This is a very interesting amalgamation of sonic art, and there is quite a difference between the CD and the DVD. If you are someone who wants information about what you are listening to, and in this case watching (the DVD portion), who is in the band, what instruments they play, then forget about this set, because it is lacking. If you are someone who is content with just the titles of the songs, and how long they are, and the sonic excursions around still photographs on the DVD portion and don't care about names or who is playing what instrument this is an interesting piece. All the info in this review is gathered from the tear sheet that came with the review copy. They perform live as a quartet with a portable pump organ/vocalist, a Kona (which is an acoustic slide guitar), acoustic bass and drums (but who plays what?). Again the info on the tear sheet, which generally doesn't come with the material, provides who plays what and this recording is done with much more than the 4 people that comprise the group. I counted about 12 or 15 people contributing and playing a plethora of instruments. Also on this disc 'cult-fave' singer Mary Margaret O'Hara along with Becca Stevens and Martina Sorbara supply the vocals, which aren't so much words in most cases on the DVD, as sounds, so that the voice(s) become more instruments.
Now on the CD portion of this set there is still a great lack of information about this Toronto based group, and it is only on the tear sheet that gives us certain clues. However here the compositions aren't so much constructions of sounds as they are songs, that are more defined; the majority have storylines, a structure, and words. They are one of those groups that don't fit into any category and that is perfectly fine as far as this reviewer is concerned. It is more like a work of art that doesn't nicely fit into a niche but is as expansive as the sky on a mostly clear day and there is much space for the listener to add what they imagine to the music -- much like imagining what shapes the clouds take as the drift and reform. A very interesting piece of music.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles