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Matthew Halsall: An Ever Changing View


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Matthew Halsall: An Ever Changing View
Whatever view Matthew Halsall is sharing here, it is drawn from life and correspondingly picturesque—not just always changing, but always colorful and fascinating. This View comes partly from the sea-and-sky vistas he enjoyed while creating it, splitting time between England and Wales. Partly, it also comes from a couple of years collecting a trove of percussive odds-and-ends, and cheerfully playing with all the organic sounds they offered. Tinkering with those tones, with no strict framework in mind, he produces a charming tonal kaleidoscope which is freely experimental and yet comfortable from start to finish.

The range of percussion (bells, chimes, kalimba, glockenspiel and several less common clattery things besides) makes for the widest palette used in his catalogue to date, all woven into easy going circular patterns without becoming cluttered. Halsall's trumpet is a largely soothing lead voice, flowing and floating over the grooves with the occasional dash of low-end swagger to spice things up. Around the fringes is another shifting blend of pleasant textures, from saxophone and flute to harp and bird calls.

The mood is a quiet and buoyant one, almost like a take on Oregon's world fusion with a more Eastern bent and just a touch of Penguin Cafe Orchestra whimsy. With "Mountains, Trees and Seas," they bounce over a walking double-bass line emulating the rise and fall of actual mountains; the likes of "Water Street" and "Calder Shapes" chitter briskly; lower moments such as "Sunlight Reflection" simply drift with a reassuring kind of Zen calm. In Halsall's skilled arranger's hands, all the tones are woven into a gently hypnotic patchwork which makes the set feel like one long sunny daydream. A treat for the mind and the heart.

Track Listing

Tracing Nature; Water Street; An Ever Changing View; Calder Shapes; Mountains, Trees and Seas; Field of Vision; Jewels; Sunlight Reflection; Natural Movement; Triangles in the Sky.


Matthew Halsall: trumpet; Matthew Cliffe: flute; Chip Wickham: woodwinds; Alice Roberts: harp; Maddie Herbert: harp; Liviu Gheorghe: piano; Jasper Green: keyboards; Gavin Barras: bass, acoustic; Alan Taylor: drums; Jack McCarthy: percussion; Sam Bell: percussion; Chris Davies: percussion; Caitlin Lang: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Matthew Halsall: trumpet (2-5, 7, 9), piano (1, 6); kalimba (2-5, 7), glockenspiel (2), celeste (4), percussion (2-5, 7), looped piano (3, 7), Rhodes and piano effects (7), chimes (2-5, 10), gongs (8, 10), bells (10), log drum (9), field recordings (1, 5, 6); Matt Cliffe: alto sax (4), flute (2, 3, 5, 9); Chip Wickham: soprano sax (7), flute (10); Alice Roberts: harp (2-4, 7-10); Maddie Herbert: harp (5); Liviu Gheorghe: Rhodes (2, 3, 5); Jasper Green: Rhodes (4, 10), piano (7-9); Gavin Barras: bass (2-5, 7-10); Alan Taylor: drums (2-5, 7-10); Jack McCarthy: congas (2, 3, 5), percussion (4); Sam Bell: congas (9, 10), percussion (10); Chris Davies: xylophone (9); Caitlin Lang: vocals (10).

Album information

Title: An Ever Changing View | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Gondwana Records

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