Jonas Bonnetta ~ All This Here

This lovely album began its life as part of the score to Strange And Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island.  Since then it’s evolved into its own distinct creature: a slice of white vinyl that reflects the Fogo snow just as the field recordings convey the sounds of the island.  The overall effect is one of peace: a metaphorical unification of sounds captured and composed, representing the fusion of environment and architecture; as architect Todd Saunders puts it, “new things with old ways.”

The incorporation of Mika Posen and Anne Müeller on the violin and cello nudges the set from soundscape to dreamscape.  One may simply drift on these sounds, as one track bleeds gently into the next, fowl into footstep, bow into wind.  Bonnetta’s piano leads us directly into the recording, but his subtle electronics provide it with the texture of imagination.  Rushes of static recall the difficulty of communication in remote locations.  But for each sense of disconnection, there lies a warm counterbalance.  “Little Seldom” is the prime example, its string lines merging to form a brighter whole, like the melding of creative minds on Fogo itself.  The island’s spirit is contagious, as Bonnetta creates his own sense of community.

All This Here is best heard as a single piece, allowing for tight, note-based tracks to share space with those that distort time (“Tilting”) and those that nearly disappear (“Interlude III”).  The album suggests semi-diurnal tides, sunrise and sunset, the pace of the moon across the sky.  It gains emotional weight as it progresses, culminating in the triumphant notes of “Stag Harbor.”  A series of pensive tracks rest at album’s end like reflections on the day.  The artists have all returned to their colorful little homes on the shore, safe from the cold and the crashing of the waves.  As they turn their attention to creation, one imagines the island sheltering them in return for their thoughtful devotion.  (Richard Allen)

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