Exposé Online banner

Tom Caufield — Things I Heard While in the Womb
((Not on label) no#, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-30

Things I Heard While in the Womb Cover art

Caufield calls himself a contemplative guitarist, and for an idea as to what that means exactly, consider any of the three tracks on this disc, which is his sixth release (he has released three more since this one), but mainly the first “Waif Among The Reeds,” which features an extremely minimalist bottom end: one-two brush drums and a slow repeating bass line to accompany it, over its near 24 minute duration. The top end features Caufield’s acoustic guitar wanderings, which at first sounds like mere noodling improvisation but around the three minute mark it’s joined by organ, electric piano, and other keyboard sounds that support the composition impeccably, which is where the listener may first recognize the brilliance of the guitartistry at hand. This is ambient music overall, but not the guitar parts. Caufield engages us with some amazing spanish influenced picking and draws the listener in with beautiful melodies that ride the surface of this piece as it grows, slowly morphs, and develops with strong emotional beauty, looping back to recap previous ideas occasionally and repeat again with variation. Influences? I don’t know, perhaps Pierre Bensusan, Ralph Towner or William Ackerman are in evidence, but this doesn’t really sound like any of those guys; if this had come out in 1985 it would be right at home in Tower’s new-age section, where one could find all kinds of instrumental music from Mike Oldfield to Pekka Pohjola. By contrast, the second cut “Rubies On Fallen Leaves” is a mere four minutes, less minimalist and more explorative than the first, based on a subtle yet truly majestic guitar composition, supported by textural synths and other instruments, along with active studio effects. “Palace of Broken Mirrors” returns to the minimalist rhythm similar to “Waif..” but with keyboaards sharing the spotlight equally with guitars (and some effected electric guitars also this time), and support of what sounds like a string section, developing over the final eleven minutes of the album. Things I heard While In The Womb won’t challenge the senses or break any barriers, nor is it a showy display of instrumental virtuosity, instead simply restrained and beautiful, creating a soundworld that a listener can easily get lost within.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Caufield

More info
http://caufieldmusic.com/wordpress/?audiotheme_record=things-i-heard-while-in-the-womb

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
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


Previously in Exposé...

Algernon - Ghost Surveillance – Lately I've been listening to a lot of music that is labeled "post-rock," and like many genre labels, there is a point at which it becomes meaningless. World's End Girlfriend, GYBE,...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues