Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Recording: Charles Spearin's Roadside Silhouettes

Artist: Charles Spearin's Roadside Silhouettes

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Jam Factory ("Feast in the East 47"), April 4, 2015.

Charles Spearin's Roadside Silhouettes - [excerpt]

Charles Spearin sounded a little defensive as he introduced this new new project, admitting it was "a little bit weird" and perhaps even somewhat pretentious. But that doesn't mean he wasn't prepared — in fact, the six-piece ensemble were armed with an 8½ × 17 sheet filled with cryptic visualizations and unanswerable questions. This was in the service of his concept of creative improvisations in a series of medieval modes rendered as postrock chamber drones. Playing lap steel and a double-necked guitar/bass, Spearin was joined by Ohad Benchetrit on guitar as well as an ensemble that included violin, bass clarinet, saxophone and harp. The music mostly hovered in a hazy soundfield that at times evoked a Khôra piece, swelling up and down as the group segued from one mode to another for nearly half and hour. Entirely pleasant to listen to, this can be counted as a successful first experiment, so it should be interesting to see how Spearin refines and extends the concept from here.

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