199

I Heart Lung: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
I Heart Lung: Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet Between Them a Forest Grew, Trackless and Quiet is a title which might not seem out of place in a collection of metaphysical poetry, although whilst such poetry appeals largely to the intellect, the music of I Heart Lung appeals to the emotions.

Nevertheless, the metaphysical poets and guitarist Chris Schlarb and drummer Tom Steck do share some common ground; the former challenged the conventional imagery of the 17th century lyric and experimented with rhythm whilst the latter duo are in their own way questioning modern conventions, albeit of a musical kind, and in the process they are creating music as beautiful as it is challenging.

"Maleem Ya Maleem pitches up-tempo through light-of-touch drum patterns against ghostly, feather-light guitar lines; if guitarist Bill Frisell had replaced Jerry Garcia in the Grateful Dead then their more exploratory music might have sounded something like this.

The contrast between hypnotic, driving percussion and susurrus, meditative guitar is a feature of the music. Similarly, sustained drone-like sounds, whether they are of the six-stringed or electronic variety, color much of the music. When all these elements come together as on "If I Were a Young Man Now and, most notably, on "Moving Through Color 1, the music is quite epic in nature.

The intervention on a couple of tracks by Peter Chan on clarinet and alto saxophone adds some colorful improvisation. On "Lycanthrapy, guitar and saxophone engage in chatter which is at times playful, argumentative and then manic, like Punch and Judy on a bender. It is, however, overwhelmingly the union of Schlarb and Steck which defines the spirit of the music. Their ability to communicate so much with such a minimalist approach to music making is enviable.

Meditative yet driving, understated and epic at the same time, this is music which courses through the veins as soothingly as an opiate and as sharply as electricity.

In tribute to one of metaphysical poetry's greatest exponents, singer Van Morrison sang: "Rave on, John Donne... —ditto Chris Schlarb and Tom Steck. Rave on down through time and space, rave on, rave on, rave on.


Track Listing: Maleem Ya Maleem; The Perennial Affair; If I Were a Young Man Now; Lycanthropy; Useless, Useless; Three (Siblings); Moving Through Color 1; Song of the Boatman on the River Roon; Wheelchair Graduation; Retrospective; Moving Through Color 2.

Personnel: Chris Schlarb: electric guitar, electronics; Tom Steck: acoustic drums, percussion; Peter Chan: clarinet, alto saxophone.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sounds Are Active


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Cloud Illusions" CD/LP/Track Review Cloud Illusions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Tangle" CD/LP/Track Review Tangle
by John Eyles
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Desertion" CD/LP/Track Review Desertion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!