LOST PRAYERS AND MOTIONLESS DANCES
Original Issue: 2005 Digitalis (digi008) Buy it here!!!
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
1. Lost Prayers And Motionless Dances
An absolutely monumental recording, Lost Prayers and Motionless Dances re-examines many of the themes that were explored on Celeste and distills them into one brilliant 35-minute composition that is full of excitement and surprise. The piece begins with a harmonium drone and acoustic 12-string, tuned to the guitar-unfriendly C-F-C-F-C-F (I can't find any examples of this tuning being used elsewhere) and unfolds beautifully. Blackshaw moves effortlessly from Takoma-inspired picking into electroacoustic improvisation and concludes with 12-string, harmonium and ride cymbal falling into a blissed-out circular folk groove that is absolutely infectious.
'Lost Prayers And Motionless Dances' is a single thirty-five minute composition, opening with droning harmonium passages and only revealing the guitar part - inevitably the ace up Blackshaw's sleeve - after a good eight minutes of toying with you. Thereafter, Blackshaw's fluency with Eastern modes and sitar-like figures becomes the central attraction, dressing the piece in an enormously elaborate display of fingerpicking, but eventually it all melts away into a state of drone, leaving only echoes, jangling bells and radio static. It's one of Blackshaw's more abstract moments, but soon the guitar returns for a coda at a more stately pace, supported by thudding kick drum, drawing the piece to a suitably regal close.