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Lowercase Noises - Vivian CD (album) cover


Lowercase Noises


Post Rock/Math rock

3.10 | 2 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another child (oh and a baby too)

Andy Othling is a prolific and hugely talented guitarist based in Albuquerque New Mexico. His music can be described as ambient guitar exploration in the post-rock realm. "Vivian" is the second album he has written to his children in utero, then released at the time of their birth. These are not simply sentimental musings from father to daughter however. "Vivian" is an accomplished and lovely piece of work.

Released in September 2011, Othling handles all guitar, keyboards, and effects. The only assistance comes from cellist Shannon Harden. "Vivian" is a short album (EP length really) that is thoughtful, contemplative, and relaxing. In his bio Andy claims to be interested in "playing the guitar as slow as possible." However this does not mean it is boring music to listen to. The tracks drip with color and emotion-layered, clear guitars wash over you with their evolving melodies and mysteries. Frequently one guitar will be slowly picking at a chord sequence (or two) and evolving quite subtly as the minutes unfold, while another guitar part (or two) will be playing beautiful leads over the top. He's just so attentive to tone, timing, and development.

Supportive keyboards or samples fill in the backgrounds but the focus is always the guitar playing which is just superb. This is music which carries you away in thought or daydream. I find it a great aid to my own writing projects or for simply blurring the edges of a vicious world and healing in a cocoon of peaceful sound. Shannon Harden is a frequent collaborator on the albums of Lowercase Noises and her cello playing is so complimentary. Its organic, tactile qualities further infuse the music with special powers if you will-that may sound a bit silly but if you doubt me give this music a try. All of the albums can be sampled on Bandcamp and I bet many of you who love great guitar work will love it, provided you can slow down your mind and shut off your need for drums and rock and roll.

Othling has given us much lovely music in the last few years but he has given his children the greatest gift of all. Someday they will have a personalized expression of their father's feelings for them at the time of their birth. That is pretty cool. The beautiful cover photograph was taken by Arielei Kinzer.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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