Charlie Cawood – Blurring Into Motion

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://music.badelephant.co.uk
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://charliecawood.bandcamp.com/album/blurring-into-motion
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/charliecawoodmusic/

Band line-up:

Charlie Cawood – acoustic, electric and classical guitars, acoustic bass, bass VI, handclaps

With: Marjana Semkina – vocals on ‘Falling Into Blue’ and ‘Flicker Out Of Being’
Alice Barron – violin
Georgia Hannat – violin
Maddie Cutter – cello
Robyn Hemmings – double bass
Julie Groves – flute, piccolo
Emily Susanne Shapiro – clarinet
Ben Marshall – cor anglais
Robyn Hemmings – contrabassoon
Lucy Brown – French horn
Nathaniel Dye – trombone
Maria Moraru – piano
Elen Evans – harp
Beibei Wong – vibraphone
Catherine Ring – glockenspiel
Evan Carson – bodhran, percussion
Steve Holmes – minimoog, bass synth

Tracklisting:

1. Dance Of Time
2. The Stars Turn
3. Falling Into Blue
4. Abyss Of Memory
5. The Dark Within
6. Blurring Into Motion
7. From Pure Air
8. A Severed Circle
9. The False Mirror
10. Flicker Out Of Being
11. Between Two Worlds
12. Voice Of Space

Review:

Charlie Cawood is a composer and multi-instrumentalist on the Bad Elephant Music record label. He released his sophomore album ‘Blurring into Motion’ on September 6th and it was composed in just three months, and took a year to orchestrate. He is well known in the London music scene and is most known as the bass player of the psychedelic 8-piece band Knifeworld and as the co-arranger and instrumentalist for the classical vocal group Mediaeval Baebes. Not only that, he’s a member of Lost Crowns, My Tricksy Spirit and Tonochrome, too. 

Whilst the attention to detail and the compositional skill in general is extremely impressive, the tone throughout the album is a little lacking in variety. Most of the pieces of music have a light, airy and surreal feel to them. More drama, darkness and excitement would be greatly appreciated. However, if you like music that is full of surprises in terms of rhythms and textures, BiM could be right up your street. You could say some of it sounds a bit like the music from the Final Fantasy games, just far more complex and consequently has a longer lifespan and a stronger ability to stand on its own without the help of computer images. 

The instrumentation here is a little unusual; acoustic guitars feature heavily and even electric guitars and synthesisers have their time to shine – this isn’t traditional modern orchestral classical music although it is heavily influenced by the genre. It’s a shame the female vocal parts don’t feature so much in this material as they are quite beautiful. Having said that, they sure are appreciated when they arrive; more so than if they were abused. Furthermore, as pretty much all of this release is very pretty, it’s an even smaller issue. It’s not only elegant, not a single part of this album is in the slightest bit uncreative. Impressively it’s never too busy either. The music has a never ending, near-perfect balance. 

In conclusion, the only major flaw with Blurring into Motion is its lack of variety in tone. That’s no problem whatsoever if you want to put something on in the background to relax to, but it’s not as much of an adventure as it could have been. The album also doesn’t end with much of a climax. The harmony from start to finish is highly colourful and you can expect all sorts of jazzy extended chords from the wide variety of instruments that work together with perhaps genius. Such include, violins, flutes, french horns, pianos, vibraphones, etc. Highly recommended! 

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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