Album Review

Davies, Rhodri – “An Air Swept Clean of All Distance” – [Alt. Vinyl]

Naysayer   5/5/2015   12-inch, Jazz

Sometimes you find your “thing”, your interest, your passion and you just go with it. Forever. Such is the case of Rhodri Davies. Davies is passionate about harps. He plays harps. He manipulates harps. He studies harps. He bows harps. He twists and turns harps. He puts harps in art installations. He plays harps with dry ice. He sets harps on fire. Basically, he spends a lot of time deconstructing the harp and it’s rich mythology, attempting to find a new way and meaning for this instrument. Rhodri is an educated and accomplished musician which shows in his recordings. “An Air Swept Clean of All Distance” is a solo work which Rhodri uses to expand on his investigation of the harp, an instrument steeped in tradition and myth. He is definitely not playing the instrument as a historic document. He is playing it with a passion, searching for its new meaning. This album is a lot more lyrical than some of his other works. Yet it is still abrasive. He plucks and stays in one area of the harp, pulling and pushing out new sounds from this distinctive tool. He rumbles on the frame. He twists and bends. It is fascinating to listen to, and often surprising to realize it is a harp. He is so skilled that how he plays it changes the sound. Amazing. This is an album of surprise and beauty. Enjoy.

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