Mary Lattimore - Hundreds of Days

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2018-05-18
Mary Lattimore - Hundreds of Days
Mary Lattimore - Hundreds of Days

Mary Lattimore’s Hundreds of Days features the harp, not as an instrument of subtlety as most people experience it, a soothing, delicate interweaving sound connoting something meditative. Mary Lattimore’s playing has an authority which transcends those limitations and evokes meaning in and of itself. Just as the harp in Debussy’s La Mer so evocatively describes the sun rising over an expansive ocean, Lattimore’s harp can tell stories, not just anecdotes. In fact, all the song titles are solicitations of what is to follow.

There are, of course, inherent limitations to singular instrumentation but adjusting the dynamics, and using, as Lattimore does, supplementary keyboards, that are almost completely backgrounded to the point of being subliminally focussed, gives the harp more dimension. Your ears are not drawn to those sounds but they provide a velvet layer under which the music tells a narrative.

I wouldn’t expect that the average Soundblab listener (not that I’m certain who that is) would get fully immersed in Hundreds of Days, but capitulation to the different and unknown can bring unexpected rewards. Lattimer has worked with artists as diverse as Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile, so her musical reach is not just what you hear on record, but has been recognised more widely. If any criticism can be leveled, I would say that the overall prettiness of the sound can become cloying, but this is a cumulative effect and not a reflection on the quality of the music.

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