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Ghost Canyon

Title - October Is Marigold
Artist - David Cross & Andrew Keeling

For those unaware, King Crimson legend David Cross and Composer Andrew Keeling have just released their second album as a duo, October Is Marigold (via Noisy Records).

David Cross is best known as a member of King Crimson on the Larks’ Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black albums and he also leads the David Cross Band and has been a guest artist, recording and performing live with a number of international groups including Stick Men.

Andrew Keeling is a composer and musician whose contemporary classical works have been internationally acclaimed. Besides working with David Cross he has also orchestrated the music of Robert Fripp (The Wine of Silence), arranged for Tim Bowness (Abandoned Dancehall Dreams) as well as playing with alt-rock band, The Gong Farmers.

Keeling has also written a series of Musical Guides exploring the music of such bands as King Crimson.

October Is Marigold (subtitled Electric Chamber Music, Vol. 3) is an instrumental music album by David Cross (electric violin) and Andrew Keeling (flute) and is also the third to appear on the aforementioned Noisy Records’ Electric Chamber Music label.

1. Marigold 1 (1:19)
2. Kingfisher (5:36)
3. October Is Marigold (9:31)
4. Strong as a Mountain Lion (6:09)
5. Marigold 2 (3:51)
6. Ever Nearer (8:05)
7. Marigold 3 (4:00)
8. The Spiking Darts that were Trees (8:27)
9. The Dark Edge of Desire and Marigold 4 (8:49)

Perhaps more strikingly than its predecessors, this recording epitomizes the aims of that label to present music designed for an intimate setting which makes use of musical and electronic techniques used in rock.

Opening on the starkly ornate Marigold 1 and the flirtive Kingfisher, with the music once again mostly improvised, the exception can be found on the expansive title track; where there is a previously written organ part and two guitar loops that come into being.

Next up is the atmospheric Strong as a Mountain Lion and the earnest reach of Marigold 2 which are in turn backed by the gently joyful Ever Nearer, the dulcet yearn of Marigold 3, this stunningly crafted album rounding out on the orchestrally-imbibed The Spiking Darts that were Trees, closing on buildingly euphoric The Dark Edge of Desire and Marigold 4.

Cross and Keeling’s English Sun was released in 2009 (followed by a handful of gigs) and the duo recorded much of October Is Marigold in the same year.

These tracks lay dormant until 2020 when work recommenced on the new album. Whereas English Sun encapsulates the vibrance of summer, October Is Marigold portrays darker, melancholic autumnal atmospheres.

Although the performances are spontaneous there is a clearer sense of architecture here, with the Marigold cello/piano theme arching in four incarnations across the album.

Nature continues to be an inspiration, with field recordings of birds finding a natural place alongside pizzicato violin and fluttering flute.

Cross demonstrates the full potential of the electric violin with, for example, a haunting, muted trumpet-like sound on the title track and the earthy, evocative use of cello pitched violin.

Keeling’s flute seems to embody the human response to the realities of nature, breathing, tumbling and bending with the wind. Throughout, there is an uninhibited flow across musical reference points - hints of folk, blues.

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