JAMES BLACKSHAW + C JOYNES vs. 23 HANGING TREES + HOLLOW MOUNTAIN
Wed 9th May @ Cambridge Unitarian Church
Doors 7:30pm, tickets £8 advance from here
James Blackshaw performs celestial and spirit-lifting guitar-led compositions. Meditative in quality, cinematic in scope, his music spirals gracefully across complex patterns, motifs and harmonics. He made his name as a 12-string acoustic guitarist, and his relationship with the instrument is near perfect. With an extensive back catalogue to his name on labels like Young God Records, Tompkins Square and Important, he has developed a unique playing style that takes Takoma school finger-picking into an entirely new place. Swirling overtones, cascading notes and a thousand points of light cascade from his guitar and create ever-shifting textures that bear the influence of contemporary classical composition, post-rock dynamics and invisible soundtracks as much as the American folk guitar tradition.
Despite his transcendent state music he is a grounded and earthly fellow who has been written about with reverence and has played churches, festivals, folk clubs and large concert halls on his many travels in the US, Europe and Japan. These have included extensive touring with the reformed Swans, as well as collaborative performances with Hauschka and Nancy Elizabeth. He performs and records as a member of Current 93 and with Jozef Van Wissem as Brethren of The Free Spirit.
New album "Love is The Plan, The Plan Is Death" is released on Important Records in April 2012. Written at a time of great emotional disquiet, it’s a beautiful and bittersweet new chamber work containing six original pieces whose titles are lovingly misappropriated from those of short stories by the great science fiction author James Tiptree Jr AKA Alice B. Sheldon. The instrumentation is more stripped back and integrated than on recentalbums, allowing his impeccable nylon-string classical guitar playing to come tothe fore, with small details like the scraping of his fingers on the strings and breathing patterns adding to the emotional honesty of the mix. Grand piano, vibraphone and B3 fill out the tracks, with Geneviève Beaulieu’s stunning vocals featuring on the track “And I Have Come Upon This Place By Lost Ways”.
C JOYNES vs. 23 HANGING TREES
Our local chordophone maestro C Joynes challenges 23 Hanging Trees (aka Fuzzy Lights’ guitarist, Xavier Watkins) to an exchange of dissonant chanting, clanky guitars, off-key electric organ, distorted violin, and looped tapes. Joynes’ fingerpicked resonances will be deconstructed by Watkins, obscuring the tunes’ Rebetiko and Tango origins.
Hollow Mountain is a set of thoughts and atmospheres put together by Rhys Copeland (Line Spectra, City Seventeen) and Tom Adams (Toma, TMCO). Using a generative looping system the duo create organic and constantly evolving textures that draw on their combined interest in ambient, glitch and drone music in equal measure.