Your eyelids part and let light fill them. You stare up at a canopy, a woven roof of lush green splintered by sunlight above. When the sun begins to set, you climb down a vine ladder to the forest floor below, your feet plunging into the damp dirt with a delicate *squish*. You walk towards a nearby lake to watch the sun in the sky disappear behind inky blackness. Glowing insects emerge from the dark, dancing upon the branches and the water’s glassy surface . . .
Musicians hold a special kind of relationship with their instruments; a type of intimacy that surpasses the word “intimate” itself in the cases of many a seasoned performer, though perhaps none more so than the solitary harpist. The communion between a harp and her owner runs deeper than most, and thus allows the pair to radiate more beautifully than most. At The Dam is the newest full-length from harpist Mary Lattimore.
The five tracks that make up this record were concocted during Lattimore’s trip from the east to the west coast, and consist of solo harp performances altered by a plethora of audio effects. The result is a collection of patient, meditative pieces that overflow with emotive quality and glisten like tranquil lakes during sunset. The plucked melodies sparkle on their own, and they swirl mystically when treated by digital tricks.
Prior to collaborating with the likes of Arcade Fire, Kurt Vile and many others, Lattimore developed her skills as a solo performer by traveling with her instrument to countless weddings and odd gigs, seasoning her talents and proficiency with improvisation to a rare degree. At The Dam is a culmination of the time she has spent with her partner. If you’re seeking tranquil, emotive harp music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)