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David Cross - Andrew Keeling: October Is Marigold

Violinist David Cross has been really quite prolific in recent years, teaming up with all manner of progressive and avant-garde musicians to release numerous, reasonably diverse albums. October Is Marigold finds him lining up alongside Andrew Keeling; the pair both having strong links with King Crimson. Cross, of course was that band’s violin, viola and keyboard man from 1972 to 1974, while Keeling has now written several musical guides to the works of Crimson, while also being a flute, keyboard and guitar player of some renown in his own right.

As has often been the case with Cross’s collaborations, the joint pasts of the men involved does not really signpost what this enigmatically titled album looks to convey. Instead we have something much more mood based and ethereal in construction, with plaintive meanders often the basis from where the tracks move and evolve into different places altogether. That said, there are musical themes throughout that are revisited during what I’d suggest is a paean to a certain time of year where the world can indeed turn to a burnt marigold colour. In fact the word marigold features in five of the nine track titles and that in itself tells you how neatly these imaginative and emotionally engaging pieces draw you in.

Keeling often creates the base from which Cross then pulls at the heartstrings through some emotive violin work, but when the former also adds flute to build those atmospheres, the effect becomes quite intoxicating, while his piano work on the likes of “Marigold 2” really does make its mark. The most obviously ‘structured’ offering on the album is the title track, where an under-base of what both men bring is used as a percussive construction from where a sedate but still memorable melody leads us by the hand. That’s not always the case elsewhere, with mood and emotion, I’d suggest, more important to this album’s inner meaning than any one other factor. The results are enigmatic and intriguing and while I’d say October Is Marigold verges into the territory of ‘mood music’, when that mood takes hold, it really is quite wonderful.

Track Listing
1. Marigold 1 (1.19)
2. Kingfisher (5.36)
3. October is Marigold (9.31)
4. Strong as a Mountain Lion (6.09)
5. Marigold 2 (3.51)
6. Ever Nearer (8.05)
7. Marigold 3 (4.00)
8. The Spiking Darts that were Trees (8.27)
9. The Dark Edge of Desire and Marigold 4 (8.49)

Added: February 27th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: October Is Marigold @ bandcamp
Hits: 722
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

David Cross - Andrew Keeling: October Is Marigold
Posted by Eric Porter, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-02-27 17:34:58
My Score:

David Cross is best known to most of us as a member of King Crimson on two of their classic releases Larks Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black. He pairs himself with composer/musician Andrew Keeling, who has a history with prog heavyweights Robert Fripp and Tim Bowness. October is Marigold is their second collaboration. These songs were recorded back in 2009 when English Sun was done, but the songs have not been released until now. Cross as we all know comes with his violin, while Keeling plays flute, keyboards, and guitar. As you might expect since the subtitle is Electric Chamber Music, this is atmospheric, mellow, and relaxing. I can see using this to meditate or listen to while unwinding after a long day. There are beautiful moments from both players, and I have always been drawn to the sound of the violin, so this quite enjoyable. The violin in combination with flute, keys, and guitar creates some beautiful soundscapes. I do feel the music has a bit of darkness that may be used to convey the feel of the fall season. The sounds of the violin and flute are quite haunting in tracks “Strong as a Mountain Lion”, and the title track “October is Marigold”. Not an everyday listen, but something to chill out on those cold fall evenings as we prepare for the long cold winter that lies ahead.

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