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Matthew Halsall|An Ever Changing View

An Ever Changing View

Matthew Halsall

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A great many spiritual meanings have historically been associated with the number nine: fulfillment, truth, wisdom, reflection… All such interpretations surely hold water when applied to Matthew Halsall's ninth solo offering, An Ever Changing View. Soul laid bare to the natural world, he approached this project "like a landscape painting," surrendering his hand to the serenity of his surroundings and embracing, without reservation, the free will and departure that the outdoors generously provides. It listens almost like a View-Master, each track loading up a vivid new reel and tracing an undulating path through the streams, estuaries, valleys, and peaks that dot the British countryside and its coastline.

These "paintings" draw their inspiration from a number of locations around the United Kingdom: Bridlington, in northeast England, and Newborough, Wales, to name a couple. The latter, a seaside village on the isle of Anglesey, serves as the visual backdrop for the "Water Street" video. It's a glimpse inside the mind of Halsall throughout the recording period: sending kites aloft beside the shore, skipping stones across the water and serenading the setting sun. The music breezes through all these images with an expansive, wholesome quality, embalming and uplifting the soul without compromising on the intricacy or virtuosity which sets its composer apart in the first instance.

Indeed, the writing process stands out as perhaps his most ambitious effort yet. Combining a rich palette of instrumental samples recorded especially for the album with a loop-based compositional format, Halsall explains that he "would almost be like a DJ at points, bringing different elements in and out for people to play on top of. It was a new and fun way of working, and everyone beautifully adapted to that process." This sentiment certainly shines through in the final product, where each of the performers dovetail seamlessly within this beautifully rich, intricate musical organism, exchanging solos and comping along to kalimba lines and naturally-sourced percussion sounds.

An Ever Changing View invites its listeners to pause, listen, and be present in the beauty and inspiration which surrounds them. Halsall guides us through these different states with a grace and poise only afforded to those patient enough to search both inwardly and outwardly for true personal enlightenment. A profoundly beautiful manifestation of spiritual jazz, from the man at its helm. © Finn Kverndal/Qobuz

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An Ever Changing View

Matthew Halsall

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1
Tracing Nature
00:01:11

Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

2
Water Street
00:08:18

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Glockenspiel, Percussion, Trumpet, Kalimba, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Jack McCarthy, Congas - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Liviu Gheorghe, RhodesPiano - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Matt Cliffe, Flute - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

3
An Ever Changing View
00:06:32

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Chimes, Engineer, Percussion, Piano, Trumpet, Kalimba, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Jack McCarthy, Congas - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Liviu Gheorghe, RhodesPiano - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Matt Cliffe, Flute - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

4
Calder Shapes
00:07:08

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Chimes, Engineer, Trumpet, Celeste, Claves, Kalimba, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Jack McCarthy, Percussion, Congas - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Liviu Gheorghe, RhodesPiano - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Matt Cliffe, AltoSaxophone - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

5
Mountains, Trees and Seas
00:05:06

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Bells, Chimes, Engineer, Percussion, Trumpet, Claves, Kalimba, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Jack McCarthy, Congas - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Liviu Gheorghe, RhodesPiano - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Matt Cliffe, Flute - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

6
Field of Vision
00:01:16

Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

7
Jewels
00:06:37

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Chip Wickham, SopraninoSaxophone - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Percussion, Piano, Trumpet, Kalimba, MainArtist, RhodesPiano - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Jasper Green, Piano - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

8
Sunlight Reflection
00:01:23

Alan Taylor, Drums - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Gong, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Jasper Green, Piano - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

9
Natural Movement
00:05:09

Alan Taylor, Drums - Chris Davies, Xylophone - Sam Bell, Congas - Alice Roberts, Harp - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Trumpet, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Matt Cliffe, Flute - Jasper Green, Piano - Daniel Halsall, Producer

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

10
Triangles in the Sky
00:06:47

Alan Taylor, Drums - Sam Bell, Percussion, Congas - Alice Roberts, Harp - Chip Wickham, Flute - Greg Freeman, MixingEngineer - Matthew Halsall, Composer, Producer, Bells, Chimes, Engineer, Gong, MainArtist - Peter Beckmann, MasteringEngineer - Gavin Barras, DoubleBass - Daniel Watkins, Engineer - Jasper Green, RhodesPiano - Daniel Halsall, Producer - Caitlin Lang, Vocals

2023 Gondwana Records 2023 Gondwana Records

Album review

A great many spiritual meanings have historically been associated with the number nine: fulfillment, truth, wisdom, reflection… All such interpretations surely hold water when applied to Matthew Halsall's ninth solo offering, An Ever Changing View. Soul laid bare to the natural world, he approached this project "like a landscape painting," surrendering his hand to the serenity of his surroundings and embracing, without reservation, the free will and departure that the outdoors generously provides. It listens almost like a View-Master, each track loading up a vivid new reel and tracing an undulating path through the streams, estuaries, valleys, and peaks that dot the British countryside and its coastline.

These "paintings" draw their inspiration from a number of locations around the United Kingdom: Bridlington, in northeast England, and Newborough, Wales, to name a couple. The latter, a seaside village on the isle of Anglesey, serves as the visual backdrop for the "Water Street" video. It's a glimpse inside the mind of Halsall throughout the recording period: sending kites aloft beside the shore, skipping stones across the water and serenading the setting sun. The music breezes through all these images with an expansive, wholesome quality, embalming and uplifting the soul without compromising on the intricacy or virtuosity which sets its composer apart in the first instance.

Indeed, the writing process stands out as perhaps his most ambitious effort yet. Combining a rich palette of instrumental samples recorded especially for the album with a loop-based compositional format, Halsall explains that he "would almost be like a DJ at points, bringing different elements in and out for people to play on top of. It was a new and fun way of working, and everyone beautifully adapted to that process." This sentiment certainly shines through in the final product, where each of the performers dovetail seamlessly within this beautifully rich, intricate musical organism, exchanging solos and comping along to kalimba lines and naturally-sourced percussion sounds.

An Ever Changing View invites its listeners to pause, listen, and be present in the beauty and inspiration which surrounds them. Halsall guides us through these different states with a grace and poise only afforded to those patient enough to search both inwardly and outwardly for true personal enlightenment. A profoundly beautiful manifestation of spiritual jazz, from the man at its helm. © Finn Kverndal/Qobuz

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