This is Anne Trenning's third instrumental outing, a piano-centered blend of Americana, New Age, cinematographic, and lightly classical (chiefly chamber) musics taking the listener through rural pastorales and old Main Streets of genteeler times. Thus, when I say "New Age", don't infer Private / Narada schlock. There's a more informed sense of arrangement and image here, even a good deal of Randy Newman's scoring sensibilities, his capture of the hinge of the Old West bleeding into a pre-Modern Era. With a sextet backing band, Trenning trips lightly through her paces in elegant uncomplicated sarabandes on recent antiquity.
In that, in her capture of the past, she's infused more a baroque flavor than is common, further idealizing the mythologies, the quasi-antebellum misted notions we have in our re-editing of the way of things. I rush to add that there's nothing wrong with that at all in any artistic sense, as art is largely idealization of one stripe or another. When Newman, for instance, scores films, he does not inject his Sail Away political commentary—that would be didactic—and so Trenning is creating Norman Rockwell-ish entablatures that are beautiful, dustily quiescent in golden shafts of sun, dignified, and redolent of bustles, handlebar moustaches, and picket fences along dirt thoroughfares.
In more than one way, Watching for Rain is novo-Ravelian, Dodge City Debussy-esque, and more than a little quaint, sustaining its milieu throughout. There's a veil of gossamer pulled over the camera lens, a shading of memory to more pleasant associations of the past. Below, however, in the song listings, will be noted two curious titles: H.I.A.T.W. and Benediction. The first is actually Tim Hughes' Here I am to Worship and the second is really Dylan's I Shall be Released, greatly truncated. Why the cuts have been respectively abbreviated and re-titled, I haven't a clue. Would she be appreciative of the same being done to her songs? Nonetheless, this is a very picturesque CD and will appeal greatly to refined ears thirsty for ruralia, propriety, and Sunday Go To Meeting duds and songbooks.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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