The natural, the magical and strangely neo-classical

Atlanta-born and award-winning guitarist and musician Alan Thomas.
Atlanta-born and award-winning guitarist and musician Alan Thomas.
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ALBUM REVIEW: Elusive Symmetry - Eleanor Turner (harpist) and Alan Thomas (guitarist) - Guitar Classic Records

Duthc graphic artist M.C. (Maurits Cornelis) Escher is the prime inspiration behind Stamford harpist Eleanor Turner and guitarist Alan Thomas’s joint album, Elusive Symmetry.

In truth, the term “joint” is inaccurate as computer-processed music plays a more than passing role on this roller-coaster ride of an album.

From the opening slides of the electro-acoustic track Metamorphosis, Eleanor and Alan invite the listener into their world of contours, clefs and crescendo with nine tracks that are as tied to each other as they are totally divided.

On the obviously experimental side are The Curl-Up, Regular Division of the Plane and Butterflies, the latter with synthesised wings of moths giving way to Eleanor’s harp-fused melodies.

But on the other side of the coin are Alice in Escher’s Wonderland and Magic Mirror, both examples of the kind of magical cocktails that can be served up by two branches of the stringed instrument family.

Then just when you think you have heard it all, Alan comes back with the memorable finale Stars, as if M.C. Escher himself had whispered in the guitarist’s ears “The things I want to express are so beautiful and pure”.

Review by Winston Brown