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For something a little different we have a new disc from British guitarist/composer Neil Campbell. The album is titled Estuary and is a bit different in that he has collaborated with poet Seán Street, featuring spoken word vignettes taken from two books: Time Between Tides and Cello.
Estuary is essentially a musical means of getting this poetry heard and for the most part it is a success. That said, this isn't something I will be drawn to very much but it is well done and Street has a wonderful speaking voice, very rich and absorbing and pleasing to the ears.
Musically speaking the sound is very atmospheric, even ambient at times merging classical guitar with ethereal and at times electronic soundscapes. There is some variety here, some tracks feature vocals like the beautiful "Sestina (Part 2)" where swirling guitar arpeggios and Perri Alleyne-Hughes crystal clear voice are really quite magical. At other times the music disappears as in "Sestina", a purely spoken word piece. The first track "Change" is very ambient in nature centered with chiming classical guitar. Gentle waves of swirling guitar highlight "Vigil", another peaceful but mood invoking track. Another favourite is the mellow "Fog Redux", with its ethereal soundscape impacted by crisp percussion and subtle electronics.
As I mentioned earlier I'm not sure how much preference this one will get, not because its lacking quality, it's very well played, immaculately produced and really quite thoughtful but the nature of audio books is quite foreign to my ears. Regardless, if you do check this out listen to it all the way through without interruption as to get the intended full effect of spoken word poetry and musical accompaniment.
Seán Street (spoken voice)
Perri Alleyne-Hughes (voice)
Neil Campbell (classical guitar, keyboards, soundscapes)
Marty Snape (electronics)
1. Change (1:41)
2. Vigil (2:00)
3. Shipping Forecast, Donegal (2:26)
4. Fog Redux (5:12)
5. Another Place (3:15)
6. Pier Head with Ferry (1:03)
7. Tidal (1:52)
8. Vigil Redux (3:10)
9. Storm Blind (4:36)
10. Estuary (1:13)
11. Fog Music (5:14)
12. Sestina (3:38)
13. Sestina (Part 2) (4:59)
14. Naming (0:58)
15. Tidal Redux (2:29)
16. Shipping Movements (1:57)
17. Epilogue (4:10)
Added: September 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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