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James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game

(Vinyl LP)

23Reward Points
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Item: LDB04012

"James used to be in punk bands in England, but then he started listening to people like John Fahey, Robbie Basho etc, and I assume soon locked himself in a room for 12 hours a day for several years and just played his guitar constantly. It takes intense discipline and a religious commitment to get to the place where he's at with his instrument - his soulful and kaleidoscopic ever-shifting mantra cycles are, in my view, incredibly beautiful.

"Just his guitar by itself, with it's swirling overtones, cascading notes and a thousand points of light, is like an orchestra, but now he's started to further orchestrate his pieces with piano, strings, wind, vocals, and the music is positively cinematic, and mesmerizing. The 18 minute-plus gem on this [2009] record is 'Arc,' performed on piano with the sustain peddle on full throttle, and the rush of sound created by the overtones-from-heaven, augmented by strings and wind, when played at proper (full) volume, is one of the most thrilling pieces of music I've heard in years.

"It takes a rare and single-minded courage and commitment to make music with such a powerfully positive force at its heart, especially in these troubled times. This is healing music that reaches for what's possible, just beyond our grasp. It is stellar...James is joined on this record by Joolie Wood (Current 93 and Simon Finn) - violin, clarinet and flute, John Contreras (Baby Dee and C93) – cello. Lavinia Blackwall (Directing Hand) is a classically trained singer and contributed vocals..." – Michael Gira, Young God Records

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