Lawrence Blatt blends science and music to create the soothing Emergence
Composing music is akin to magic for me, I don’t know how it’s done nor do I care. I just enjoy the ride and the end product! With that said it is safe to say that I am in awe of Emergence the latest release from San Francisco acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt.
Lawrence Blatt’s award-winning music has been called “heartwarming, soothing, and relaxing” and consists of layers of guitar work decorated with luscious melodies and percussive moods. Blatt says this about his work:
“My music ranges from soft contemporary compositions to mysterious pieces that could be set in the 18th century.”
My music creates a personal oasis and space of solitude in a busy life.
How He Does It
To create that oasis and those wonderfully soothing sounds, Blatt plays two very special guitars on his recordings. In his biography at his website Lawrence Blatt relates the following about his guitars…..
One is a custom steel-string guitar crafted by Edward Dick. “This guitar has a spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. It’s slightly bell-shaped body produces a warm deep sound. I waited almost eighteen months for this guitar to be completed and I worked very closely with Edward during the construction to build the guitar to my exact specifications.” The other guitar is a small-bodied 12-fret parlor guitar made by Kathy Wingert. It was built with a German spruce top and Brazilian rosewood back and sides. “This tiny guitar packs a powerful punch and was the inspiration for the title track for my first solo CD “Out of the Woodwork.”
But I digress, let’s get back to Emergence. Emergence was produced by Will Ackerman and the compositions that make up the album blend Blatt’s passion for science and music! “Emergence” is defined in Wikipedia as follows….
emergence is conceived as a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and regularities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities that themselves do not exhibit such properties.
Lawrence Blatt explains how the concept of emergence applies to his album of the same name….
” I became intrigued by the biological applications of emergence several years ago and I have now utilized the underling tenants of this theory to produce my new musical project. For each composition, I wrote the basic guitar part by strictly adhering to musical rules of chord progression and scale theory. For the solo instrumentalist’s that played on the album, no written music was given to individual performers. Instead, I instructed them on the “allowable” movement based on guidance from musical theory and practice. What emerged from this exercise was far greater than I could have ever imagined…”
What has “emerged” from the combing Lawrence Blatt’s basic guitar parts and the musicianship of the invited solo artists is truly a musical treat. The album opens with a simple solo piece “A Promise in the Woods, featuring Blatt on his Tacoma Thunder Chief Baritone guitar. The title track “Emergence” follows a beautiful track with Blatt’s Foggy Bottom acoustic guitar accompanied by Charlie Bisharat’s violin. Track 3 “Gare Du Nord” is an ensemble piece featuring Lila Sklar on both violin and viola, Eugene Friesen on cello and Sam Bevan on double bass as accompanists to Blatt’s guitar. The remaining nine tracks vary from solo pieces to full ensemble pieces, two pieces featuring just guitar and one other soloist and one features guitar and violin and one guitar and French horn.. The tracks with only guitar and violin are my favorites!
Bottom line: Emergence from Lawrence Blatt is a 4-star out of 5 album. It’s great for a quiet night of reading and writing or just for soothing your soul with some magical “emergent” music!!
Links for Further Exploration of the Music of Lawrence Blatt.….
Here’s the video for “Where Monarch’s Go” from Emergence by Lawrence Blatt.