Of all the CandyRatters, Andy McKee and Antoine Dufour tend to be my favorites. Hard to single out individuals from such a golden wilderness of delicacy, complexity, and beauty—even harder to explain precisely why, say, X and Y might stand out more than others—but those two possess a warmth and élan that sing a little more sweetly in the ears. And, in Sound Pictures, Dufour shows once again just how far the modern nu-acoustic guitar sound that began in Renbourn, Fahey, Jensch, Kottke, and Hedges has come. If you can determine a label for it all, then please do; the most appropriate I can manage is 'new chamber recitals'.
From the start, in These Moments, the picker is up to his usual 'sounds like three guys' playing, incorporating body tapping, harmonics, chords, and leads simultaneously with just two hands and ten fingers, thenceafter slipping from studio to stage in two live numbers, Spiritual Grove and Mother, both resplendent proof that no gimmickry occurred in the former milieu, each cut as shimmering and layered as Moments. Spiritual Grove is in fact a high point of the album, zesty with sprightly syncopations. On the other hand, DuFour appears to have detuned his bass strings so low that they sound like the bottom end of a piano when struck, dark, fertile, and a tad forbidding.
Two cuts, paradoxically enough, feature a piano apiece from Brad Hoyt and Mathieu Fiset, the latter, Catching the Light, rather magisterial but sans gravid religious intonations, a rich tune more in the nature of an open air cathedral devoted to Mother Earth and Man than any notion of supernatural patriarchs and grave Puritanically winged schoolmarms. One could even, I suppose, say Sound Pictures is somewhat within the New Age aegis, but that would shame the near-entire rest of that genre, so we'll satisfy ourselves to tuck it away under either my suggestion above or Klaus Schulze's old IC mantle of 'new instrumental music'.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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