrabassoon
Lucy Brown – French horn
Nathaniel Dye – trombone
Maria Moraru – piano
Elen Evans – harp
Beibei Wong – vibraphone
Catherine Ring – glockenspiel
Evan Carson – bodhran, percussion
Steve Holmes – minimoog, bass synth
Composed and orchestrated by Charlie Cawood, except ‘Falling Into Blue’ and ‘Flicker Out Of Being: music by Charlie Cawood & Marjana Semkina; lyrics by Marjana Semkina.
Art by Mark Buckingham
Release date: September 6, 2019
Label: Bad Elephant Music
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