Magic Brook,
The Source: Two Hands, One Guitar
(Melusine, 2008)

The Source: Two Hands, One Guitar is a solo acoustic guitar CD. It has the mellow atmospherics that you would expect. It also has a good deal of variety, even with a length of more than an hour (Note: Magic Brook also released an EP with the same title, and the cover of the CD I received only lists seven tracks). Brook uses percussive slapping and fretboard tapping, harmonics and probably other techniques you could discover if you saw him performing live. There is a lot of flamenco and some classical influence.

A quote from the biography on his website says: "Music is an expression of the essential divine nature of the universe. I believe that divinity is manifest in the physical world, that the physical is divine and I can see this divinity in all of creation."

That feeling permeates all 10 tracks here. Brook never goes for speed. What makes him unique is the intricacy of his playing and his sense of melody and well-thought-out tune structures. The longest track is the 14-minute "The Awakening." Here Brook moves from an ambient feel to end with percussive playing and a few strums as an ending. It is as if he is telling a story.

This is new age music with a bit of an edge and none of the overproduction (not that production matters much with a single guitar). It is a must for those who like advanced acoustic guitar work.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Dave Howell

16 January 2010

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