301

Rhodri Davies / Michel Doneda / Louisa Martin / Phil Minton / Lee Patterson: Midhopestones

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Rhodri Davies / Michel Doneda / Louisa Martin / Phil Minton / Lee Patterson: Midhopestones This album was recorded in January 2009 in the church of St. James the Lesser, in the village of Midhopestones near Sheffield, South Yorkshire—hence, its intriguingly uplifting title (incidentally, its track titles refer to other villages or features nearby). Maybe that recording location explains the sense of tranquility and beauty that pervades the music here. It seems as if all five players were on their best behavior as they were in church; everyone gets along well together; there is no rowdiness, no arguing, and no outbursts.

The sounds here are rarely predictable, straightforward or unambiguous. Having listened to this album countless times, it's been necessary to check the credits nearly every time, usually to clarify the origin of some non-attributable sound. So, although no bassist is listed, a persistent low frequency sound recurs throughout "Strines," giving it a strong pulse. By a process of elimination, it must originate from Louisa Martin's laptop.

It was also necessary to check that Phil Minton is actually credited, as his voice is rather elusive here, and surprisingly subdued. Those familiar with his usual improvising style, complete with trademark guttural interjections, will have to listen hard to detect him here. "Wharncliffe Side" features a dialogue between Doneda and Minton, during which saxophone and voice are each practically unidentifiable as they imitate each other, intertwine and mingle. Elsewhere, Minton camouflages himself perfectly, blending into the background; he contributes much but never steps into the spotlight.

And so it proves with all the players here; the musicians must have left their egos at the church door. They are focused more on creating multi-layered, evolving music than on leaving their own mark on it. The end results stand up remarkably well to repeated listening, delivering more and revealing fresh facets every time. What a gem.


Track Listing: Strines; Crow Edge; Wharncliffe Side; Deepcar.

Personnel: Rhodri Davies: harp, electric harp; Michel Doneda: soprano saxophone; Louisa Martin: laptop; Phil Minton: voice; Lee Patterson: amplified objects.

Title: Midhopestones | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Another Timbre


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.