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Lawrence Blatt - Fibonacci's Dream

Fibonacci's Dream

Lawrence Blatt

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

Following his engrossing Out of the Woodwork release, Lawrence Blatt has issued a new disc centered in the artistically fascinating numbers progression known as The Fibonacci Sequence, brainchild of 13th century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci and a model used by artists of all stripes—Da Vinci, Seurat, Mozart, and Dylan included. It's a simple progression but quickly, in its day, became what is called "The Golden Mean", and Blatt was curious regarding applications regarding subtler qualities in the sonic arts. A meritorious quizzicality, what has resulted betters his excellent debut, which was itself golden.

Throughout each of the 13 instrumental cuts here, Blatt inserted structures wrought from Fibonacci sequences to arrive at compositions possessing unusual qualities, sensibilities extending beyond what the ear hears, as the title track Fibonacci's Dream appropriately demonstrates, a 4-minute exercise in cascading melodies, interlocking leads, and complementary strums. The sum of the parts is quite exceeded by the effect had on the mind, qualities not precisely related to the mathematics or architecture itself. Of course, a goodly part of that can be attributed to Blatt's unerring gift for fine Byzantine opuses and affective chops as well, but the classical inclusion, as he suspected, yielded quietly unexpected bonuses.

Blatt's a fingerpicker and one who bridges many influences to arrive at his own sound. Never brash or thunderous, he crafts sparely alluring tapestries and spacious vistas propelled by evocatively counterpoised scenarios and patiently patterned recurrances, gently but irresistably capturing the listener. Employing a number of stringed instruments, the guitarist blends all and sundry with a painter's care for hue and tone but also briefly adds an exquisitely fragile piano on I Remember When and should most definitely consider expanding that presence, as it echoes the more evanescent side of Ralph Towner's work on the instrument.

The initial basis for inquiry into this ghostly aesthetic realm, with its patinas and baffling fidelities amid numbers concepts, is never directly answered by Blatt, leaving one to wonder if he ever either satisfied his curiosity, evolved a workable model, or perhaps even just an explanatory postulate, but then it's not necessarily the point of art to always provide answers; gratifyingly, mysteries easily arise when one most wishes resolution, laying a milieu for endless contemplation. In that, then, the listener is more than satisfied, the proof of the venture lying very tastily in the pudding. Though, like his last, the entire disc is smooth, clever, exotic, and extremely relaxing whilst engaging, there's an impossible-to-nail-down overarching element of tantalization and sensory compulsion residing just beyond articulable grasp. Taking delicate interweaving lines, luminous terrain, shrouded entablatures, and gossamer essences—not to mention omnipresent sultry Spanish infusions—straight back to the Math Lab for a check-up, Blatt did the good Italian genius homage in producing such a moodily hypnotic set of works. Putting the icing on the cake, the recording's perfect, the few minor imperfections of the previous release, Out of the Woodwork, polished to a scintillating finish. Whatever the guy has in mind for his next project, we can only hope its inspiration will be as fruitful as this one.

Track List:

  • Bern "The Bear"
  • Una Vida (One Life)
  • In a Heartbeat
  • Fibonacci's Dream
  • I Remember When
  • I'm Leaving Now
  • Five Nights
  • Just Before Dawn
  • A little More Sunshine
  • Catalina
  • Song for Chava
  • La Selva (The Rainforest)
  • Move Um Out
All songs written by Laurence Blatt.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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