erasing clouds

The Garden of Forking Paths

reviewed by dave heaton

The Garden of Forking Paths had me in its grasp from the title – not just from the Borges connection but the image the title evokes of an unending spiral of mystery. The music does not disappoint in that regard. Curated by guitarist James Blackshaw, this collection boasts five pieces played on stringed instruments by artists with their own individual approach to music. The end result is 47 minutes of twisting, beguiling strings, bended into a strange geography of questions, feelings, colors and ideas. Chieko Mori’s “Spiral Wave” introduces the album with cascading, resonant tones that do together echo the wave of the title. Blackshaw himself offers a shimmering, yet almost bluesy contribution. Cellist Helene Espvall takes the album in a dark, no less mysterious direction with the appropriately titled “Home of Shadows and Whirlwinds”. Josef van Wissem plays the lute in a careful, minimalist, and no less evocative manner on his track, and Mori closes the set out again on a peaceful note. Each musician has a unique artistic personality, yet the pieces all hold together perfectly, forming a perpetually fascinating body of music that suits its title.


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