Pure heaven December 29, 2011
Written by Maximus
It occurs to me that big number of soundscapes available are essential - and this one is no exception! Listening to the first set is like flying in the sky accompanied by beautiful , colorful clouds. Layers of sound-clouds coming and going, washing over my spirit in this wonderful place where time stands still, with emotions changing as the weather does, though connected to the unchangeable sky-space at the same time.
I would rather call the first part delicate and ruminative.The second set is different, beginning with dark, ambiguous, ironic and angry Queer Jazz. But my absolutely favorite one here is At The End Of Time. It is hard to find words to describe this one which is very intense, beginning with a blissful and sad loop (At The Same Time), and continuing with a very yearning soloing which always brings tears to my eyes. It is like coping with loss, deep pain, and letting go of it... and then all suffering dissolves in an additional sonic layers added, overwhelming the listener in total bliss. Heh, I wonder why this piece was not mentioned in the review, which is usually the case with such killers, but maybe it is just me... anyway, this one(gig) has proven to be very helpful and life-enhancing for me, and I wish the same to all the other ones who are going to buy it!
The Joy January 1, 2010
Written by rudraveena
People have noted that the audio quality of this recording is not perfect. I feel fortunate that I am more of a musicophile than an audiophile. I have minor hearing problems: people are always re-adjusting my equalizer as the settings that work for me make them twinge - not so much the volume as the combination of sound elements is always the issue. I believe this helps me hear Mr. Frippís sounds in a fresh way. This recording is simply one of my favorites. Not only itís length, allowing the soul to change planes frequently and freely, but also itís sheer number of gates. Music of great character "expands and narrows" apertures for the soulís development, seemingly simultaneously. Especially when being in a physically relaxed intention, and using this album for dream work, many wonderful visions abound.
RF Newlyn 2005 April 9, 2006
Written by trishula
I have just downloaded this and I chose to sit for my "first- a-listening"- in the garden, with the sun shining between intermittent showers, to what the brothers (and sisters?) in Oregon had sent me via Fripp world central or whatever the hell you call it, only less than a hundred miles from where I now is-a-breathing. (that is Old Hampshire UK.)
Holy Moses ! The very birds started accumulating rythmns I had so far been unaccustommed to knowing.
The tractors in the field, all those dreary engines of oblivion, turned off their noise just to be knowing, that is, I should more properly say, COGNIZANT, of the FRIPP. The holy master of the guitar....what ?..........the guitar?.......is that a guitar...? .no way Jose !
Can that sound really come from a fretbord engineered by the working of a human hand....?
No way Jose..!!!!
This is the sound of a new millenium...
Listen and be realised...!
You will know what it is you need to know,
You will know what it is you have lacked the knowing of;
the confluence of millenia of strivings.
You will know what it is that has engendered all your misgivings...,
You will know that in your heart there is a space that can experience knowledge free from the pressure of another.
If You have been seeking, this is the music for you.
Melt and be supported.
Alternatively, if you like something with more of a beat, try Kevin Ayres.......equally unsurpassable......
A Beautiful Beginning To The December Suite!!! February 14, 2006
Written by LouieB
Robert Frippís December Suite series of Soundscape performances begins with this, the very first gig from December 3rd 2005 in St. Peterís Church in Newlyn UK. For this performance, Fripp was the main and only act (unlike the shorter performances while opening for the band Porcupine Tree) which means that the music is allowed to stretch into slow, breathing atmospheres with plenty of meditative space.
This concert is similar to the shorter performances previously heard in the December Suite. Both "Time Stands Still" and "At The End Of Time" are heard here with slightly different variations with the latter piece running at an epic 17-minutes. Elsewhere are lush ambient pieces including the two "Time Hovers" and "Promenades" which follow. The "Shallal" suite which closes the concert is a beautiful minimalist work that weaves in and out of a slow waltzing bell-like rhythm.
With this said, Robert Frippís Newlyn Soundscapes are 105-minutes worth of exciting and intruiguing music. It is as lush and haunting as it is beautiful. It also should be noted that the distortions heard occasionally throughout the recording are not noticable enough to make someone jump out of their chair and demand a refund. If anything, the occasional blurps in the sound quality add to the live nature of the performance.
The final verdict? This is one of the best Fripp Soundscapes I have ever heard. Itís up there with the WFC 2000 and the most recent Broad Chalke soundscapes.
Robert Fripp at his very best, honestly
Newlyn Soundscapes December 3, 2005
Written by Demelza
This concert passed me by.....almost. Only a flyer that I found quite
by accident in the Penzance branch of MVC alerted me to the upcoming
Soundscapes concert due in two weeks time. To say I was a bit excited
was an understatement, due to several reasons I have not been able to
travel very far to concerts and this would be the first time that I
would be present at a live Robert Fripp presentation.
The venue Newlyn Church (St Peters) is a small church, holds about
200 people at a push but it has great acoustics, a fine atmosphere and
being in a small village at the tail end of Cornwall kind of ensures
that it would take either very enthusiastic fans or very lucky local
ones to attend. The weather sadly was not that good, spots of rain
began to fall about 12.30 for the event due to start at 1.00. I thought
there would be a queue but no....only a long haired teenager who
gleefully mentioned that he saw KC in concert at the Royal Albert Hall
a while back and couldn't believe that RF was coming to play locally
(the feeling was mutual). We were then given kind permission to enter
early to avoid the rain not realising that I almost clipped RF with the
heavy church door as I entered. I don't think he noticed though.
Inside the church the setup, stool and a couple of guitars were set
up in the top corner, tucked away behind both a pillar AND a large
painting on an easel. I exchanged a knowing "I bet most people thought
he was going to play in the front by the altar" look with my friend as
well as directing a "cut throat death" gesture towards a guy who was
unpacking a camera about 10 feet away from the playing area. Yes, it
was then that RF appeared clad in a black leather jacket, black
trousers, black shirt and a rather funky grey scarf to start tuning up.
It was also at this point that camera guy decided to take a photo, with
flash of course.
Mr Fripp was not impressed, he stood up and delivered a very polite but
stinging rebuttal to the gentleman who decided to distract him whilst
preparing for the concert. Satisfied that the camera was put away and a
quick glance around to notice that there were no other cameras he went
back to tuning.
In the next 10 minutes before the concert, the place became packed.
Standing room only. I made a guess at which people would probably leave
after a few confused minutes, not understanding exactly what was
happening. One person thought he was tuning his guitar for a full half
an hour, when of course this actually was the first soundscape! Without
announcement or any type of signal the concert began.
The swelling chords filled the church like a gentle tide. The first
soundscape was quite calm and measured and was rarely interrupted by
little more than a few additional guitar effects. The 35 minute piece
was very calming and seemed to reflect the feeling of the venue itself.
Then the first "walk" began, to look at the paintings and take in some
ambience. A number of people took this small break as an opportunity to
get away and I should imagine about 25 people left at this point.
The next soundscape built from the swelling chords and clearer guitar
playing punctuated the music, chimes, deep pipe organ groans built up
and around each other, but never to a point where the music developed
away to make a clear theme even though it threatened to. It was almost
a tease. Very enjoyable.
Another walk, and a hastier than expected return to the stool led to
the beginning of the third soundscape, now the tone changed.........the
first few notes were....well the first thought that connected in my
head was "One More Red Nightmare" the theme continued with a rapidly
increasing amount of guitar playing, fast runs, intricate little
motifs, then a break and another surprise would emerge. It was at this
point I concentrated hard on just closing my eyes and listening, the
music instantly gave me new impressions. I couldn't see when RF was
moving his hands to the guitar, or taking the pick from his mouth to
fiddle with the "machinery". This third soundscape was by far my
favourite musically.....but the fourth soundscape was something
different again, a return almost to the first soundscape in tone but
even more gentle and even comforting. A fitting conclusion to the
almost "angry" tone of the previous soundscape.
The last 20 minutes of music was accompianed by a number of dancers
from the Shallal Theatre who were the concert beneficiaries. It was at
this point and the first time that RF looked up from his guitar and
equipment to look elsewhere. He was focused on the dancers and it was
wonderful to experience the way the two interacted, the dancers moving
freeform and improvised to the calm and gentle soundscape music. The
music was reminiscent of raindrops and the dancers held out their hands
as if to catch the falling rain. It was a very moving performance. As
the last dancer left the stage the music slowly faded. A pause and the
audience erupted into hearty applause, led by RF sporting a huge smile
whilst clearly directing his praise to the dancers. A brief nod to the
audience and he was gone, down the aisle and out of the door. I was
pleased that he managed to escape as I noticed the rustle of bags to
retrieve KC albums and pens as soon as the applause sounded.
The concert now over, I just sat and looked around the church,
while small gang of men who suddenly materialised descended towards the
equipment to "oooh" and "ahh" at the racks and bother the setup guys
with questions. I took another round to enjoy the paintings and then
noticed the merchandise table selling "Love Cannot Bear" CD's and
signed posters of the event.
I was most pleased with my purchases and
when home hoping it would not be too long before I experienced a RF
Slow, Meditative, Beautiful February 12, 2006
Written by mflaherty
Robert Fripp does well playing in churches. As I said in my "All Saintís" review, it also helps if he has more time to work. (An appreciative audience also may help.) While I expected, for those reasons, more from this release than from the shorter December Suite works, I certainly didnít expect it to surpass All Saintís in my estimation. It has, for me, done so, primarily because of my personal preference for soundscapes that feel the most dark and reflective. Much of this material could be called ambient, and those who prefer these moods will probably enjoy this disc.
The Time Stand Still section, here divided in to similarly titled sections and Promenades, runs just under 50 minutes (all of disc one). Obvious, to achieve something of this magnitude while sitting and playing in front of an audience shows that Fripp was particularly inspired that evening.
As DGM acknowledges, there are technical problems with this recording in the form of some distortion (more than on the WFC download), so if you need audio perfection, stick with All Saints. Obviously, I did not find these problems to be a major distraction. If you love soundscapes, I think this one will please you.
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