Album Review

Skelton, Richard – “Marking Time” – [Preservation]

Thurston Hunger   10/5/2011   A Library, CD

An album of natural music? Well sort of, as natural as sorrow, or death, or the creak in the floorboards of an abandoned railway station. Drone has become a big umbrella to catch a lot of sound, and that tag may apply here. The long bowing of a gutty sting, the harmonium’s gentle howl…perhaps it is better to call these sonic landscapes, subtle music. Skelton works out of the UK, and does indeed like to make music from a specific site. His own label, where some of these recordings were first issues, is called Sustain-Release, which can speak to the aspect of drone, as well as to the sad loss of his wife in 2004, for whom this is dedicated (as is apparently all of Richard’s work). Surely the ghost of a muse is still a muse, if not even moreso. With guitar, piano, concertina, these instrumentals really rise based upon the quality of the recording. Such precision in the capture, the room tone alone is often the featured soloist. The capacity for non-verbal communication remains as strong as ever in this body of Skeleton’s work, defined as much by its gaps as its flesh.

-Thurston Hunger

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