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Utilising the full potential of the electic violin, flute and field recordings of birds, October is Marigold is the haunting, Autumnal second album from David Cross (ex-King Crimson) and Andrew Keeling, and the third releases to appear on Noisy Records’ ‘Electric Chamber Music’ imprint (which aims to present music designed for an intimate setting that makes use of musical and electronic techniques used in Rock).
Cross and Keeling’s ‘English Sun’ was released in 2009 (followed by a handful of gigs) and the duo recorded much of ‘October is Marigold’ in the same year. These tracks lay dormant until 2020, when work recommenced on the new album.
Whereas ‘English Sun’ encapsulates the vibrance of summer, ‘October is Marigold’ portrays darker, melancholic autumnal atmospheres.
The music is again mostly improvised, the exceptions being a previously written organ part for the title track and two guitar loops. Although the performances are spontaneous there is a clearer sense of architecture here, with the ‘Marigold’ cello/piano theme arching in four incarnations across the album. Nature continues to be an inspiration, with field recordings of birds finding a natural place alongside pizzicato violin and fluttering flute. Cross demonstrates the full potential of the electric violin with, for example, a haunting, muted trumpet-like sound on the title track and the earthy, evocative use of cello pitched violin. Keeling’s flute seems to embody the human response to the realities of nature, breathing, tumbling and bending with the wind.
Throughout, there is an uninhibited flow across musical reference points - hints of folk, blues and romance are exposed as the duo travel through this stark autumnal landscape.
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)