At one point in history, church and state were united, intimating that all arenas, even those that seemed diametrically opposed, could live in harmony. This ideal was unable to withstand the pressures around it, but its intentions are no less laudable. The idea of two related but conflicting forces reconciling their differences comes to rest in the pairing of Adam and Matthew Moore, whose disciplines – electric guitar and electronics – are melded in this performance, dated 29/01/1010. There’s no telling whether the brothers were once as Jacob and Esau, but in this setting they come across as the sons of Zebedee.
It takes great humility to allow another to manipulate the very notes one plays, but this is in fact a humble recording – content to begin in the quiet cracks of Huntingfield Church like seeds strewn in good soil. In the same way as a holy passage takes on the detritus of the reader, the notes leave the hands of one creator to pass through the filter of the other. The result is conducive to reflection, but mysterious enough to invite aural engagement. One might say the same of faith, whose deepest mysteries require sacrifice and possess an unsettling edge. The benefit is that true faith is meant to unsettle, not just to comfort – which is the effect of the static buzzes and crackles that surround these reverberations.
When considering the stone facade of Huntingfield Church, one wonders: what hopes have passed through here, what tears, what ragings? How many calls to worship has the bell tower sounded, how many death knells? The music performed here is faithful to them all: reverent, but not old fashioned; sensitive, but never dull. The soaring string-like tones of “Part 3” give fullest expression to the sense of aspiration that walks, supplicant, throughout this release. And if the fourth part tends to delve into the darkness, all shadows are dispelled in the fifth, as the familiar chords of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” shine their child-like light on the stage. If church and state could get along like Church and State, we’d invite them to share the same cup once again. (Richard Allen)