Saturday, September 26, 2009

a broken consort



i am drawn to artists and musicians whose work describes the almost inexpressible.

one such artist is richard skelton.

richard hails from lancashire.
my birth county.

here's a glowing and fair review:

"skelton creates powerful, instrumental music out of densely-layered acoustic guitar,
bowed strings, piano, mandolin and accordion, often laced with delicate, shimmering
percussion. the result is something utterly unique - a music which is both life-affirming
and yet etched with memory and loss, evoking equal parts aarvo pärt and ry cooder,
nick drake and henryk górecki.

it is with a broken consort, perhaps, that skelton most-assuredly draws these elements
together, creating an ever-changing drift of rich textures and interleaved melody that
effortlessly evokes the landscapes which inspired it. box Of birch, his second album in
this guise, was originally published in a boxed edition that contained, among other
things, birch twigs collected from the west pennine moors. for skelton these things
act as a synecdoche for the landscape itself, a physical connection to the places in
which much of his music is recorded."

here's some of richard's music.
(as a kindness to yourself - because this is very beautiful music - when the music begins to play, stop it and allow the little red bar that tells you how much of it has loaded to get a good "headstart". it can be a slow loading piece of music for some strange reason and it can only damage the listening experience to have it stop and start - thanks for your understanding!)

22 comments:

Alaine said...

Different, can't say I like it but did like the bell tolling. I felt as though I was suspended in time...waiting for something to happen.

Thanks for the tip about stopping the music and letting the red bar slide; I can't bear 'buffering' and usually give it away if that happens.

Rachel Fenton said...

I really enjoyed this piece of music - hadn't heard it before but had heard music by the influences behind it: Nick Cage, Arvo Part, etc. I really like that there are birch twigs in the cd cases...I get really excited when art transcends its genre and usual boundaries to become a truly inspirational creation.

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

I learned a new word today

a good word that tells about other words

synechdoche

thank you for that...



Happy days

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven: Quite hypnotic, haunting and dream-like. I was curious whether my sub-conscious was able to read the flashes of type/text that occasionally appeared through the textures and fog - wondering if subliminal messages were imbedded in his work . . .

:)

It was quite plaintive for me . . . and after a minute or so it stopped being relaxing . . .
for me.

steven said...

hello alaine - i listen to music that covers much of the spectrum of what is available. it ranges from the thoroughly dissonant to the utterly consonant. genres? well whatever genre the good music comes in is what i listen to!!! thanks for giving this a little listen. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi rachel - i love the gathering of pieces of the environment the music is from or describing as well!! i love how that takes the piece form the very big singularity of music and extends it even closer to the human experience. cage and part and feldman and glass and reich and the listen goes ever onwards are all part of my listening so this piece wasn't quite as "difficult" as some of my readers will likely find it. have a lovely saturday!!! steven

steven said...

hello delwyn - it's a beauty isn't it. the question is - where does one slip it into conversation? where does one drop it casually into a blog entry? but it's such a beauty you'd really like the chance - just once!!!! have a lovely saturday night by the river delwyn. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - i like music that moves beyond the conscious realm and plays with the bigger spaces of the subconscious. there seems to me be more relevance there. i also like music that unseats me in the sense that it challenges me to address its meaning and intention. all music comes from the same place. all music carries information from that place. how to move my subjective interpretation and understanding of the music out of the way and listen. really listen? have a lovely day bonnie. steven

Golden West said...

An obviously gifted musician, but not my cup of tea. My taste in music runs more to things I can hum along with or gets my feet tapping.

This would work well as part of a soundtrack for a sweeping historical costume drama, I think.

Reya Mellicker said...

THis is delicious! I, too, love Aarvo Part.

I'm off to itunes, to download some of his music. Wow!!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

p.s. Your painting is BEAUTIFUL. You are so talented.

steven said...

hi golden west, i love music i can tap my toes to, dance to, think to, feel to. it really depends on my mood, the time of day, the weather, my emotional needs - whatever is neededi love music for that. it takes care of me when i need that!!!! thanks for visiting!!! steven

Barry said...

Like you, Steven, I enjoy a variety of musical genres, and found this piece quite interesting. Certainly not toe tapping, but introspective and compelling in its own way.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a most interesting post, steven...it reminds me of my grandson in some ways...he went to college to study music and is quite gifted but does not work in music but does a lot of composition. Some of his work is on You Tube. Look for Justin Lincoln if you wanted to hear some of it.

I replied to your comment on my Pick a Peck of Pixels post...

"Reply to Steven...

I saw the set at Amazon.com and think I will get them. I saw a couple of pieces there that would inspire me to do something once again. Maybe award an envelope to a person whose comment on a post does something to me that others do not. Like the 100th person to comment on one of my posts or something like that. Not sure yet but I am getting all fired up and that is good. It has been a while."

What do you think about this? Is it something worth trying?

steven said...

hi reya,
i'm so happy that this music was so tasty for you!!! i love music with presence - texture (and that can be on any level) and colour (same). richard's music is varied - as all musician's work is - so you need to pick and choose, but it's all drawn from a source that (if you dig up his background) is a sad powerful wellspring that has produced extraordinary riches. thanks for your generous comment about my little painting. i've painted lots of other things and i'll share more of them here. i've already had a haircut with my fourteen year-old dawsonboy and a lovely walk with him. now i'm going to put together a saturday breakfast for he and i. have a sweet saturday in dc reya! steven

steven said...

hi barry - i love tolerance and flexibility. it's another characteristic of you that shines out in your words and stories. that you know what you like and you accept the variety of the world as an opportunity. it's such a gift: those features you have as well as the world itself. a gift! have a peaceful saturday. steven

steven said...

hi abe - first of all thanks for visiting and for your interesting comment. i'll be nipping over to listen to justin's work right after i sign this comment.
i should let you know that workload permitting i usually pop back to blogs i comment on to see if they've written a reply. thanks for sending this one to me though. i'm glad you dug up the books. i'm even happier - ecstatic even - because i know what it feels like to be all fired up again creatively and there's not much comes close to touching that feeling is there abe?! prizes?!! well abe you've got some very fine commentators on your blog so you'ld certainly have a tough time! i think it's a generous idea though!!!! have a great day abe. steven

gleaner said...

Contemplative and compelling - it reminded me of Philip Glass perhaps - I wonder if he did the score for Eyes Wide Shut - there was a similarity esp. the bell tolling in this and the piano tolling in the movie.

Thanks too, for the tip about the red bar!

steven said...

hello gleaner - i don't know what other commissions he has had but i am very gad that you were left with something to reflect on. i enjoy this kind of music every so often - usually the autumn and especially the winter - because it matches the sparseness of those times. have a lovely evening. steven

Kathleen said...

mmmm . . . this stays with me, wistfully . . .
I like it very much!

Martin said...

Wow,Steven, this is really good!
Lovely music & a great video.

steven said...

hi martin - i'm so glad you liked it. great to see you here!!!! steven

Bee said...

I absolutely love this shimmering music -- and it suits my mood so well. I've just come back from a long walk -- falling leaves and blackberries by the side of the road and a fine mist of rain.

Just recently I discovered Kate Rusby -- so two good "Northern" finds this month.