David Bedford — The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(Virgin CDOVD 443, 1976/1994, CD)
by Roel Steverink, Published 2004-09-01I never had the pleasure to hear this album when it was still only available on LP. The transfer to CD is fine, the noise is not disturbing this time. The subject of the album is the famous poem from the 19th century romantic poet Samuel Coleridge. Bedford could have gone for only a musical impression of the poem, but he wanted more. So the whole poem is being recited by the excellent intonating voice of Robert Powell, and that voice and music proves to be a winning combination. Bedford has created just the right melodies, themes and atmospheres to float along the great poem Coleridge created a century and a half ago. Like the poem, the music is also a masterpiece. We hear that typical unruly minimalistic building of suspense and unevenness in a way only Bedford can do. Although minimalistic in character, the outcome is more of a complex brew of piano, organ, bells, guitar and synth which culminates in a grotesque, sometimes medieval, but ever fascinating soundscape. Even within that framework Bedford does leave room for improvisation. Oh yes, there's even a children's choir aboard. It's deadly horrific in the uprising of dissonant harmony and strangely beautiful in the ultra soft passages. What more do you want from adventurous music?
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more