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Caufield; Tom: Things I Heard In The Womb

Another day, another sub-genre. Today's lesson in let's find out what the style descriptor means, is one of the more self explanatory genre headings, "Contemplative Guitarist". The artist in question is a certain Tom Caufield and oddly enough he's keen to let you share Things I Heard While In The Womb. Well, one can only assume that Mr. Caufield's mother was extremely musical, for the three instrumental pieces which take us back to that foetal stage are sublimely melodic and tantalisingly memorable.

Caufield works alone, all manner of acoustic guitar styles infused with Moog, Arp synth strings, wooden bass, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ and some perfectly swept, brushed drums. Impressively the intricate and introspective sounds created somehow feel wide, expansive and grand. The juxtaposition one of the sweetest aspects which draw you into the album. Through less skilled hands the introductory twenty-plus minutes of "Waif Among The Reeds" could feel listless and limp, whereas with Caufield plotting the path, the hummable motifs are unexpectedly stick in the mind, while key changes and tempo alterations continually ensure the attention never wavers. Clever use of dynamics allows an extremely natural ebb and flow, and for a piece which can for long periods base itself round acoustic picking and piano, the overall effect is impressively wide ranging.

The short (under four minutes) "Rubies On Fallen Leaves" is allowed a more contemplative, if warm feel, the relative brevity of the piece providing a far more singular idea. The perfectly symmetrical "Palace Of Broken Mirrors" arrives at exactly 11:11 in length, Caufield's percussion and a slightly bluesy and at times classical undercurrent ensuring that a guitarist who has a decidedly recognisable style still manages to provide three strongly linked pieces of music which show an amazing amount of individuality, while remaining hugely cohesive.

A little digging reveals that this sixth outing for Caufield is his first to utilise more than guitar, the press release describing his previous work as "guitarist alone in a cathedral". I'd suggest this new way of getting, what I'd guess, is still a similar atmospheric idea across, is a complete success and one that captivates, questions and gently excites. Yes, Things I Heard While In The Womb will be an album for (you guessed it...) those more contemplative times. However those rare moments are always to be savoured and with Tom Caufield by your side, blissful satisfaction is guaranteed.


Track Listing
1. Waif among the Reeds
2. Rubies on Fallen Leaves
3. Palace of Broken Mirrors

Added: September 24th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Caufield Music Online
Hits: 727
Language: english

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