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Loren Connors - The Departing of A Dream, Vol. III: Juliet

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Artist: Loren Connors

Album: The Departing of A Dream, Vol. III: Juliet

Label: Family Vineyard

Review date: Jun. 17, 2004

There are those few musicians who imbue their chosen instrument with its player’s own character, with its own distinct voice. Whether you are listening to Ornette Coleman’s saxophone, Derek Bailey’s guitar, Jon Bonham’s drums or Diamanda Galas’s vocal chords, you can be in no doubt of the auteur. Loren (Mazzacane) Connors has been pursuing his own unique take on blues guitar since 1978 and, in that time, has released nearly 50 albums of solo improvisations, composed suites, as well as a vast number of collaborations with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Alan Licht, and his wife Suzanne Langille.

The Departing of a Dream Vol III: Juliet tells the tragic story of William Shakespeare’s heroine and her Romeo, a more than fitting subject for ‘Guitar Roberts’ (as John Fahey used to refer to him). Connors’ guitar evokes a deep sense of sorrow and loss, enveloping the listener in a dark, heavy cloud, but with just enough melody to prevent any felling of uneasiness. Recorded in his Brooklyn apartment, these tortured ethereal notes are wrung out amidst a setting of more earth-bound sounds – a chair creaking or the constant hiss and whirr of an old amp and recording equipment. His gentle guitar music conjures up ghosts, representations of loneliness, sadness and introspection. Gentle mists hover above the unkempt gravestones of the disenfranchised souls of love lost.

The opening piece, the twenty minutes plus of “Her Love” immerses the melancholic tones torn from the strings of the instrument and places them in a foreboding black and grey mire of sound, but one that is adorned with a kind of tragic magnificence. The four remaining sections, the considerably shorter “Her Fate, Her Death,” “Juliet…” and “In Lovers Eyes” are all more conventionally pretty, but if anything, are even more effecting at describing the ill-fated romance of the two main protagonists

But to isolate each piece is like reading only one line from a sonnet or extracting a single chapter from a novel. Juliet only really works when listened to in its entirety, to allow the full narrative to be told, by a master of his field, in his most magisterial manner. Another Connors masterpiece.

By Spencer Grady

Other Reviews of Loren Connors

The Little Match Girl

Departure of a Dream, Vol. II

Night Through

The Departing Of A Dream

Read More

View all articles by Spencer Grady

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