Marisa Anderson - Cloud Corner - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Marisa Anderson - Cloud Corner

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2018-06-15
Marisa Anderson - Cloud Corner
Marisa Anderson - Cloud Corner

When John Fahey came up with the term American Primitive Guitar sometime in the late fifties to explain his vision and interpretation of the American traditional guitar styles, he was partly telling it like it is and partly holding at least half of his tongue behind one of his cheeks. He was at the same time upholding traditions and coming up with something uniquely new. None of it having anything to do with being ‘primitive’ in its original meaning of the term. Particularly not the quality of the guitar playing.

Well, the term stuck, and I’m certain many would haphazardly stick that label on Portland guitarist Marisa Anderson and her latest album Cloud Corner. As some would say, it is all instrumental guitar music, isn’t it?

Sure, if you want to look at it in that simplistic manner. First of all, Anderson has been around for a while and has done everything from country-folk to pure improvisation to non-musical activities like environmental and social activism. Concentrating on her musical activity, a wide span of musical genres and her obvious playing capabilities and the range of guitars she uses have enabled her to give her music a solid substance. That goes beyond just showing how fast your fingers can slide down the neck of the guitar or how fast the fingers, on the other hand, can pick the strings.

On Cloud Corner, Anderson, using mainly an electric guitar, with the acoustic coming in intermittently, like on the strangely picked “Sun Song”, or a seemingly more straightforward "Sant Feliu de Guíxols" goes for a mood that is to reflect as she put it, “an ode to stillness in an era of ceaseless noise”. Escaping all the traps of say, new age music, Anderson is able to conjure some sort of a melancholy mood, very suited to the album cover, that certainly exemplifies her vast knowledge of traditional music forms, upon which she builds her visions and combines them with more current sounds like on the exemplary combination of slide and gentle electric piano on “Lament”.

Anderson’s technical mastery is never misused or abused but beautifully utilised to come up with musical images and moods that linger around for a while, even when they are over.

Certainly the best guitar album around for a while.

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